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Jones Gets Braves Out Of Jam


After blowing leads and losing to Philadelphia in two of the first three games of the series, it seemed like the Atlanta Braves were about to do it again.

But after Ron Gant's three-run double tied the score in the eighth inning, Chipper Jones homered in the 10th as Atlanta beat the Phillies 5-4 Sunday for a split of the four-game series.

"I was thinking, `Here we go again,' " Jones said. "It's been a downhill spiral for this team lately but, hopefully, something like this can get us back in the right direction."

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Game Summary

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  • Ryan Klesko, Randall Simon and Andruw Jones also homered for Atlanta, which led 4-1 in the eighth before Gant's hit off Tom Glavine. Chipper Jones connected for his 24th homer of the season.

    "We're headed home on a positive note," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said following a 4-7 road trip. "That's a good sign."

    Chipper Jones had been 0-for-5 since Florida's Alex Fernandez hit him with a pitch Sunday.

    "It's still a little sore, but if I can swing the bat I'm playing," said Jones, who missed the first two games of the series. "It felt great. I was just trying to get on base but he threw a pitch right over the middle. If you get something like that, you have to hit it hard."

    Steve Montgomery (1-4) gave up the homer to Chipper Jones, who has 10 in his last 20 games.

    "I probably won't be able to sleep tonight," Montgomery said. "It was an up-and-down game. I thought we'd win it after coming back to tie."

    John Rocker (3-3), Alanta's third pitcher, threw 1 1/3 hitless innings, striking out one.

    Despite the skid, Atlanta headed home in first place. The Braves began the day just one-half game ahead of the New York Mets in the NL East. Philadelphia dropped 5½ games back.

    "We had to battle back every game and that's tough," Philadelphia manager Terry Francona said. "I'm thrilled with our effort but not surprised. This team plays that way."

    Gant's double off glavine followed singles by Mike Lieberthal and Marlon Anderson, and a walk to Doug Glanville.

    "Gant just beat me," Glavine said. "I've made a living on the down-and-away fastball and if I was going to get beat it was going to be with that pitch."

    Glavine allowed all four runs and seven hits in eight innings.

    "Tom didn't struggle at all," Cox said. "He got beat on one pitch - that was it."

    Phillies starter Paul Byrd, a former Brave, gave up seven hits in six innings.

    Solo homers by Klesko and Simon put the Braves ahead in the fourth. Andruw Jones, who went 3-for-4, made it 3-1 in the sixth with his 20th homer and Ozzie Guillen hit an RBI double off Scott Aldred in the seventh.

    Philadelphia got its first run when Kevin Jordan doubled and came home on Rico Brogna's double-play grounder.

    Notes

    • Lieberthal was back in the Phillies' starting lineup after missing five games with a strained right elbow.
    • The Phillies had a Christmas in July promotion. Along with a holiday cap giveaway, anyone born on Dec. 25 or dressed in a Santa suit received a free general admission ticket. The temperature on the artificial turf was an un-December like 154 degrees.
    • Byrd plunked Eddie Perez in the second inning. Perez walked toward the mound and exchanged words with Byrd. Both benches cleared but no incidents occurred. It was Byrd's 12th hit-by-pitch this season.
    • Brogna made a great diving catch to rob Klesko in the first inning and Gant's running catch into the left-field corner denied Chipper Jones extra bases in the third.
    • Aldred made his Phillies debut in the seventh inning.
    • Phillies third baseman Scott Rolen , who has missed the last four games with a sore back, is expected to take batting practice Monday.
    • Chipper Jones has 10 home runs in his last 20 games.

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

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