ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The
' latest three-game losing streak was nothing more than a blip on the radar screen.
both homered and
worked six strong innings as the Braves edged the
Atlanta has had six different three-game losing streaks this season, but has yet to lose four in a row. The Braves are 50-20 since June 23.
"We played some bad baseball in the Philadelphia series," Estrada said. "Today was a big game to stop that losing streak and get back on track."
Thomson (11-8) improved to 5-1 since the All-Star break after allowing two runs - one earned - and seven hits.
It didn't look good for Atlanta early. With one out in the first,
had consecutive singles.
smashed a grounder to short, which
bobbled to load the bases.
DeRosa was playing in place of
, who was arrested early Friday morning for driving under the influence. After
struck out, catcher Brian Schnieder laced a single to left field. Carroll scored, but Sledge was thrown out at the plate by rookie
"Chuckie saves some runs from left field again," Braves manager
said. "Those are run-savers in that outfield."
Estrada followed in the bottom of the inning by smashing a three-run homer off the screen of the right field foul pole to give the Braves a 3-1 lead.
"I couldn't have thrown that one out there any better," Estrada said. "I thought it was going to hook foul. It stayed straight. I saw it hit the net and I was pumped."
"It didn't sound good coming out of the box," Expos starter
said. "You can't do much about it. I made my pitch and he got it."
The Expos threatened again in the third. But after loading the bases to start the inning, Thomson struck out Rivera and induced Church to ground into a double play to end the inning.
"I wasn't looking to get out of there with a zero," Thomson said. "I was looking at (giving up) one run. I was trying to get a double play."
"The big hit didn't come when we needed it," Expos manager
said. "We didn't maximize our chances early in the game."
Giles broke a 0-for-15 slump in the fifth when he tagged Patterson for a solo shot, giving Atlanta a 4-2 lead. It was Giles' first homer since July 20 at Philadelphia.
"It's nice to finally contribute on the offensive end for once," Giles said. "My mechanics are pretty messed up right now."
Patterson (3-5) was charged with four runs and six hits in six innings. He matched a season-high with eight strikeouts and walked five.
"It was a good night for me," Patterson said. "(There were) a lot of positives. I think I pitched pretty well."
with two on and nobody out in the eighth. Church bounced into a double play to plate a run. But Smoltz shut down the Expos in the ninth for his 37th save.
"When you're in (multi-inning save) situations a lot, you don't look as them as hard, even though they are," Smoltz said. "Its just going to help me for the stretch run."
left the game in the fifth inning with a contusion to his left elbow.