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Braves Stay Atop With Win


In a slump since June 9, Bret Boone knew eventually he'd break out. He's just glad it happened sooner rather than later.

Boone drove in four runs and Tom Glavine beat Houston for the seventh straight time as the Atlanta Braves tied the Astros for the best record in the National League with a 6-4 win Tuesday night.

Boone started Atlanta's offense with a 430-foot, two-run homer in the first.

"That was pretty good," he said. "Us little guys don't usually hit the ball that far. I'll take it."

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Game Summary

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  • Atlanta, which remained a half-game ahead of the New York Mets in the NL East, matched the Astros at 69-46. The Braves have won five of six against Houston this year.

    Boone, in a 41-for-108 (.208) slump coming in, broke a 4-all tie in the seventh with a two-run double off Shane Reynolds (14-8). Boone and Chipper Jones had homered on consecutive pitches against Reynolds in the first, and Ryan Klesko tied it at 4 with a sixth-inning homer.

    "You score three against these guys, that doesn't mean the game's over," Boone said. "They've got a quality team, without a doubt."

    Boone's 15th homer and Jones' 28th gave Atlanta a 3-0 lead in the first. Jones extended his Atlanta record by reaching base for his 36th straight game.

    Glavine (10-9), who lowered his ERA to 4.14, gave up four runs and seven hits in seven innings, but just two runs were earned. Glavine is 7-0 in nine starts against Houston since July 4, 1995.

    "I think there's some truth to the fact you sometimes get it going better against good teams," Glavine said. "Also, I'm familiar with these uys. Their team's been pretty much the same. They haven't changed a lot."

    Mike Remlinger pitched the eighth and John Rocker got three straight outs for his 24th save in 28 chances.

    Reynolds, who had won his previous three starts, allowed six runs just four earned and seven hits in seven innings. He had allowed just 13 homers in 24 starts coming in.

    "I felt loose. It was just a matter of me not being aggressive enough," Reynolds said. "They did all they were supposed to. They hit them hard."

    Craig Biggio hit a sacrifice fly in the third, and after an error by shortstop Jose Hernandez in the fifth, Houston took a 4-3 lead on Ricky Gutierrez's RBI infield single, Jeff Bagwell's bases-loaded walk and Derek Bell's sacrifice fly. Center fielder Andruw Jones prevented even more scoring by catching Bell's liner to right-center field.

    "That saved the game, probably," Glavine said. "It saved a couple of runs from scoring, without a doubt. That was the difference."

    Notes

  • With Eddie Perez's four-game suspension ending Tuesday, the Braves will return C Pascual Matos to Richmond and purchase the contract of 3B Howard Battle from the Triple-A club. In order to make room for Battle on the 40-man roster, Atlanta is moving C Javy Lopez from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list.
  • Before going 0-for-4, Everett was 12-for-17 (.706) since coming off the disabled list Friday.
  • Bagwell walked twice and leads the NL with 102.
  • Gutierrez, Houston's shortstop, made a spectacular, over-the-shoulder catch in shallow left field against Greg Myers to end the sixth.
  • Houston is 24-11 against left-handed starters.

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

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