Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

Arizona leads 1-0 (as of 5/19)

Game 1: Friday, May 19
Atlanta9Final
Arizona10
Game 2: Saturday, May 20
Atlanta0Final
Arizona13
Game 3: Sunday, May 21
Atlanta2Final
Arizona1

Braves 9

(21-21, 9-15 away)

Diamondbacks 10

(23-18, 13-8 home)

    9:40 PM ET, May 19, 2006

    Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona 

    123456789 R H E
    ATL 500000121 9 16 2
    ARI 100123102 10 15 0

    W: J. Valverde (2-1)

    L: C. Reitsma (1-2)

    Diamondbacks use two-run rally in ninth to hold off Braves

    PHOENIX (AP) -- For the second consecutive game, the Arizona Diamondbacks dug themselves a big hole in the first inning.

    This time they climbed all the way out of it.

    The Diamondbacks trailed Atlanta by five runs before their first at-bat, went ahead in the sixth inning, fell behind again in the ninth and then rallied for a 10-9 victory Friday night.

    In the ninth against Atlanta closer Chris Reitsma (1-2), Shawn Green doubled in the tying run and Craig Counsell singled home the game-winner as the Diamondbacks moved into first place in the NL West, a half-game ahead of San Diego.

    "We don't want to make that a habit, but it's definitely exciting," Luis Gonzalez said. "When we fall behind, we still have that confidence."

    That's why the Diamondbacks didn't panic when they found themselves trailing by five runs in the first inning. Two nights earlier, they trailed San Diego 10-0 in the second inning and brought the tying run to the plate in the sixth before losing 14-10. They've rallied to win a game after trailing 6-0 and erased six- and seven-run deficits in losses.

    "It's happened so much, it's like it doesn't matter what the score is, almost," Counsell said. "I think we feel like at some point we're going to get back in the game, and that's a pretty good feeling."

    The Braves had a sick feeling, getting the loss despite finishing with 16 hits.

    The Diamondbacks' final rally nullified a big night by Atlanta's Adam LaRoche, who hit a grand slam and singled home the go-ahead run in the ninth off Arizona closer Jose Valverde (2-1). Valverde allowed a leadoff double to Brian McCann. Pete Orr pinch ran for McCann, took third on Jeff Francoeur's fly ball and scored on LaRoche's line-drive single to center.

    LaRoche went 3-for-5 and drove in a career-high five runs for the Braves, who had won four straight.

    Reitsma (1-2) couldn't hold the lead. Gonzalez led off with a double and scored on Green's double one out later. The Braves intentionally walked Johnny Estrada. After Orlando Hudson flied out, Reitsma hit Tony Clark, a .164 hitter, with an 0-2 pitch.

    That turned out to be a huge mistake when the .312-hitting Counsell lined a single to right to end it.

    "I was just brutal," said Reitsma, who blew his third save in 10 chances. "I feel like this one's on me. I feel terrible about it."

    Arizona came all the back from an early 5-0 deficit and took an 8-6 lead, but Chipper Jones hit a two-run single off Brandon Lyon to tie it in the eighth.

    The Braves jumped ahead against starter Miguel Batista. After Marcus Giles and Edgar Renteria singled, Batista walked Jones to load the bases.

    Batista struck out Andruw Jones, then walked McCann to force in a run.

    Batista was close to escaping the jam when he struck out Francoeur for the second out. But LaRoche launched a pitch into the pool area beyond the right-center field wall for his second career grand slam, and the Braves led 5-0.

    "We're down five, and we come back in the dugout and it's like, 'We've been there, we've done this before, don't try to do too much,' " Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "I think that's one of the keys is that we don't feel like we have to get it all back in one inning.

    "I think we've done this enough times to know that and to believe in ourselves and to just keep coming back and keep persevering."

    Batista found his groove after his first-inning meltdown, retiring 10 straight batters beginning in the third inning. He allowed five runs and eight hits with three walks in six innings, striking out five.

    Arizona got one run back in the bottom of the first on Gonzalez's single and pulled to 5-2 on a fourth-inning sacrifice fly by Estrada, whom the Braves traded to Arizona last winter.

    The Diamondbacks kept chipping away at Atlanta starter John Thomson, who had allowed more than one earned run in only one of his first seven starts.

    In the fifth, Gonzalez drove in run with a groundout and Conor Jackson had a sacrifice fly to make it 5-4.

    With two aboard in the sixth, DaVanon fell behind Thomson 0-2 before belting a 2-2 pitch into the right-field seats to give Arizona a 7-5 lead.

    Game notes


    LaRoche's other regular-season grand slam came off former Dodgers pitcher Jeff Weaver on May 13, 2005. LaRoche also hit a grand slam in Game 4 of the NL division series against Houston last October. ... The Braves announced that RHP Travis Smith, who has been pitching for Triple-A Richmond, will start Saturday. ... Thomson singled twice to raise his average to .389 (7-for-18).

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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