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Braves Rally To Tap Rockies


After three games and 13 innings, Randall Simon had seen enough of Coors Field.

Simon hit a tiebreaking single in the 14th inning, and the Braves went on to beat the Colorado Rockies 9-7 Thursday to pull within a half-game of the first-place New York Mets in the NL East.

"I was tired of being here and because we were in the 14th inning, I knew the team was tired, too," said Simon, back with the Braves after eight games at Triple-A Richmond. "So I said to myself, `It is up to me. If I want to go home, I have to get a base hit. And I did.' "

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Game Summary

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  • Atlanta manager Bobby Cox was simply glad to get out of Denver.

    "That team over there drives us nuts," Cox said. "It is about time some luck came our way here."

    Jeff Barry drove in a career-high five runs with a two-run homer and a three-run double for Colorado, which lost for the third time in 49 games when leading after eight innings.

    "This one was tough, and anybody that says that our team isn't playing hard and has quit is a fool," Colorado manager Jim Leyland said. "You saw what that club went through and how hard it battled."

    The teams took turns wasting late-inning leads.

    Colorado was ahead 2-1 before Chipper Jones' three-run homer in the eighth off Darryl Kile, but the Rockies rallied for a 6-4 lead in the bottom half.

    Jeff Shumpert and Lenny Harris hit two-out singles, Rudy Seanez walked Vinny Castilla, John Rocker walked Angel Echevarria with the bases loaded and Jeff Barry hit a three-run double over the of center fielder Andruw Jones.

    Gerald Williams and Bret Boone hit two-out, RBI singles off Dave Veres in the ninth to tie it at 6.

    "The whole key was the walks," Veres said. "I've walked seven the last three days and hadn't walked 16 before this series."

    Rocker has five blown saves in 31 chances, while Veres has six in 29 opportunities.

    Andruw Jones doubled off David Lee (2-1) with two outs in the 14th and Simon, who went 3-for-6, drove him in with a single off Roberto Ramirez.

    Jose Hernandez was intentionally walked and Eddie Perez hit an RBI single to right, with another run scoring when Harris allowed the ball to glance off his glove for an error.

    Bruce Chen (2-2) allowed a leadoff homer to Edgard Clement in the bottom half, and Terry Mulholland got three outs for his first save this season.

    Kile gave up four runs and six hits in eight innings. Braves starter John Smoltz, allowed two runs and five hits in six innings and struck out eight. He hasn't won in nine starts since June 18, the longest winless streak of his major league career.

    "Smoltz threw terrific," Cox said. "Even the pitch that Barry hit out was good."

    Ryan Klesko's RBI double in the first put Atlanta ahead, but Barry's homer gave the Rockies a 2-1 lead in the second.

    Notes

  • The game matched the longest at Coors Field, which opened in 1995.
  • Jones' homer was his 32nd.
  • The game was a makeup of an April 16 snowout.
  • Atlanta has at least one double in 45 consecutive games, the longest streak in the majors since Cleveland went 75 straigh in 1996.
  • Smoltz had gone seven starts without a victory twice before.
  • Barry made a leaping catch at the left-field wall to rob Gerald Williams of a home run opening the game.
  • Dante Bichette, a career .190 hitter against Smoltz was out of the starting lineup as well as Larry Walker.
  • The Braves won the season series 5-4.

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

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