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Updated: Saturday, June 25, 2005 6:16 PM EDT



  R H E  
Orioles 4 12 0 WP: Vasquez (1-0)
LP: Williams (4-4)  
Braves 5 11 1
Jones shakes off wrist injury, belts winning homer for Braves

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Not even a sore left wrist could slow down Andruw Jones .

Jones led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a home run against Todd Williams to lift the Atlanta Braves to a 5-4 victory over the suddenly reeling Baltimore Orioles .

Jones, who injured his left wrist while diving for an eventual double by Brian Roberts in the third inning, belted a 1-2 offering from Williams (4-4) just beyond the glove of leaping left fielder David Newhan to give the Braves their seventh win in nine games.

"I was trying to get a ball to drive out of the park," Jones said. "I'm not trying to keep the game going. I was trying to hit the ball out of the park, and it happened."

"It just kept carrying," said Newhan, who is listed at 5-10. "He hit it about two inches enough. ... I didn't think it was going to go out. It just kept going. I'm only so tall."

It was the major league-leading 23rd home run of the season for Jones, who is hitting .375 (24-for-64) with 11 blasts and 21 RBI since superstar third baseman Chipper Jones went on the disabled list on June 6.

"Maybe a month ago, I might have been (surprised)," Atlanta's Johnny Estrada said of Andruw Jones ' hot streak. "The way he's been swinging the bat and hitting home runs, he's carrying us right now."

The homer was the 20th since the beginning of May for Andruw Jones , who hit .413 with 10 shots in spring training. He provided the Braves with their fifth win in their final at-bat this season and first since April 30.

"He's been really swinging well," Baltimore's Sal Fasano said. "After that spring he had, you knew he'd catch fire again. Right now, he's about as hot as a pistol."

Andruw Jones also delivered an RBI single during a four-run seventh inning that gave Atlanta a 4-0 lead, but closer Chris Reitsma could not preserve it, issuing a bases-loaded walk in the eighth inning and allowing three runs in the ninth before being removed in favor of rookie Jorge Vasquez .

Rafael Palmeiro capped the Orioles' three-run rally with an RBI single to left-center field, chasing Reitsma. Vasquez (1-0), who recorded his first major league win, came on and walked Sammy Sosa before inducing pinch hitter Geronimo Gil to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Roberts had three hits - including an RBI single in the ninth - for Baltimore, which has lost nine of its last 11 road games after beginning the season with 18 wins in its first 26 contests away from Camden Yards.

The Orioles, who were atop the American League East Division for 62 straight days before Friday's 7-5 loss here, fell 1 1/2 games behind the defending world champion Boston Red Sox .

"Obviously, we've got a long way to go," Newhan said. "We don't want to get too far behind. To come back like that's a good feeling, but obviously the bottom line is wins and losses."

Atlanta's Ramon Colon, who was recalled from Class AAA Richmond of the International League earlier in the day, made his first major league start and allowed just four hits and a walk in six innings. Colon, who had never gone more than two innings in 36 career relief appearances, threw 59 of 85 pitches for strikes and struck out four.

"I felt a little tired in the sixth inning," Colon said. "I expected to throw four or five innings but not six."

Bruce Chen tossed 4 2/3 scoreless innings for the Orioles before leaving with a strained left big toe. Rookie Chris Ray came on and struck out three in 1 1/3 innings before being replaced by Jorge Julio , who allowed four runs, three hits and two walks while retiring just one batter in the seventh.

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