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2 - 3 Final
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Joneses help Smoltz to fourth straight win

May 10, 2007 - 3:32 AM ATLANTA (Ticker) -- In a vintage matchup between two future Hall of Famers, John Smoltz prevailed.

Smoltz outdueled former teammate Greg Maddux and Chipper and Andruw Jones delivered clutch hits in the seventh inning to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 3-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday.

Members of Atlanta's staff from 1999-2003, Smoltz and Maddux combined to post 300 wins, collect four Cy Young Awards and help the Braves to four National League pennants. Along with Tom Glavine, they formed a formidable threesome on a team that won 10 East Division titles and the 1995 World Series.

Good friends that likely will be donning caps in Cooperstown, Smoltz and Maddux had faced each other three previous times, with Smoltz prevailing twice. Facing each other for the first time since July 10, 1992, when Atlanta catcher Brian McCann was eight-years old, it was Smoltz who once again emerged victorious.

"It was two great performances by two Hall of Famers," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "Maddux was the Greg Maddux I've always seen, and Smoltz was Smoltz. I loved it. And it ended so tight that either one could have won. I'm glad how it ended, though."

The 39-year old Smoltz (5-1) surrendered two runs and seven hits, striking out seven without a walk in seven innings en route to his 198th career victory. The seven-time All-Star threw first-pitch strikes to 21-of-27 batters, went to a three-ball count on just two hitters and hurled 68 of his 97 pitches for strikes in improving to 16-8 lifetime against San Diego.

"It was a classic game," Smoltz said. "I think each pitcher selfishly would have liked to beat the other 1-0 and pitched a complete game."

"It's different when you're facing a good friend," Maddux said. "He's got the best slider in the game. It's tough to pick up."

The righthander made just two mistakes, both of which went out of the park.

Geoff Blum, who was batting just .103 (6-for-39) entering the game, smashed Smoltz's 2-2 offering into the bleachers in right-center field to stake the Padres to a 1-0 lead in the second. One inning later, Adrian Gonzalez smashed his 10th homer of the season to left field.

But Atlanta, which came in leading the majors with 78 two-out RBI, strung together four consecutive two-out hits in the seventh to give Smoltz the win.

With the Braves trailing, 2-1, Kelly Johnson began the two-out rally against Padres reliever Cla Meredith (1-1) with a single and moved to second on a base hit by Willie Harris. Chipper Jones plated Johnson with a ground-rule double to right-center field, tying the game and setting the stage for Andruw Jones.

Andruw Jones, who was mired in an 0-for-21 slump before collecting two hits - including the game-winner - on Tuesday, laced the first pitch from Meredith the opposite way to right field, scoring Harris for a 3-2 lead.

"I'm not a right-field hitter," said Andruw Jones, widely known as a pull hitter. "He threw it away, and I was lucky to hit it that way."

The rally thwarted what would have been the 336th career win for the 41-year-old Maddux, who allowed one run, four hits and two walks. He struck out four in 5 1/3 innings.

"I kind of tried too hard too early and burnt out too soon," Maddux said. "It's tough. I put a lot of pressure on the bullpen to throw four innings in a one-run game."

Maddux came to the plate to a standing ovation from Braves fans in the second, but those cheers quickly turned to boos when the four-time Cy Young Award winner singled on the first pitch from Smoltz.

"It was kind of cool," Maddux said. "I saw the ball better."

It was the first hit of the year for Maddux and his first in six career at-bats against Atlanta's ace.

"I was trying to blind him on the mound with my hair," the balding Smoltz joked. "I knew he was going to swing. He always ribs me about the fastball because I never gave him that. ... I knew before it went to the plate that it was a bad pitch."

Atlanta's only scoring opportunity against its former star righthander came in the fifth.

Chris Woodward singled to open the frame and advanced to third on a sacrifice and a wild pitch. After Johnson struck out, Harris delivered an RBI single to right to halve the Braves' deficit.

But Maddux, who passed Fergie Jenkins for 11th place on the all-time strikeout list one inning earlier when he fanned McCann for his 3,193th, added to his total by striking out Chipper Jones to end the threat.

Mike Gonzalez retired the side in order in the eighth and Rafael Soriano struck out two in a perfect ninth for his fourth save.

Edgar Renteria missed his second game in three days with flu-like symptoms for Atlanta, which has won five of seven.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SAN DIEGO 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 1
    ATLANTA 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 x 3 8 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: SDG - GREG MADDUX, CLA MEREDITH (6TH), DOUG BROCAIL (8TH) AND ROB
    BOWEN
    ATL - JOHN SMOLTZ, MIKE GONZALEZ (8TH), RAFAEL SORIANO
    (9TH) AND BRIAN MCCANN

    HOME RUNS:

    May 9 9:48 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots

    Padres vs. BravesMay 9 9:40 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ANDRUW JONES SCORED WILLIE HARRIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A JONES ON FIRST, C JONES ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 2
    ATLANTA 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.292, 0-FOR-3)

    Padres vs. BravesMay 9 9:25 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND RULE DOUBLE BY CHIPPER JONES SCORED KELLY JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C JONES ON SECOND, W HARRIS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 2
    ATLANTA 2 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: A JONES (.235, 1-FOR-3)

    Padres vs. BravesMay 9 9:23 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY WILLIE HARRIS SCORED CHRIS WOODWARD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, W HARRIS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 2
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C JONES (.289, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Padres vs. BravesMay 9 8:48 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ADRIAN GONZALEZ (10) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF JOHN SMOLTZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 2, ATLANTA 0
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: M CAMERON (.205, 0-FOR-1)

    Padres vs. BravesMay 9 8:11 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY GEOFF BLUM (1) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    2ND OFF JOHN SMOLTZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 1, ATLANTA 0
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: R BOWEN (.212, 1 HR, 5 RBI)

    Padres vs. BravesMay 9 7:53 PM