At the end of their bullpen, the Braves have Smoltz - who is on pace to break
's single-season save record. But baseball's best team has holes in its relief corps, especially getting the ball to Smoltz.
Holmes (1-2), one of the pen's veteran arms, has struggled and did so again in this one.
Called on to protect a 3-2 lead, Holmes issued a leadoff walk to
in the bottom of the seventh and Sexson followed by sending a 3-1 pitch over the center field wall for his second homer of the game and 31st of the season.
"I don't second-guess myself," Holmes said. "I shouldn't have fallen behind 3-1. I walked the first guy and that's a cardinal sin. He's a guy you just can't fall behind."
"If he gets the ball all out over the plate, he's going to crush it," Braves manager
said. "We threw two real bad pitches on him. He's hit a lot of people hard. You make mistakes to people like this they don't usually miss them. It was just bad location."
Sexson is three homers behind
for the major league lead.
"If it comes, it comes," Sexson said. "You can't try to think too much about that stuff. I think if I try to get base hits the power is there and the home runs will come."
Holmes went 2-2 with a 1.81 ERA in 2002 for the Braves but has pitched to a 4.21 ERA in 42 appearances this season.
Sexson's homer made a winner of
(3-7), who worked two perfect innings.
retired the side in order in the ninth for his fifth save.
, who entered the contest 0-2 in his last four starts, pitched out of trouble in the first before
led off the second with his eighth homer.
In the third, Ramirez worked out of a bases-loaded jam when he got
to foul out and struck out Ginter.