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Updated: Sunday, July 24, 2005 2:43 AM EDT



  R H E  
Braves 3 6 0 WP: Reitsma (2-2)
LP: Valverde (1-4)  
Diamondbacks 2 5 0
Jones' 30th homer keeps Braves atop NL East

PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Andruw Jones again made Bank One Ballpark look small.

Jones continued his hot hitting here with a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a 3-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks .

After pinch hitter Tony Clark delivered an RBI double for Arizona in the eighth to tie the game at 2-2, Jones led off the ninth by crushing an 0-2 offering from Jose Valverde (1-4) into the left field stands.

It was Jones' ninth homer in 30 career games at Bank One Ballpark, where he is a lifetime .355 hitter.

"I just went out looking for the fastball," Jones said of his third home run in five games overall. "I had three of them to hit and finally hit one of them. I have been getting opportunities to hit some big home runs. I have been fortunate, and the ball carries well here."

The 28-year-old center fielder, who now has six 30-homer seasons, was hit by a pitch and scored the Braves' first run on Julio Franco 's double in the seventh.

Rookie Jeff Francoeur had an RBI double one out later to give Atlanta a 2-1 lead, spoiling a fine effort by Arizona starter Brad Halsey . Francoeur is hitting .385 (10-for-26) with eight RBI in just nine games since joining the Braves on July 7.

"I felt like I was seeing the ball good but just couldn't get a good swing on it," Francoeur said. "The third time up, I was finally able to get one down in the zone. He was keeping it up quite a bit, but I finally got one down."

Halsey carried a no-hitter into the sixth before Rafael Furcal delivered a two-out single. The Diamondbacks' lefthander matched his longest start of the year with 7 2/3 innings, yielding two runs and a season-high four hits. However, he received little support as Arizona managed just five hits against six Atlanta pitchers.

"Of course the no-hitter went through my mind," Halsey said. "When they got the hit, mentally I had to overcome that. That is just the way the ball bounces sometimes. Some days you are not going to pitch as well as others and your team will come up with a victory."

Arizona matched a season high by drawing 10 walks but stranded at least one runner in each inning and 13 overall.

"Our approach offensively was good," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. "We had a lot of walks and baserunners. We couldn't get them in, and that is a big problem."

Starting in place of Mike Hampton , who suffered a strained back earlier this week, Jorge Sosa yielded only three hits in five innings. Four relievers combined to allow two runs in 2 1/3 innings before closer Chris Reitsma (2-2) got the last five outs to pick up the win.

"Our guys wiggled out of some problems," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "We walked 10 guys. We are walking guys more this year than we ever have. But we wiggled out of it."

In the seventh, Atlanta reliever Jay Powell issued a pair of walks before rookie Macay McBride got Shawn Green to fly out to the warning track in center, preserving a 2-1 lead.

With the wasted opportunities, Arizona squandered a chance to pull within 2 1/2 games of the National League West Division-leading San Diego Padres , who suffered their sixth straight loss Saturday afternoon.

"We were aware of it, but we have to do our job on the field," Clark said. "We can't worry about what San Diego does. We have a lot of games left to put together a solid streak, which we haven't done yet."

The Diamondbacks took a 1-0 lead in the sixth when Green led off with a walk, stole second and scored on a one-out single by Quinton McCracken , who came home on Clark's eighth-inning double after reaching on a one-out walk.

However, Arizona failed to move ahead as pinch runner Luis Terrero was stranded at second when pinch hitter Alex Cintron flied out and Royce Clayton grounded out.

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