SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- Whenever the
have to rebound from a loss,
is there to give them the boost they need.
Smoltz allowed one run and six hits in eight innings for his seventh straight victory, leading the Braves to a 4-1 triumph over the
San Francisco Giants
Back in the starting rotation after 3 1/2 years as a closer, Smoltz (11-5) raised his record to 8-1 in 11 starts following an Atlanta loss. The righthander walked one, struck out seven and helped his own cause with an RBI double in the seventh.
"You want to pick the team up," Smoltz said. "It was a bad loss yesterday. I wanted to come through. You think about the carry-over effect and I want to squash it. I was as focused and determined as I've been in a long time. That was one of the best fastballs I've had in a long time."
Smoltz raised his career record against the Giants to 11-14 in his first start against them since September 10, 1999.
"It was all Smoltz," Atlanta manager
said. "He's very talented. He threw strikes and just dominated. His fastball is about the same. His changeup is about as good and he's added the split recently."
"Smoltz was really too much today," San Francisco manager
said. "He pitched too easy. He did not have to throw many 95 miles-per-hour fastballs. His splitter and slider were down."
Braves rookie catcher
took no credit for Smoltz's dominance.
"I didn't call one pitch," McCann said. "I didn't do much of anything back there. I was just a target. It makes what I do easy. He's one of the best competitors I've ever come across."
The Braves opened the scoring when
belted a two-run homer in the second inning against Giants starter
. The rookie had three hits and is 9-for-22 with three home runs in seven games since being recalled from Class AA Mississippi on July 7.
"I saw it up a little bit and I was able to put a pretty good swing on it. I didn't know if it had enough to go and it snuck out for me," Francoeur said. "I'm just trying to learn as much as I can. I'm really enjoying learning from these guys."
"He's a young kid out of (Class AA) and he's taking to it pretty darn good," Cox said.
Selected in the first round of the 2002 draft, Francoeur was called up after
went on the disabled list with a sore left knee.
worked around a two-out double in the ninth for his 10th save in 14 opportunities for Atlanta, which has won four of six.
Lowry (6-10) gave up three runs, six hits and two walks in seven innings, striking out seven.
"I felt good today," Lowry said. "I made a couple mistakes, but I'll try to build on it. That's what I try to do, is build on every start."
Lowry also was impressed with the performance by Smoltz.
"It was an honor to be on the same field with a guy like Smoltz, who is probably a future Hall-of-Famer," Lowry said. "Nonetheless, I've got to go out there and shut those guys down. When he's on top of his game, he's one of the best in the game, and he showed it again today."
After belting a three-run homer on Tuesday,
accounted for San Francisco's offense with a solo shot in the fourth, his team-leading 14th blast.
"I'm just looking for a pitch to hit," Feliz said. "I've got two of them the last couple days."