ATLANTA (AP) -- Chipper Jones helped tie the game with a simple
hustle play. He later won it with a home run.
Jones homered with one out in the 10th inning, giving the
Atlanta Braves a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh
Pirates on Friday in the opener of a doubleheader.
Jones lined a 2-1 pitch from Mark Corey (0-2) off the very top
of the wall in right-center, and the ball skidded across to snap
the Braves' three-game losing streak.
"I saw a changeup really good out of his hand," Jones said.
"I just got enough of it, from what I hear. Better to be lucky
Will Cunnane (1-1) pitched a perfect 10th, striking out the side
on 11 pitches.
In the nightcap, Atlanta manager Bobby Cox sat several of his
regulars, including Gary Sheffield. September callup Ryan
Langerhans got the first start of his career in place of Sheffield
in right, and center fielder Andruw Jones, third baseman Vinny
Castilla and catcher Javy Lopez also got the night off.
Jones led off the eighth with a single, then tagged up on a deep
flyout to center by Andruw Jones. He narrowly beat the throw to
second by Tike Redman, and after a groundout by Javy Lopez moved
Chipper Jones to third, he scored easily on Castilla's hit.
"He's a superstar that doesn't mind getting dirty," Pittsburgh
manager Lloyd McLendon said of Chipper Jones. "He tagged up on a
routine fly ball. Chipper did it all. He won the ballgame for
The ending spoiled a brilliant pitching duel between Ramirez and
Oliver Perez, who lasted only 2 1-3 innings in his previous start,
also against Atlanta. In that one, he walked five and allowed six
runs on four hits.
But he went seven strong innings this time and allowed six hits
and one run. He struck out six. The Braves left eight runners on
against him -- Javy Lopez accounted for five. He struck out with two
on in the first, then lined into a double play with the bases
loaded in the third.
Ramirez also had struggled of late, going nearly two months
without a win until beating the Pirates in his previous start.
He was on top of his game Friday, pitching nine innings for the
second time this year and giving up just three hits -- two singles
to Jeff Reboulet to go with Sanders' homer. At one point, he
retired 23 of 25 batters.
"I never doubted myself, but it's really nice to have a game
like this, to go out there and throw nine innings," Ramirez said.
"If we had lost, it would have been tough.
"But I had total confidence in the offense. I knew we were
going to win. It was only a matter of time."
The Pirates got an unearned run in the first, thanks to a
throwing error by Castilla. He ranged to his left to field a
grounder by Tike Redman, but his throw skipped past first baseman
Julio Franco, allowing Redman to go to second.
A single by Reboulet moved Redman to third, and he scored on a
fielder's choice by Jason Kendall.
The Braves got the run back in the bottom half, when Rafael
Furcal scored on Gary Sheffield's first triple of the season.
There were only about 4,000 people in the stands for the
4:35 p.m. EDT start. ... Franco made his first start since going on
the disabled list Aug. 18 with a fractured middle finger on his
left hand. ... Sanders has 30 home runs this season, the second
time in three seasons he's reached that figure. His hit a
career-high 33 with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001. ... Braves
RHP Darren Holmes, on the DL since May 7 with neuritis in his
pitching shoulder, threw off the mound for the first time Friday.