ATLANTA (Ticker) -- After ripping the ball for the last two days, the
could not get a hit when they needed one.
drilled a two-out, game-tying homer against
in the top of the ninth inning and
delivered a go-ahead sacrifice fly six innings later as the
edged the Braves, 2-1.
Hollandsworth became the third player in as many nights to homer against Smoltz, who surrendered only two home runs all last season. Smoltz last surrendered home runs in three consecutive appearances from May 28, 2001 through June 9, 2001.
"I threw three bad pitches," said Smoltz about his last three appearances. "It's kind of hard to give up four runs on three pitches."
The Cubs finally pushed across the go-ahead run in the 15th inning against
opened the inning with a double and took third on a base hit
. Ramirez was thrown out at the plate on a ground ball by
walked to load the bases, Goodwin followed with a fly ball to right, which J.D. Drew decided to glove, rather than drop, in foul territory. Lee tagged and scored to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead.
"I was kind of watching (Drew)," Goodwin said. "The ball was coming back (into fair territory). It would have been a risky move to let it fall."
The Braves had no one to blame but themselves for the loss as they stranded 19 runners, including two in the bottom of the 15th against Chicago closer
, who picked up his second save.
The Braves also left the bases loaded in the 12th and the 13th innings.
"I felt like each inning we played was more salt in my wounds," said Smoltz. "This is a hard one to lose for so many reasons. The individual efforts of guys today were ruined on one pitch."
(1-0) worked around a two-out single in the 14th to post his first major league win since September 13, 2002 vs. Los Angeles.
The Braves scored their only run in the second when
homered off Cubs starter
Zambrano allowed just the one run and two hits in seven innings. He walked three and struck out seven.
The Braves wasted a superb outing by
, who allowed four hits and five walks in seven scoreless innings.
In the ninth, Smoltz quickly retired Martinez and induced Barrett to hit a comebacker. Smoltz made a spectacular play on the grounder, gloving the ball, and throwing from his back to retire Barrett.
However, Smoltz's next pitch was a split-fingered fastball down the middle of the plate that Hollandsworth crushed 422 feet over the right field wall.
"I tried to make the best pitch, which was a split-fingered fastball, said Smoltz. "It didn't split."
"You never try to hit a home run, you want to stay focused," said Hollandsworth. I was able to get something I could handle right away."
It Hollandsworth's fifth pinch-hit home run and his first since July 11, 2003 at Montreal. Troy O'Leary hit the Cubs' last pinch-hit home run on August 30, 2003 vs. Milwaukee.