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Updated: Tuesday, June 8, 2004 11:17 PM EDT
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DETROIT (Ticker) -- It was only fitting that the Atlanta Braves ' first visit to Detroit was closed out by John Smoltz .

Smoltz worked the 10th inning for his ninth save after Mark DeRosa scored the go-ahead run on a throwing error by Danny Patterson as the Braves edged the Detroit Tigers , 4-3.

The Braves opened interleague play with their maiden trip to Detroit. Two previous series between the teams took place at Turner Field in Atlanta.

It marked a homecoming for Smoltz, a native of Warren, Michigan who began his career in the Tigers organization before being traded to the Braves in 1987 for Doyle Alexander .

"To be honest, I had a little goose bumps going out there," Smoltz said. "I'm glad it worked out."

Smoltz retired all three batters he faced with a pair of strikeouts.

"He wanted to get into the game so his family could see him pitch," Braves manager Bobby Cox said.

"Smoltz is Smoltz," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "He is in the elite catagory."

DeRosa opened the 10th with a double to left-center field off Patterson (0-3). Rafael Furcal sacrificed and Patterson's throw went by first baseman Carlos Pena , allowing DeRosa to score.

Chris Reitsma (2-1) earned the win with two scoreless innings in relief of Mike Hampton , who lasted seven innings and allowed three runs and nine hits.

Brandon Inge hit a two-run homer for the Tigers, who lost for the 11th time in 15 games.

Detroit starter Jason Johnson allowed all three of his runs in the second and surrendered three runs and seven hits in eight innings.

"I may have pitched well," said Johnson, who retired 18 of the final 20 batters he faced. "But I'm not happy with the outing, we lost."

Johnny Estrada and Andruw Jones singled in the second before Dewayne Wise doubled to bring home a run. Center fielder Alex Sanchez had trouble picking up the ball, allowing a second run to score.

One out later, DeRosa delivered an RBI single to center field to make it 3-0.

Hampton had his way until the sixth inning, when he allowed back-to-back one-out doubles to Dmitri Young and Rondell White . After Craig Monroe flied out to the deepest part of left-center field, Inge hit his sixth homer the opposite way to right field.

© 2005 STATS, Inc
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