ATLANTA -- Knocked out of first place in the AL East for the first time since late April, the Baltimore Orioles still talked like front-runners Friday night.
Marcus Giles and Andruw Jones hit first-inning home runs and the Atlanta Braves beat the Orioles 7-5. The Braves led 7-1 after three innings before Baltimore closed the gap with homers by Larry Bigbie and Brian Roberts.
The Orioles had been in sole possession of first place in the AL East for 62 consecutive days since April 23. But with Boston's 8-0 win over Philadelphia on Friday night, the Red Sox moved a half-game ahead of Baltimore.
"That's fine. That's why it's a long season," Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said. "Tomorrow it could flip-flop again.
"We've got to scratch right now. We've got some nicks in our team right now. They leave everything on the field, they don't have to come in this clubhouse and hang their heads."
Mazzilli was suspended Friday for two games and fined an undisclosed amount for inappropriate actions in Sunday's home game against Colorado. He will continue to manage until he has a hearing, tentatively scheduled for early July.
The Orioles have lost eight of their last 10 road games after an 18-8 start away from Baltimore.
"Falling out of first place is something we can't worry about right now," Bigbie said. "We're not panicking. It's no fun unless it's a clean race."
Chris Reitsma got four outs for his sixth save in eight chances.The Braves, who have won six of eight, moved past the Phillies and into second place in the NL East.
Jones has six homers in the last seven days.
"There's not just one person who can carry a whole team, but if any one person can, it's Andruw," Giles said.
Giles had two hits and drove in three runs. Jones moved into a tie with Chicago's Derrek Lee for the NL homer lead with his 22nd.
"I'm just trying to keep swinging," Jones said. "We got pitches to hit, and we hit them."
Atlanta's Kyle Davies (3-2) outpitched Baltimore's Hayden Penn (2-1) in a matchup of rookies. Davies, 21, gave up eight hits and five runs in six innings. Penn, 20, gave up eight hits and seven runs in only two-plus innings. Each gave up two home runs.
"The good pitches I made got hit," Penn said. "The bad pitches I made got hit harder."
Roberts led off the game with a double, moved to third on a single by Luis Matos and scored when Miguel Tejada hit into a double play for a 1-0 lead.
The Braves jumped on Penn in the bottom of the first with three runs on back-to-back homers by Giles, his sixth, and Jones. Giles' two-run shot drove in Rafael Furcal, who walked.
Penn gave up three more runs on four hits in the second inning. Wilson Betemit led off with a triple to center and scored on Ryan Langerhans' single. Kelly Johnson drove in Langerhans with a double and scored on Giles' single to right for a 6-1 lead.
Penn was lifted after giving up singles to Adam LaRoche and Betemit to lead off the third inning. James Baldwin gave up a run-scoring single to Davies for a 7-1 lead.
"Seven runs in the first three innings makes it a whole lot easier to go out there and pitch," Davies said.
Penn had the shortest of his seven starts since he was called up from Double-A Bowie on May 26.
Davies gave up only two earned runs in his first four major league starts, but allowed 15 runs in three games since then, and he had difficulty protecting the 7-1 lead.
The Orioles began their comeback with Bigbie's three-run homer in the fourth inning. It drove in Rafael Palmeiro, who just missed a home run on a double off the center-field wall, and Chris Gomez, who walked.
Roberts led off the fifth inning with his 12th homer, cutting the lead to 7-5.
The first-inning homers by Giles and Jones were the Braves' fourth back-to-back homers this season. ... Attendance at Turner Field was 43,822, the largest crowd since 50,939 for the Braves' April 8 home opener. ... This is the eighth straight year the teams have played.
|Players of the Game|
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|Brian Roberts, 2B||5||2||2||1||0||0||1||.357|
|Luis Matos, CF||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.293|
|Miguel Tejada, SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.316|
|Rafael Palmeiro, 1B||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||.266|
|Sammy Sosa, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.242|
|Chris Gomez, 3B||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||.302|
|Larry Bigbie, LF||4||1||1||3||0||1||1||.270|
|Sal Fasano, C||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||.284|
|Hayden Penn, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|James Baldwin, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000|
|Steve Reed, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- David Newhan, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.196|
|Todd Williams, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Jay Gibbons, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.269|
|a-grounded out for Reed in the 7th|
|b-grounded out for T. Williams in the 9th|
|2B - Brian Roberts (17, Davies), Luis Matos (7, Boyer), Rafael Palmeiro (9, Davies)|
|HR - Brian Roberts (12, Davies), Larry Bigbie (2, Davies)|
|SH - Hayden Penn (1)|
|RBI - Brian Roberts (41), Larry Bigbie 3 (14)|
|2-OUT RBI - Larry Bigbie 3 (9)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Palmeiro|
|E - Chris Gomez (2, misplayed grounder)|
|Hayden Penn (L,2-1)||2||8||7||7||2||1||2||6.07|
|IBB - A. Jones by Hayden Penn|
|HBP - A. Jones (by Steve Reed)|
|WP - James Baldwin (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Hayden Penn 47-29, James Baldwin 48-32, Steve Reed 3-2, Todd Williams 19-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hayden Penn 3-2, James Baldwin 4-4, Steve Reed 1-0, Todd Williams 5-1|
|Batters Faced - Hayden Penn 16, James Baldwin 14, Steve Reed 2, Todd Williams 7|
|Rafael Furcal, SS||3||1||0||0||2||0||2||.222|
|Kelly Johnson, LF||5||1||1||1||0||1||3||.243|
|Marcus Giles, 2B||5||1||2||3||0||0||0||.284|
|Andruw Jones, CF||2||1||1||1||1||1||0||.269|
|Johnny Estrada, C||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.275|
|Adam LaRoche, 1B||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.254|
|Wilson Betemit, 3B||3||1||2||0||0||0||0||.323|
|Ryan Langerhans, RF||4||1||2||1||0||0||2||.241|
|Kyle Davies, P||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.250|
|Blaine Boyer, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Pete Orr, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.317|
|Jim Brower, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chris Reitsma, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-lined out for Boyer in the 7th|
|2B - Kelly Johnson (3, Penn)|
|3B - Wilson Betemit (4, Penn)|
|HR - Marcus Giles (6, Penn), Andruw Jones (22, Penn)|
|SH - Wilson Betemit (3), Kyle Davies 2 (6)|
|RBI - Kelly Johnson (14), Marcus Giles 3 (21), Andruw Jones (50), Ryan Langerhans (23), Kyle Davies (2)|
|2-OUT RBI - Kelly Johnson (2), Marcus Giles (8)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - LaRoche-Furcal|
|Kyle Davies (W,3-2)||6||8||5||5||1||1||2||4.75|
|Blaine Boyer (H,2)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||1.42|
|Jim Brower (H,6)||0.2||1||0||0||0||0||0||5.82|
|Chris Reitsma (S,6)||1.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.88|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Davies 89-54, Blaine Boyer 11-8, Jim Brower 15-10, Chris Reitsma 11-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Davies 10-6, Blaine Boyer 2-1, Chris Reitsma 3-0|
|Batters Faced - Kyle Davies 26, Blaine Boyer 4, Jim Brower 3, Chris Reitsma 4|
|Attendance - 43822|
|Game Time - 2:28|
|Temperature - 85|
|Umpires - Home - Mark Carlson, First Base - Joe West, Second Base - Brian Gorman, Third Base - Mike DiMuro|