ATLANTA (AP) -- Looking to give his team the lead with a simple
sacrifice fly, pinch-hitter Adam Dunn did much more than that.
It was Dunn's 18th homer this season, most in the majors.
"I was just trying to get the ball deep enough to score the
run,'' Dunn said. "I don't go up there trying to hit a home run.
In that situation, you just try to get a pitch you can drive to the
Helped by left fielder Jose Guillen's two-run error, Atlanta got
three in the 11th to cut the lead to 7-6. Chipper Jones drove in a
run with an infield single, but Felix Heredia struck out Andruw
Jones with a runner on to end it.
"My heart was in my stomach,'' Cincinnati manager Bob Boone
said. "They made a rally. They made it real close.''
John Smoltz struck out two in a hitless ninth, but the Braves
lost a game in which he appeared for the first time since May 29,
2002, a 4-3 defeat against Montreal. Atlanta had won 72 consecutive
games in which Smoltz pitched, a major league record.
Kelly Stinnett singled leading off the top of the 11th. Felipe
Lopez bunted, and third baseman Vinny Castilla tried to get
Stinnett at second. The throw was low for an error, allowing
Stinnett to slide in safely.
"Bases loaded, nowhere to put him,'' Hernandez said. "The way
this game was going, whoever made the first mistake was going to
Last Tuesday, Jason LaRue hit a two-run, go-ahead homer off
Hernandez in the eighth inning in Cincinnati. On Sunday against the
New York Mets, Hernandez gave up a tying solo shot to Jeromy
Burnitz in the eighth, but the Braves eventually won 3-1.
Cincinnati has won three of four against the Braves.
Gabe White (2-0) got out of a bases-loaded jam in the 10th.
"I was going a million miles an hour inside,'' White said.
"You always want to make good pitches. These are the best hitters
in the world.''
The Braves rallied from a 3-0 deficit with three runs in the
eighth off Chris Reitsma. Rafael Furcal tripled and scored on a
groundout by Marcus Giles. After Gary Sheffield struck out, Chipper
Jones singled and moved to third on a double by Andruw Jones.
The right-hander held Atlanta scoreless over 6 2/3 innings -- the
longest outing of his career -- and left with a 3-0 lead. He gave up
five hits, struck out four and walked two.
"Babe Ruth is dead and Mark McGwire's retired, so I just throw
strikes,'' Riedling said. "I threw all four of my pitches and
throw them for strikes. I'm getting confident with my changeup.''
Guillen went 3-for-6 for the Reds, including a first-inning
homer off Mike Hampton, and Ryan Freel added two hits.
Riedling moved out of the Cincinnati bullpen earlier this month
and has made five straight starts after 88 appearances as a
reliever. His previous longest outing was six innings, but for
once, Riedling didn't try to talk Bob Boone out of removing him.
"He usually doesn't talk when he comes out,'' Riedling said.
"If he does talk to me, I try to talk him out of it. But I was
Hampton nearly lost for the second time in five days to the
Reds. Last week, he lasted just 3 2/3 innings and allowed six runs
on five hits. He labored through six innings in this one, giving up
three runs on six hits and throwing 119 pitches.
He walked two and struck out nine, and hasn't won in three
Furcal went 3-for-5 with a double and a triple, but also made
two errors at shortstop.
For the second time in three games, Atlanta 1B Matt Franco,
a lefty, was announced as a pinch-hitter but got replaced before
seeing a pitch. When Mercker, a left-hander, came in to replace
Riedling, the right-handed DeRosa took Franco's spot. ... Braves C
Javy Lopez, who homered in his previous three starts, went 0-for-4
with a walk. ... Aaron Boone, mired in a 5-for-42 slump (.119),
didn't start but entered in the eighth inning. He finished 0-for-1.