ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The
hit five more home runs on Saturday. But it was a couple of balls off the bat of
that did not leave the park that proved to be the difference.
Giles doubled home the tying run in the seventh inning and capped a two-run outburst in the eighth with an RBI single as the Braves continued their recent dominance of the
at Turner Field with an 8-6 triumph.
Atlanta leads the National League with 94 homers and got two from
, solo shots from
and a two-run blast by
. But it was Giles' run-scoring two-base hit into the right-center field gap in the seventh that erased a 6-5 deficit.
Lopez's 16th homer of the season gave Atlanta the lead in the eighth and Giles gave closer
some room for error with his RBI single.
"I'm looking to get on base and start a rally," Lopez said. "Just try to score a run, but I've been swinging as hard as I can and if the ball is around the plate, we'll see what happens. It was a fastball down the middle, I took advantage of the mistake."
(5-2), who tossed a scoreless eighth, notched the victory and Smoltz retired three of the four batters he faced in the ninth and notched his 23rd save.
(3-2), who allowed the two runs in the eighth, took the loss. It was Pittsburgh's 16th in its last 19 games here.
Neither starter fared particularly well but Atlanta's
continues to lead a charmed life.
Reynolds allowed six runs and seven hits in four-plus innings but the Braves have won nine of his last 10 starts - including seven in a row.
The game featured a rain shower in the fifth but was not halted and Reynolds struggled during the inclement weather - allowing all six runs.
probably had his best game tonight until it rained in the fifth inning and he couldn't grip anything," Braves manager
said. "I really thought Shane would throw a complete game.
was tagged for four runs and seven hits in five innings.
"You can't make mistakes in areas of the plate where they can hurt you," Wells said. "Early in the game, I thought I was throwing too much and not pitching too much. The balls they hit out weren't where they were supposed to be."
Pittsburgh third baseman
singled in the fourth inning, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 19 games. During the streak, Ramirez is batting .443 (35-for-79).
Atlanta broke on top on Sheffield's 17th homer of the season and
made it 2-0 in the second with his 15th homer of 2003. It also was
' 200th career homer and, at just over 26, he is the seventh-youngest slugger to reach the plateau.
"It's nice, to hit a home run period is nice,"
said. "To get 200 with me still being young is still a good thing. It's just opportunities and working hard. I've produced numbers out of it. I need to keep working hard and get better at it. I don't think what I'm going to do, I don't say I'm going to chase anybody. I just go out and play hard, whatever comes, comes."
' two-run shot in the third pushed the lead to 4-0. It was Jones' 10th homer of the season.
"The way we're winning ballgames I can't compare it to anybody," Sheffield said. "We win in so many ways. I don't even think we worry about the other team. We just want to have good at-bats."
The Pirates seized a 6-4 lead by scoring six times in the rain in the fifth. Wells helped himself with a two-run single,
delivered RBI base hits and Ramirez had a sacrifice fly. Former Brave
capped the scoring in the frame with a base hit that scored Kendall.
"We were down 4-0, battled back and had the opportunity to win that game," said
, who is Marcus' older brother. "But their offense has been really hot. It's an explosive offense. One through eight can go deep at any time."
took over for Wells in the sixth and Lopez homered with one out in the inning to draw Atlanta within a run. After
got through the top of the seventh,
knotted the contest with his RBI double in the bottom of the inning.
Lopez opened the eighth with his 16th homer. He has 15 career multi-homer games, including three this season.
"Javy's just on fire," Cox said. "What can you say? He's really swinging the lumber."
Lopez does not think he's particularly hot or "in the zone."
"I don't know what zone you're talking about," Lopez said. "All I know is that I'm in the best shape of my life and I feel the most comfortable I have in my career."