ATLANTA (AP) -- Jason Johnson got plenty of run support. No surprise there.
But Pat Hentgen sure isn't used to winding up with a save.Johnson took advantage of another big day by the Baltimore Orioles offense and Hentgen finished up for his first career save, lifting the Orioles to a 9-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.Jeff Conine drove in three runs, while Luis Matos and B.J. Surhoff had two RBI apiece to help the Orioles snap a four-game losing streak."It was extremely important to salvage this game," Johnson said. "We didn't want to come in here and get swept."Johnson (6-3), who gave up seven hits and all three Atlanta runs in 5 1/3 innings, again benefited from ample offensive support. The Orioles have averaged more than 6.3 runs in his 14 starts."I was pretty happy with the way everything went," he said. "I'm not thinking about what I did wrong. We won the game. I pitched pretty well."Hentgen went the rest of the way for the first save of his 12-year major-league career. This wasn't a cheap one -- he didn't give up a hit and faced the minimum in 3 2/3 innings. The only baserunner, who reached on a walk, was wiped out with a double play."I don't care about the save," Hentgen said. "We won the game. That's what was important."In the ninth, he stayed in after a grounder deflected off his glove and struck him in the right eye."I thought it was hit harder than it was," Hentgen said. "That was the problem. It was a bad fielding play. My eye started watering. It's still watering."That didn't stop him from striking out Darren Bragg for the final out. Hentgen's only other professional save came in 1986 with St. Catherines of the rookie New York-Penn League."It was good to see, especially against a team as explosive as they are," Conine said. "He shut the door."Conine had an RBI double in a four-run fifth inning. In the eighth, he drove in Baltimore's final two runs with a triple.Matos, filling in for the ailing Melvin Mora, sparked the fifth with an RBI single, then led off with a homer in a three-run seventh that broke open a tight game.Surhoff, who played with the Braves for 2½ years before returning to Baltimore this season, had run-scoring singles in both the fifth and seventh. Each time, the left-handed hitter came
through against Atlanta's lefty relievers.Vinny Castilla hit a two-run homer in the second to put the Braves ahead, but Shane Reynolds (5-2) couldn't hold it. Atlanta lost for only third time in his 13 starts this season."I didn't execute my pitches and that cost us the ballgame," Reynolds said.He was knocked out in the fifth, an inning that began ominously when Johnson led off with his second career hit. Brian Roberts walked and Matos singled to left to make it 2-1.David Segui tied it up with a sacrifice fly, and Conine ended Reynolds' day with a double to right-center."I've got to watch some tape and see if the pitches were over the middle of the plate or if it was just bad pitch selection," Reynolds said. "I think it was more getting the ball over the
plate."Ray King retired the first hitter he faced, but he couldn't put away Surhoff, who fouled off five pitches. One was a popup that should have been caught by catcher Javy Lopez, who slipped at the Orioles' on-deck circle and dropped the ball for an error. Surhoff took advantage with an RBI single to right.Chipper Jones brought the Braves to 4-3 with a mammoth homer leading off the sixth, a drive over the center-field wall estimated at 447 feet.But Matos hit his third homer of the season to start the seventh against Trey Hodges. With two outs, Surhoff singled in a run against lefty Jung Bong and Deivi Cruz followed with an RBI double.Things got really ugly for the Braves in the eighth. With two on, Conine drove a pitch into the gap in left-center, forcing Chipper Jones to play the ball off the wall. Jones tripped as he turned to throw, so he flipped the ball to startled teammate Andruw Jones.It didn't matter. Conine cruised into third with a triple.<Notes: Braves 2B Marcus Giles went 0-for-4 and has gone 22 at-bats without a hit. He is mired in a 1-for-32 slump. ... The crowd of 34,904 pushed the Braves over the one million mark. They have drawn 1,004,393 this season. ... Chipper Jones' homer was the sixth-longest in Turner Field history. ... Mora, the AL's leading hitter, missed his second straight game since being hit by a pitch on his right hand Friday night.