Smoltz dominant again as Braves upend Marlins
ATLANTA (Ticker) --
's second start against the
this season was nothing like his first.
Smoltz pitched a five-hitter and
continued his home run barrage as the
posted a 5-0 triumph over the Marlins.
On Opening Day, Smoltz returned to the rotation for the first time in nearly four years and was pounded for seven runs and six hits in 1 2/3 innings in a 9-0 loss at Florida.
"I thought about Opening Day every time I've pitched to the Marlins," Smoltz said. "Obviously it was in the back of my mind. I wouldn't call it an embarrassing moment, (but) a lot of people flew down for that one. A lot of the same people were at the game today. I wanted to pitch more than an inning and two-thirds."
Smoltz (7-5) was a different pitcher in this one en route to his first shutout since April 30, 1999 and 15th career. The veteran righthander walked two, struck out six and threw 123 pitches in his second complete game of the season.
"What makes him so good is what makes him so good for the last 15 years," Marlins outfielder
said. "He hits his spots, he has three-plus pitches."
Smoltz has won his last three starts, allowing five runs and 14 hits in 26 innings. The former Cy Young Award winner has lasted at least eight innings in four straight starts. "I've been working also on my conditioning," Smoltz said. "I feel like I'm under control on everything."
"It's the name of the game, getting innings from your starter," Braves manager
said. "We need to have some long-inning pitchers."
Smoltz's long outings have helped a tired Atlanta bullpen, which has logged 49 2/3 innings due to injuries to starters
Smoltz improved to 6-1 at home against Florida. His only loss came on May 3, 1994.
With the Braves holding a 3-0 lead, Jones provided the final margin with a mammoth two-run homer in the seventh. It was his eighth homer this month and 20th on the season, which ties him with
for the National League lead.
"I'm getting good pitches to hit and getting good at-bats, said Jones, who is hitting .353 (18-for-51) with eight homers and 15 RBI since teammate
was placed on the disabled list on June 6. "The balls are going out of the park."
"Andruw (Jones) is our oldest guy (in the lineup)," Smoltz said. "I told him he has to carry this ballclub. I feel like I do on the pitching staff."
has eight straight 20-homer seasons.
went 2-for-2 and scored twice for the Braves, who won for the fourth time in five games.
Marlins starter A.J. Burnett (4-5) gave up three runs and six hits in six innings. The righthander walked three and struck out four.
"To me it's hitting my spots," said Burnett, who fell to 1-6 lifetime against the Braves at Turner Field. "It doesn't matter how hard you throw, you have to hit your spots. If you throw it down the middle, they'll hit it. We have to figure out a way to win. I do at least."
Conine had two hits for Florida, which fell to 3-4 on its 12-game road trip.
Florida first baseman
singled in the eighth inning, extending his hitting streak to 15 games.