For any team playing the Atlanta Braves, the ninth inning is no time t
For any team playing the Atlanta Braves, the ninth inning is no time to relax.
For the 17th time this season, the Braves won a game in the ninth inning, beating San Francisco 6-2 Friday night on the strength of a five-run final frame.
``When you get three outs in the ninth, the game’s not over,″ said Marquis Grissom, who started the rally with a leadoff walk. ``We’ve been playing that way all year.″
In other NL games, it was Chicago over Philadelphia 4-0, Florida over St. Louis 6-0, Colorado over Montreal 8-3, Pittsburgh over New York 10-9, Cincinnati over Los Angeles 3-2 and San Diego over Houston 3-2.
With the win, Atlanta increased its lead over Philadelphia in the NL East to seven games.
The Braves’ latest comeback came against Giants closer Rod Beck, who holds the major league record of 41 straight successful saves. But he couldn’t hold a 2-1 lead and blew his eighth save opportunity this season and fourth in five games.
Grissom walked leading off, stole second, went to third on Jeff Blauser’s groundout and scored on Chipper Jones’ single through a drawn-in infield to tie the game.
Jones tagged up and went to second on Fred McGriff’s fly out to deep right, then scored the go-ahead run on David Justice’s single for a 3-2 lead. With Beck gone after Justice stole second and Ryan Klesko drew an intentional walk, Javy Lopez hit a three-run homer off Scott Service to cap the five-run outburst.
Cubs 4, Phillies 0
Todd Zeile’s two-run single led a three-run first inning as Chicago beat Philadelphia.
It was the major league’s first game with the new speed-up rules being enforced, and the game was played in 2 hours, 23 minutes. Umpires issued no warnings for taking too much time to deliver pitches or step into the batter’s box.
Prior to Friday’s contest, the 40 games at Wrigley Field had averaged 2:53. Cubs games at home and away have averaged 2:54.
Frank Castillo (7-5) pitched into the seventh inning, and Randy Myers pitched one-third of an inning for his 24th save.
Todd Haney hit his first major league home run in the fifth.
Bobby Munoz (0-1), in his second start of the season, pitched six innings, gave up four runs on five hits and walked four.
Marlins 6, Cardinals 0
Chris Hammond pitched seven shutout innings and Terry Pendleton and Tommy Gregg homered to lead Florida over St. Louis.
Hammond (7-3) allowed three hits in seven innings, striking out five and walking two at Joe Robbie Stadium.
Mark Petkovsek (4-3) gave up five earned runs and eight hits in six innings.
Rockies 8, Expos 3
Larry Walker hit his league-leading 23rd homer in his return to Montreal, helping Colorado halt a three-game skid.
Walker matched his career-best in homers, set with the Expos in 1992. Joe Girardi went 3-for-5 with one RBI and three runs scored as Colorado used an 11-hit attack to beat Montreal for the fifth straight time this season.
Colorado roughed up rookie right-hander Ugueth Urbina (2-2), who allowed six runs on seven hits in 3 1-3 innings. Kevin Ritz (9-5) was the winner.
Pirates 10, Mets 9
Nelson Liriano scored the game-winning run on a fielding error in the ninth inning as Pittsburgh snapped a six-game losing streak by winning at New York.
Liriano tied the game with an RBI single off Mets closer John Franco (4-2), then scored when left fielder Joe Orsulak misplayed his hit.
Jim Gott (2-3) pitched two innings of relief for the victory as the Pirates rallied from five runs down to hand the Mets their sixth straight loss.
Reds 3, Dodgers 2
John Smiley retired the last 22 batters he faced for his 100th career victory as Cincinnati beat Los Angeles on solo homers by Bret Boone and Jeff Branson.
Smiley (10-1) shut down the Dodgers after falling behind 2-0 on a two-out RBI single by Eric Karros in the first inning. The left-hander struck out nine and walked none in eight innings.
Jeff Brantley finished up for his 20th save.
Tom Candiotti (5-9) had a 2-1 lead with two outs in the sixth at Dodger Stadium when Boone tied the score with his 13th homer. Branson led off the seventh with his seventh homer to put Cincinnati ahead.
Padres 3, Astros 2
Joey Hamilton broke a personal three-game losing streak as San Diego defeated Houston.
Hamilton (4-5) allowed 10 hits, walked two and struck out five. One of the two runs he allowed was unearned. Trevor Hoffman recorded the final out for his 17th save.
Shane Reynolds (6-6) had his career-high four-game winning streak snapped.
The host Padres scored two runs in the sixth to take the lead. Ex-Astro Steve Finley had an RBI double and Jody Reed had an RBI groundout.