The Braves came from behind in their last at-bat two different times to win again.
Facing a 2-1 deficit in the bottom of the 9th and Dontrelle Willis going for a complete game 5 hitter, Jeff Francoeur hit a 1 out solo homer to center field to tie it.
Then in the bottom of the 11th after giving up a run, Chipper got a leadoff walk after an 0-2 count. Andruw doubled in the left-center field gap and Chipper scored from first. Francoeur grounded out to 2nd with Andruw getting to 3rd. After an intentional walk to LaRoche, Matt Diaz singled to center to score Andruw for the winning run.
Tim Hudson had a fine outing tonight. He went 6 innings, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits (mostly bleeders that found a hole), 2 walks, and struck out 10. It did take him 109 pitches to do that after a lot of deep counts, but that doesn't concern me as much right now with the bullpen's recent good work.
Ken Ray pitched another perfect 7th. (His ERA is 1.42.) Oscar Villarreal pitched a scoreless 8th. Chris Reitsma pitched a scoreless 9th.
Dontrelle Willis was back to his normal self, pitching 9 innings and nearly winning the game. But the Braves' pitching kept the game close.
Macay McBride (1-0) pitched a scoreless 10th. He also pitched the 11th, but got into a jam. He issued a leadoff walk to Reggie Abercrombie, who advanced to 2nd on a groundout. After a single to left, there were runners on the corners.
McBride then induced a groundball, but when LaRoche fielded it and made the throw to 2nd neither LaRoche or McBride could get back to cover 1st. LaRoche probably could have made it back, but it was McBride's job to cover the bag since LaRoche fielded the ball. Luckily for McBride and the Braves it turned out okay.
Offensive contributors: Matt Diaz was 3-5 with his 1st homer as a Brave, reached on catcher's interference, scored, and had 2 RBIs along with the winning hit. Jeff Francoeur was 2-5 with his 8th homer, extending his hitting streak to 14 games.
The Phillies lost tonight, and the Mets lead the Cards by 1 in the 7th during a rain delay in St. Louis.
Smoltz will pitch against some kid named Ricky Nolasco tomorrow.