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Braves Are Hot - 10 In A Row!


Chipper Jones ended his mini-slump and kept the Atlanta Braves' maxi-streak going.

Jones was in a 2-for-13 drought when he homered with one out in the 12th inning as the Braves extended their winning streak to 10 games with a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday night.

"I'm just looking to get on base," Jones said. "To be honest with you, I'm just trying to hit the ball hard. I've struggled this whole series swinging the bat."

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Game Summary

Baseball features:

  • MLB's Honor Roll
  • Who's Sizzlin' and Fizzlin'
  • The Braves moved 3 1/2 games ahead of the New York Mets, who lost 8-4 to Arizona, for first place in the National League East. They're gaining confidence daily.

    "This clubhouse is brimming with it right now," Jones said. "Keep it close going into the late innings, someone's going to come through with a hit."

    Jones hit a 2-2 fastball from Juan Acevedo (5-6) over the center-field wall for his 34th homer, and sent the Cardinals to their season-worst sixth straight loss. Acevedo did some damage to his locker after the game and was unavailable for comment.

    The Braves' streak is their longest since they won 13 straight from July 8-25, 1992, to tied the team record set in 1982. Atlanta has a 2.16 ERA during the streak and the best record in the majors at 83-49.

    The Cardinals had runners on first and third with one out in the 11th, but Kevin McGlinchy (7-3) escaped when the Braves pitched out with reliever Lance Painter at the plate and foiled a squeeze bunt and caught David Howard in a rundown.

    "I tried to do everything I could,"Painter, 0-for-7 with five strikeouts this season. "If I throw the bat at the ball, who's to say I don't hit the catcher and poke his eye out?"

    Jose Hernandez gave the Braves a 3-2 lead with an RBI single in the seventh before Joe McEwing, who entered the game the previous inning in a double switch, tied it with his ninth homer off John Smoltz.

    "One pitch I do want back, and that's the stupid pitch to McEwing that ultimately cost me a victory and sent us into extra innings," Smoltz said.

    Smoltz lasted eight innings and permitted three runs on six hits for Atlanta. Smoltz, 1-4 in his last 11 starts, struck out six and walked four.

    Rick Ankiel, a 20-year-old left-hander making his second career start for the Cardinals, allowed two runs in six innings. Ankiel gave up five hits, walked five and struck out three.

    "I need to be more aggressive," Ankiel said. "I wasn't around the strike zone as much as I would like."

    Walt Weiss, 15-for-100 since coming off the disabled list July 1 from a quadriceps injury, started the scoring with a two-run, two-out double in the fourth. Eddie Perez barely scored from first when shortstop Edgar Renteria's relay was off-line.

    Smoltz walked Mark McGwire and Ray Lankford to start the bottom of the fourth, and both scored to tie it as the Cardinals ended a 22-inning run drought. Alberto Castillo had a run-scoring single and Adam Kennedy added a sacrifice fly.

    Braves manager Bobby Cox was ejected for arguing a dubious checked-swing call on McGwire in the eighth. Cox was tossed for the ninth time this season by first base umpire Ed Montague after McGwire appeared to take a half-cut on a two-strike pitch from Smoltz. McGwire, in a 2-for-19 slump with six strikeouts, took a called third strike on the next pitch.

    "It's tough enough getting him out," Smoltz said. "Getting him out two times in the same at-bat is even tougher."

    Notes

  • Before the game, the Cardinals unveiled a bronze statue of Hall of Famer Lou Brock outside Busch Stadium.
  • Brian Jordan didn't start any of the three games in his first trip to Busch since signing free-agent deal with the Braves due to a sore right wrist. He pinch-ran in two games and took a called third strike as a pinch hitter in the 11th Sunday. He then was thrown out by plate umpire Kerwin Danley for arguing.
  • Fernando Tatis has 26 homers, but has only one in the last 16 games and two in the last 28.
  • Willie McGee, who struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth, has fanned his last five at-bats. He has struck out 52 times in 232 at-bats.
  • The Braves beat St. Louis 3-0 in 13 innings Saturday.
  • The Braves are 14-4 in extra innings.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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