Braves snap skid, 5-2
The Atlanta Braves went behind closed doors to clear the air. When they emerged from the clubhouse, they looked more like the team that has won eight straight division titles.
Tom Glavine pitched a three-hitter to become the NL's first 18-game winner, Andres Galarraga hit a two-run homer and the Braves ended a four-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.
The victory ended the Braves' longest losing streak of the season and kept them tied with New York for first in the NL East. The Mets defeated Houston 1-0.
"I don't think there was any urgency," Glavine said. "But there was probably a little more enthusiasm than we've had the last couple of days."
After batting practice, the clubhouse doors were closed and the players held a rare private meeting to talk about their woes, which included five losses on the first six games of the homestand and a 13-14 record in August.
"Sometimes, it doesn't hurt to get in there and clear the air," Glavine said. "There's no problems. No one is mad at each other. It's just that time of year where you've got to bear down. You've got to overcome the fact that you're tired and overcome the fact that you've got injuries. So does everybody else."
Braves manager Bobby Cox picked up his 1,600th victory, passing Tommy Lasorda for 14th place on the career list.
"I forgot about it," Cox said. "Someone said something about wins as I was coming down the tunnel. I thought Tommy had done something."
Glavine (18-6) won for the 11th time in 12 starts including four in a row as he closes in on the fifth 20-win season of his career. The left-hander retired the last 11 hitters for his third complete game of the season and 48th overall.
Glavine has become the Atlanta stopper, going 8-1 when he's pitched after the team lost. Five of those wins have come in August, helping to prevent the Braves' slide from being more pronounced.
"It's a challenge," he said. "Don't get me wrong. It's nice knowing I can go out there after a loss and turn things around. But for morale purposes, I'd much rather be pitching in the midst of a winning streak rather than trying to stop a losing streak."
The Reds knew Glavine was at the top of his game.
"You expect that kind of pitching from the Braves," manager Jack McKeon said. "He was outstanding. He mixed his speeds well. He had good control. He stopped us cold."
Cardinals 4, Marlins 2
Miami Will Clark homered in the second inning and added an RBI double in the ninth, giving St. Louis the win. Jim Edmonds snapped an 0-for-21 streak with a single in the sixth and added another base hit leading off the ninth with the game tied at 2. Clark followed with a double to right-center, scoring Edmonds from first.
Rockies 5, Phillies 4,
Philadelphia Rookie Ben Petrick hit a solo homer in the 11th inning and Colorado, helped by Todd Helton's three-run double, beat Philadelphia. Helton went 1-for-4 with a walk. His batting average dropped a point to .395.
Brewers 3, Dodgers 2
Milwaukee Richie Sexson hit a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning as Milwaukee snapped a three-game losing streak. Terry Adams (6-7) gave a bloop single to Geoff Jenkins leading off the ninth. Shortstop Alex Cora raced to get the ball in short left field and threw wildly over the head off second baseman Mark Grudzielanek, allowing Jenkins to go to second on Cora's error. Sexson followed with a line-drive single to center.
Mets 1, Astros 0
New York Rick Reed (9-4) and two relievers combined on a three-hitter to make an early run stand as the New York Mets held on to their share of the NL East lead. New York, a major league-best 31-16 since the All-Star game, remained tied with Atlanta at 79-54.
Diamondbacks 7, Expos 0
Montreal Randy Johnson pitched a five-hitter to win his 17th game and Steve Finley homered twice to lead Arizona. Johnson (17-5), coming off his first no-strikeout game in 11 years, struck out 10 in his third shutout of the season and 28th of his career.
Giants 2, Pirates 0
Pittsburgh Russ Ortiz won his sixth consecutive start and Barry Bonds hit his 484th career home run as San Francisco beat Pittsburgh. Ortiz (11-10) allowed four hits in seven innings and matched his career high with 12 strikeouts. He was 6-0 with a 1.31 ERA in August. Robb Nen pitched a perfect ninth for his 32nd save.
Cubs 5, Padres 1
Chicago Sammy Sosa homered twice to raise his major league-leading total to 45, leading Chicago past San Diego. The Cubs won for the fifth time in 19 games and won consecutive games for the first time since a three-game streak July 29-31.