Originally created 08/19/04

Braves pull off comeback victory



SAN DIEGO -- Andruw Jones hit a two-run homer off Trevor Hoffman in the ninth inning and the Atlanta Braves threw out the potential tying run at the plate for the final out Wednesday night, preserving a 6-5 come-from-behind win over the San Diego Padres.

Julio Franco led off the inning with a single and was replaced by pinch-runner Charles Thomas before Jones hit a 2-1 fastball over the center-field wall off Hoffman (2-3), who blew his fourth save in 35 chances.

But the Braves had to hold on in the bottom of the inning.

Mark Loretta drew a two-out walk from John Smoltz, and Brian Giles followed with a grounder down the first-base line that went into the right-field corner. J.D. Drew fielded the ball and relayed it to second baseman Marcus Giles, who threw home. Catcher Eddie Perez got the ball and tagged out Loretta, who tried to score all the way from first on the hit, which was ruled a double.

Chris Reitsma (5-3) pitched one inning for the win, and Smoltz picked up his 31st save in 33 chances.

Loretta and Brian Giles hit back-to-back home runs on consecutive pitches for San Diego, which tied it at 3 in the fifth. The Padres took a 5-3 lead the next inning on Khalil Greene's sacrifice fly and Ramon Hernandez's RBI single.

Chipper Jones, who has homered in five straight games to tie the Braves' franchise record, was pulled from the starting lineup due to a migraine. Jones pinch hit in the eighth and pulled the Braves within a run on a sacrifice fly off Scott Linebrink.

Loretta hit a two-out solo homer off Paul Byrd, and Giles connected on the next pitch to tie it.

Brian Giles continued his hot hitting in the series after coming off a road trip in which he was 3-for-30. Giles, who was 3-for-3 with two walks, extended his streak of reaching base safely to 11 consecutive plate appearances. In the three-game series, Giles was 8-for-10 with two doubles, one triple, two home runs, four RBIs, three runs scored and four walks.

When Loretta and Giles hit consecutive home runs, it marked the second straight night that the Padres accomplished the feat - the only two times they've done it.

Loretta's homer was his 14th, topping his career high set last season. On the next pitch, Giles hit a 416-foot homer to right-center field.

The Padres scored twice in the sixth after Ryan Klesko led off with a walk and Sean Burroughs hit a grounder to Marcus Giles at second. Giles attempted a backhanded throw to shortstop Rafael Furcal to force Klesko at second, but the throw sailed over Furcal's head into left field, allowing the runners to take an extra base.

Greene followed with a sacrifice fly for a 4-3 lead. Kevin Gryboski then came in and gave up an RBI single to Hernandez.

The Braves scored three runs in the fourth after Franco led off with a double and went to third on Andruw Jones' infield single. Eli Marrero drove in one run with a single. Johnny Estrada then hit a one-hop grounder back to pitcher David Wells, it looked as though it would be a double play. But when Wells fumbled the ball, the runners advanced as he threw out Estrada.

Mark DeRosa hit a sacrifice fly to score Jones, and Byrd made it 3-1 with a single.

Giles gave the Padres a 1-0 lead in the first with a one-out triple that scored Loretta. Byrd escaped further damage when he struck out Nevin and retired Klesko on a grounder.

Wells allowed three runs and nine hits over six innings with six strikeouts. Byrd gave up five runs - three earned - on six hits in 5 1-3 innings.

Notes: The Braves won the series 2-1, and are 13-1-2 in their last 16 series. ... Freddy Guzman, who made his major league debut on Monday night, stole his first base. Guzman had 65 steals in 101 games in the minors this season.



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