Chipper Jones hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning Wednesday, giving the Atlanta Braves a 4-1 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers in a game that began as a duel between Hideo Nomo and John Smoltz.
The Braves won their fifth in a row and moved into sole possession of first place in the N.L. East for the first time since May 5. Jones homered on the first pitch after Rudy Seanez relieved Pedro Astacio (1-7) with a 2-0 count.
Smoltz struck out a season-high 12 in eight innings. He fanned every Dodgers starter and gave up one run on nine hits. Mark Wohlers pitched the ninth for the Braves and struck out the side.
Nomo, named N.L. pitcher of the month, held Atlanta to two hits in seven innings and struck out 10, raising his league-leading total to 119. The Braves ended his shutout streak at 18 innings when they scored in the first on two singles and a wild pitch.
Reds 9, Giants 0
Benito Santiago homered twice and Jose Rijo pitched five shutout innings as Cincinnati hammered San Francisco.
Giants left fielder Barry Bonds was ejected for arguing a called third strike in the third.
Mets 5, Cubs 4
New York’s four-game losing streak and Chicago’s four-game winning streak ended when Bobby Bonilla hit a two-out RBI single in the ninth.
Padres 7, Fla. 4 (10)
Melvin Nieves hit a two-run pinch-homer in the 10th and Phil Clark followed with a solo shot as San Diego beat the Marlins.
Pirates 7, Phillies 4
Pittsburgh scored five runs on homers in the eighth and sent Philadelphia to its fifth straight loss. Dave Clark hit a three-run pinch-homer and Al Martin followed with a two-run shot off Ricky Bottalico.
Rockies 4, Astros 2
Larry Walker broke a tie with an RBI single in the seventh, helping Colorado beat Houston.
After giving up the fourth Houston hit in the third, Kevin Ritz retired 12 straight batters.
Cards 4, Expos 3 (10)
Tripp Cromer singled off the glove of third baseman Sean Berry and Darnell Coles barely scored from second in the 10th as St. Louis topped Montreal.
Pirates borrow again
The Pirates, who have sought a new owner for nearly a year, have borrowed another $11 million from PNC and Mellon banks. They have borrowed $30 million from the banks in a year.
The Pirates describe the loans as owners’ advances since the banks are among the team’s 10 owners.
Clearing the bases
San Diego outfielder Bip Roberts was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right quadricep sprain. Padres righthander Tim Worrell was transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day D.L. … The Marlins have been ordered to pay the Fort Lauderdale Yankees $460,000 compensation in territorial losses and moving and relocation expenses. One of the requirements for South Florida receiving the major-league franchise in June 1991 was for the Marlins to compensate any existing minor league team operating within their territory for the rights to the area. … The Astros placed catcher Rick Wilkins on the 15-day D.L., retroactive to July 2, because of upper back spasms. … Houston’s Derek Bell and San Diego’s Ken Caminiti, traded for each other last off-season, were selected N.L. co-players of the week. Florida’s Jeff Conine was chosen as N.L. player of the month.
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