Chipper Jones and the Atlanta Braves are slowing down the Florida Marlins. Jones homered for the second straight night, and Russ Ortiz outpitched Josh Beckett to lead the Braves over the World Series champions, 4-1, last night in Atlanta.
Jesse Garcia added his first homer in more than four years, helping the Braves move back over .500 at 6-5.
Florida arrived in Atlanta with the best record in the major leagues (8-1) and a seven-game winning streak but has lost the first two games of the three-game series.
Ortiz (1-2) gave up one run and six hits in 6 2/3 innings, lowering his ERA from 6.75 to 4.50. John Smoltz, who followed Kevin Gryboski and Chris Reitsma out of the bullpen, got three straight outs for his third save, completing a six-hitter.
Beckett (1-1) entered with a 0.64 ERA that soared to 2.21. His fastball was recorded as high as 102 miles per hour and he struck out seven, but he allowed four runs in 6 1/3 innings.
Reds 3, Cubs 2 -- Kerry Wood was ejected in a heated exchange with plate umpire Eric Cooper after blowing a one-run lead in the ninth in Chicago, with Wily Mo Pena doubling in the go-ahead run with two outs for Cincinnati. Sean Casey singled and after Wood (2-1) walked Adam Dunn on a 3-and-2 pitch, Wood waved in disgust. Cooper then started toward the mound before Cubs catcher Michael Barrett got between them. Ryan Freel's bunt moved both runners up before Jason LaRue tied the game with a sacrifice fly.
Pena then doubled to right center and Cubs manager Dusty Baker came out to remove Wood. As the righthander was being pulled, he sprinted to the plate and began screaming at Cooper before he was ejected.
Dodgers 5, Giants 4 -- Barry Bonds hit another late home run that didn't make a difference against Los Angeles. Bonds hit his 663d career homer (No. 5 of the season), a solo shot off Darren Dreifort, in host San Francisco's loss. Milton Bradley homered and drove in two runs for the Dodgers, who won their fourth straight despite a shaky ninth inning from Eric Gagne, who allowed a home run for the second straight day.
Cardinals 8, Rockies 4 -- Scott Rolen homered in consecutive at-bats and had four RBIs, and Albert Pujols also connected as host St. Louis rallied from a three-run deficit to beat Colorado. It was Rolen's second two-homer game of the season.
Astros 14, Brewers 5 -- Host Houston won for the sixth time in seven games as Richard Hidalgo drove in four runs and Craig Biggio and Mike Lamb each contributed three-run homers.
Phillies 6, Expos 3 -- David Bell, Pat Burrell, Placido Polanco, and Bobby Abreu homered to lead host Philadelphia over Montreal, the Expos' sixth straight loss.
Padres 3, Diamondbacks 2 -- Ismael Valdez allowed two runs and five hits in six innings to win his first start of the season as host San Diego snapped a three-game losing skid.
Pirates 2, Mets 1 -- Tike Redman doubled leading off the eighth and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jason Kendall to lift visiting Pittsburgh.