Originally created 04/09/03

Atlanta fall to Phillies in 10th



PHILADELPHIA - He said it jokingly, after he'd felt the wintry air sting his cheek.

"You can't grip the ball in weather like this," Braves pitching coach Leo Mazzone said. "I expect to see some pitches up on the screen."

Mazzone's forecast on a bitterly cold Tuesday night at Veterans Stadium was only half-right. The two starting pitchers - Atlanta's Jason Marquis and Philadelphia's Randy Wolf - did not endanger any paying customers, but they did show some faulty radar with a combined 10 walks, though neither was around at the end.

The Braves rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game, but lost 4-3 in the 10th.

Tomas Perez singled in the winning run with two outs against reliever Kevin Gryboski, spoiling the start of a 10-day, nine-game trip at Veterans Stadium.

"That's a heck of a way to lose a game," said manager Bobby Cox, who was ejected along with Gary Sheffield by home plate umpire Kerwin Danley after objecting to a third-strike call in the top of the fifth. "(Gryboski) got beat on a high chopper. You see that on Astroturf; you wouldn't see that in our ballpark."

The Phillies did not have a hit from the third inning until Pat Burrell opened the bottom of the 10th with a single. The Braves were 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 men.

It was a tough night for Chipper Jones, who struck out three times - the final one coming against reliever Terry Adams with a runner on third base and one out in the ninth.

"By the sixth inning, I was completely frozen," Jones said. "It made it tough to get around on a 95-mph pitch. You have a long inning out there and you're an ice cube."

Marquis is making a solid case for remaining in the rotation. He went five innings and allowed two hits and three runs, two earned, and has a 3.48 ERA after two starts.

After four relievers had combined for four shutout innings, the Braves turned to Gryboski in the 10th. Burrell's single ended the Phillies' hitless stretch, then with runners on first and third and two outs, Perez slapped a bouncer past the mound. Furcal dashed behind second, but the ball eluded him and rolled into center, Burrell trotting home with the winning run.

In the second, after second baseman Marcus Giles threw wide of first on Burrell's roller, and Marquis' pickoff throw went high and wide of first baseman Robert Fick, the righthander issued a pair of two-out walks, then gave up a two-run single to Wolf. Jimmy Rollins followed with a single through the left side to make it 3-0.

"I thought going in the cold might be a factor, but it wasn't at all," said Marquis, refusing to blame a career-high six walks on the conditions. "Maybe only four or five pitches slipped out."

The Braves displayed their ability to manufacture runs, wiping out most of the deficit by scoring twice in the fourth. Walks to Vinny Castilla and Giles set up Marquis' bunt, then Wolf's wild pitch sent Castilla across the plate and Rafael Furcal's infield hit drove home Giles.

Down, 3-2, in the sixth, Giles worked Wolf for a walk with two outs, scooted to second on Wolf's second wild pitch, then pinch hitter Julio Franco, who was hitless in his first three at-bats off the bench, rifled a game-tying double into the right field corner off reliever Carlos Silva.

"We had our chances all during the game and couldn't get the real big one," Cox said.

Reach Bill Zack at bzack30143@aol.com.