NL East Roundup

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Braves 9, Mets 6
Kelly Johnson started the day with a home run against Tom Glavine and finished off the New York Mets with another homer off Aaron Heilman.

Johnson homered on the first pitch of the game, then hit a tiebreaking, three-run drive in the eighth inning to send the Atlanta Braves to a 9-6 victory Sunday.

A sellout crowd of 55,671 came out on a sunny spring afternoon to watch Glavine face John Smoltz, his golfing buddy and former teammate. Jose Reyes' three-run triple in the sixth put Glavine and the Mets ahead, but Edgar Renteria erased a 6-3 deficit in the seventh with a three-run homer off Scott Schoeneweis.

Jeff Francoeur reached leading off the eighth when second baseman Jose Valentin was handcuffed by a ball hit straight at him. He let it get past him for an error that would make all the runs in the inning unearned. Heilman (1-2) hit Craig Wilson with a pitch and, with two outs, Johnson homered into the right-field bullpen.

It was the first career multihomer game for Johnson, who struck out four times Saturday against Oliver Perez.

Ex-Met Tyler Yates (1-0) pitched a perfect seventh, Rafael Soriano retired Paul Lo Duca on a flyout with two on to end the eighth and Bob Wickman got three outs for his sixth save in six chances, his 24th in 25 opportunities since the Braves acquired him last summer.

Wickman retired Shawn Green on a grounder with two on to end it.
Smoltz had won both of his previous starts against Glavine. He was staked to leads on Johnson's first homer and Francoeur's two-run single off Glavine in the sixth. But after throwing first-pitch strikes to 20 of his first 23 batters, Smoltz developed control problems. Singles by Carlos Delgado and Moises Alou and a one-out walk to Green loaded the bases. Atlanta manager Bobby Cox was ejected for arguing ball four to Green. It was Cox's 127th ejection, four behind John McGraw's record.

Valentin then dumped a single into short left to drive in a run, pinch-hitter Julio Franco flied to shallow right, and Reyes drove the next pitch into the right-field corner for a 5-3 lead. Lo Duca followed with an RBI single that finished off Smoltz.

New York's bullpen quickly gave up the lead when Renteria's homer tied it 6-all, prompting loud boos.

Glavine, who remained 3-10 against the Braves and 0-1 in starts against Smoltz, allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings. Smoltz gave up six runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings.

The competitiveness between the pair showed in the fifth, when Glavine hit a bouncer near the third-base line. Smoltz sprinted off the mound, made a barehanded pickup and an off-balance throw just before crossing into foul territory to retire Glavine at first. Glavine shot his friend a look as he walked back to the dugout, muttered to himself, smiled and looked at Smoltz again.

Johnson homered on the first pitch of the game against the Mets' Orlando Hernandez on April 8 at Turner Field, and he did it again against Glavine when he deposited a letter-high offering over the right-field wall. The lead stood up until Green homered in the fifth.

Reyes' two-out single and Lo Duca's ground-rule double put runners on second and third later in the inning, but Smoltz threw a called third strike past Carlos Beltran -- his 2,799th strikeout, passing Cy Young for 18th place.

Phillies 9 Reds 3
Ryan Howard hit a two-run homer and had three RBIs as Philadelphia thumped Cincinnati 9-3.

Howard was productive after missing the Phillies' previous three games with a sprained ligament just below his left knee. He hit a sacrifice fly in the first inning and capped the Phils' scoring with a ninth-inning blast.

Chase Utley doubled twice and Wes Helms had three hits for the Phillies, who have won back-to-back games for the first time this season.

Freddy Garcia evened his record at 1-1, yielding two runs and four hits without walking a batter over five innings.

Matt Belisle is 2-1 after surrendering four runs and eight hits in five innings.

The Reds have dropped four of five to fall below .500 for the first time this year.

Marlins 12 Nationals 6
Dan Uggla homered twice and had six RBIs as Florida blasted Washington 12-6.

Uggla belted a three-run shot to put the Marlins ahead 7-0 in the fourth. He added a two-run shot in the eighth, two innings after Josh Willingham socked a two-run homer.

Miguel Cabrera sent a drive into the upper deck, an estimated 467-foot home run. Cabrera was in the lineup after missing two games with a stiff right torso.

Wes Obermueller picked up his first major league victory in almost two years, allowing two runs and four hits in six-plus innings. He outpitched Jerome Williams, who is 0-4 after yielding nine earned runs and nine hits in six frames.

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman hit his first career grand slam to cap the scoring in the ninth.


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