Final in 13

Series: Game 1 of 3

Atlanta leads 1-0 (as of 8/6)

Game 1: Tuesday, August 6
Atlanta 4Final
in 13
Arizona 3
Game 2: Wednesday, August 7
Atlanta 3Final
Arizona 6
Game 3: Thursday, August 8
Atlanta 4Final
Arizona 1

Braves 4

(74-38, 34-19 away)

Diamondbacks 3

(69-44, 35-19 home)

    10:05 PM ET, August 6, 2002

    Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona 

    345678910111213 R H E
    ATL 00010200001 4 - -
    ARI 10000020000 3 - -

    W: K. Ligtenberg (3-3)

    L: M. Koplove (3-1)

    Andruw Jones' shot erases Smoltz's blown save

    PHOENIX (AP) -- Not even a rare blown save by John Smoltz can slow down the Atlanta Braves right now.

    Curt Schilling

    Curt Schilling has been stunned of late over his lack of success.

    Andruw Jones homered with two outs in the 13th inning Tuesday night to give the Braves a 4-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks despite Smoltz's first blown save since May 29.

    "I'm glad the game was over, because I was starting to get a little tired,'' Jones said after the game took 4 hours, 34 minutes. "I'm ready to go back to the hotel and sleep.''

    After Arizona's Curt Schilling failed for the second time to get his 19th victory, Jones hit Mike Koplove's first pitch 414 feet into the second deck just inside the left-field foul pole as the Braves won their seventh straight in the opener of a series matching the NL's top two teams.

    "He made a mistake and left a slider out over the plate,'' Jones said, "and I took care of it.''

    Koplove (3-1) retired his first five batters before Jones hit his 24th homer of the season on the first pitch.

    "That was a heck of a ballgame,'' Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. "That's exactly what you expect when you get the best team in baseball against the defending world champions, and neither team wants to lose.''

    Kerry Ligtenberg (3-3) pitched two scoreless innings for the victory, retiring Craig Counsell on a liner to second with a runner at third to end it.

    Smoltz entered in the ninth with a 3-1 lead and a club-record string of 25 consecutive saves. His 39 saves -- in 43 opportunities -- leads the majors.

    Junior Spivey singled with one out, his fourth hit of the game, before Smoltz struck out Luis Gonzalez.

    Erubiel Durazo, who singled in Arizona's first run in the third inning, smashed a 2-2 pitch off the center-field wall -- just below the home run line -- to drive in Spivey and make it 3-2.

    Quinton McCracken followed with an RBI double to deep left-center that tied it. Jones blamed himself for playing too shallow in center field.

    "The game should have been over a lot earlier,'' Jones said. "I made a mistake trying to cheat in with McCracken, and he hit the ball over my head.''

    Matt Franco drove in three runs for Atlanta, the last two with a double that ended Schilling's night. He would have scored Atlanta's fourth run easily in the eighth but slipped and fell between third and home and was tagged out by catcher Chad Moeller.

    "We've been picking each other up,'' Smoltz said. "I knew Matt felt terrible slipping coming around third. I felt terrible coming off in the ninth, and then guys picked us up. Our bullpen was great from the sixth inning to the 13th, with the exception of the ninth.''

    Rafael Furcal tied a career-high with four hits and scored twice. His leadoff bunt double in the sixth led to Atlanta's first run.

    Schilling struck out 11 while throwing a season-high 131 pitches in 7 1/3 innings. He allowed three runs on seven hits. Schilling threw a complete game at Montreal last Thursday but lost 2-1 on Vladimir Guerrero's game-winning home run.

    Henry Blanco walked to start the eighth, the first base on balls Schilling has allowed in three starts. Furcal followed with a single, and Franco doubled both home to put Atlanta up 3-1.

    The Diamondbacks were coming off a four-game sweep of the Mets in New York and had won 12 of 14.

    Leading off the sixth, Furcal squared to bunt, then punched the ball hard past a charging Counsell at third for a leadoff double.

    "I've seen him do that I don't know how many times,'' Braves manager Bobby Cox said as he lit a cigar in the clubhouse. "He told me he was going to do it before he went up there.''

    Franco followed with an RBI single to make it 1-1.

    Game notes


    Right-hander Rick Helling -- sidelined with a sprained right ankle -- will be activated from the 15-day DL in time to start for Arizona on Wednesday against Atlanta's Greg Maddux. ... Jones' diving catch robbed Tony Womack of a single in the sixth. ... Gonzalez was 0-for-6 with three strikeouts. ... It was Arizona's 11th sellout crowd of the season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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