Braves 6, Cardinals 3
ATLANTA (AP) -- John Smoltz won for the first time in
eight starts, and the Atlanta Braves hit four home runs in
a 6-to-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals Monday
Coming off the worst month in franchise history, the
Braves have won two straight for the first time since May
28th -- a span of 33 games.
The Cardinals are losers of 11 of their last 13 and
have dropped seven straight on the road.
Smoltz (5-5) and Cardinals rookie Anthony Reyes (1-3)
both returned following a 55-minute rain delay in the
bottom of the third.
Marcus Giles and Edgar Renteria hit back-to-back
homers before play was suspended. When it resumed, Reyes
gave up Brian McCann's sixth homer, a two-run shot to
right-center that put Atlanta ahead 4-to-3. Jeff
Francoeur, who followed with a double, scored on Scott
Thorman's R-B-I single to make it 5-to-3. Ryan Langerhans
hit a solo shot in the seventh.
Smoltz allowed seven hits and three runs in six
innings. Albert Pujols hit his 28th homer -- a solo shot
that gave St. Louis a 3-nothing lead in the top of the
third. But Smoltz retired 11 of the last 14 batters.
Smoltz watched Atlanta's ragged bullpen, which entered
with 17 blown saves in 33 chances, give up leads he handed
over in six games. This time, right-hander Chad Paronto
pitched the seventh, Ken Ray worked the eighth and new
closer Jorge Sosa pitched the ninth, earning his third
save in four chances.