Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 4/10)

Game 1: Friday, April 9
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in 15
Game 2: Saturday, April 10
Chi Cubs2Final
Game 3: Sunday, April 11
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Cubs 2

(2-3, 2-3 away)

Braves 5

(3-2, 3-2 home)

    7:05 PM ET, April 10, 2004

    Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia 

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    ATL 10000004 - 5 6 0

    W: A. Alfonseca (1-0)

    L: A. Pratt (0-1)

    S: K. Gryboski (1)

    Franco wins 13-pitch at-bat

    ATLANTA (AP) -- Julio Franco fouled off pitch after pitch, and with each one, he got a better feel for Kyle Farnsworth's fastball.

    "I was making some adjustments and timing him pretty good," Franco said.

    The 45-year-old completed that 13-pitch at-bat with a tie-breaking, three-run double in the eighth inning, and the Atlanta Braves rallied past the Chicago Cubs 5-2 Saturday night.

    In the game only because rookie Adam LaRoche fouled a pitch off his foot earlier, Franco fought back from an 0-2 count by fouling off five straight pitches at one point. He eventually worked the count full, then drove a fastball from Farnsworth over Sammy Sosa's head in right.

    "That was one of the best at-bats I've ever see," Chicago manager Dusty Baker said. "That was classic Franco, being the great hitter that he is, and he won the battle that time. You've got to give him credit."

    That capped a four-run inning and gave the Braves the win a night after they blew a 1-0 lead in the ninth.

    "I was surprised he stayed away, that's my strength," Franco said. "I was just trying to go to right field."

    And how did Farnsworth see it?

    "I've got nothing to say," he said.

    The comeback spoiled a marvelous outing by Cubs right-hander Sergio Mitre, who pitched five-hit ball over 7 2-3 innings and was in line to get his first big league win.

    "I was able to keep them off-balance most of the night," Mitre said. "I learned from my mistakes last year, trying to do too much."

    He left in favor of Andy Pratt after allowing a two-out single to Marcus Giles in the eighth with the Cubs leading 2-1. Pratt (0-1), who was traded to the Cubs by the Braves late in spring training, walked Chipper Jones and J.D. Drew to load the bases, and was replaced by Farnsworth.

    "I just put too much pressure on myself, and try to do too much," Pratt said.

    Farnsworth threw three straight balls to Andruw Jones, then came back with two strikes before missing low and away to bring home Giles with the tying run. A batter later, Franco brought in everyone.

    Antonio Alfonseca (1-0) got two outs in the eighth to pick up the win, and Kevin Gryboski pitched the ninth for his first career save.

    Todd Hollandsworth homered and Sosa had two doubles for the Cubs.

    "It doesn't matter what age you are, if you can hit, you can hit," Sosa said of Franco. "You have to believe it now. I'd love to have a guy like that on our team."

    Hollandsworth tied it in the fifth with his second homer run in as many games; a night earlier, he hit a solo shot off Atlanta closer John Smoltz as a pinch-hitter to force extra innings. Chicago eventually won that one 2-1 in 15 innings.

    Atlanta took a 1-0 lead in this one on a wild pitch by Mitre in the first, and journeyman Jaret Wright nearly held it. Making his first start in the majors since Sept. 9, 2002, Wright cruised into the middle innings before faltering.

    First, Hollandsworth tagged him for the tying homer in the fifth, and an inning later, the Cubs took the lead. Todd Walker led off with a walk and moved to third on Sosa's second double, a line drive that got by Franco at first.

    Aramis Ramirez struck out, but Derrek Lee hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Walker with the go ahead run. Wright got out of the inning on a flyout by Alex Gonzalez.

    Wright allowed three hits and two runs in six innings. He walked four and struck out four.

    "It definitely felt different, you just try to enjoy it," Wright said. "You give up two runs in six innings, I'll definitely take that."

    The Braves were without shortstop Rafael Furcal, who injured his back Friday night and might go on the disabled list.

    Game notes

    With their victory Friday night in 15 innings, the Cubs improved to 3-0 in extra-inning games at Turner Field. They also won 10-6 in 11 innings May 23, 1998, and 6-5 in 12 innings May 20, 1999. ... Georgia Tech basketball coach Paul Hewitt threw out the first pitch, and the entire team was honored before the game for its run in the NCAA tournament. The Yellow Jackets lost to Connecticut in the championship game.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press