Milwaukee at Atlanta

W: J. Smoltz (10-5) L: D. Turnbow (4-8)
HR: MIL - None   ATL - A. Jones (29)

Smoltz sizzles, Turnbow folds as Braves edge Brewers in ninth

CBS wire reports

ATLANTA -- Jeff Francoeur loves to be at the plate with runners on late in the game. Add a struggling reliever to the mix, and the Braves slugger is tough to get out.

Francoeur hit an RBI double off Derrick Turnbow in the bottom of the ninth inning Friday night and John Smoltz pitched a five-hitter to help the Braves beat the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1.

Francoeur leads the Braves with 10 game-winning RBI. Adding to his knack for dramatic production in clutch situations, he has five game-winning hits in the final at-bat.

"He's got the flair," Smoltz said of Francoeur. "He wants so bad to be in that situation that I think sometimes he tries too hard. You want a guy to be like that in that situation. You'd be surprised how many guys treat that situation totally different."

Francoeur said he wanted to atone for failing to deliver in similar situations as the Braves lost two of three in Cincinnati a week ago.

"I love it," Francoeur said of facing the pressure in the bottom of the ninth.

"I thought when I got up, here's a chance to atone a little bit for Cincinnati for the team and for John, for Bobby (Cox). We've been playing hard."

Turnbow, meanwhile, has lost his job as the Brewers' closer and now may be removed from any tight situations. He is 0-5 with one save and four blown ones in his last 15 appearances.

Overall, Turnbow is 4-8 with a 6.40 ERA. Manager Ned Yost said he will have to remove the hard-throwing right-hander from situations such as the ninth inning Friday night.

"Yeah, we're going to have to," Yost said. "Right now you can tell his tempo is real slow. He's thinking way too much."

Yost delivered the same message to Turnbow after the game.

"It's awful. I'm tired of costing this team victories and every time this team is on a roll, stopping it," Turnbow said. "It's just frustrating. ... I just wish I could get the job done."

Yost said his ninth-inning bullpen options in the tie game included Jose Capellan and Dan Kolb. Francisco Cordero is the team's new closer.

Marcus Giles drew a leadoff walk from Turnbow and Andruw Jones walked with one out. Francoeur followed with a drive to the wall in right-center field to drive in Giles, who almost made for a close play at the plate by jogging from second.

Jones earlier hit his 29th home run.

"It wasn't the double that killed him," Yost said of Turnbow. "It was the walks before."

Smoltz (10-5) won his sixth straight decision and pitched his 53rd complete game. He struck out eight, walked none and retired 18 straight batters after giving up a leadoff single to Gabe Gross in the second inning.

The Braves began the night six games back in the wild-card chase, but Smoltz said he is treating each start like a playoff game.

"I'm going to keep pitching like that until they say you've been officially eliminated from the playoffs," he said.

Smoltz reached double figures in wins for the 12th time and has not lost since June 13.

"His slider was nasty," Brewers starter Chris Capuano said. "It just disappears. You can't see it."

At 24-30, the Braves have the fewest home wins in the majors. Smoltz can't be blamed for that stat, though -- he is 6-3 in 11 games at Turner Field this season.

Gross started in right field after Yost announced before the game that he had benched slumping veteran Geoff Jenkins. Yost said he will give more playing time to Gross and Corey Hart the rest of the season.

The Braves led 1-0 when Bill Hall led off the Brewers eighth with a double. David Bell singled and one out later, Jenkins delivered a pinch-hit sacrifice fly that almost cleared the fence in right field. Jenkins was hitting for Capuano.

Capuano pitched seven innings, throwing only 68 pitches. He gave up four hits and one run with no walks and four strikeouts.

Capuano's only mistake was a first-pitch, leadoff homer to Jones in the second inning.


  • Braves SS Edgar Renteria made a diving stop of a sharp grounder and while still on one knee threw out Damian Miller in the fifth inning.
  • Tony Pena replaced Willy Aybar at third base for Atlanta at the start of the sixth inning. Aybar left with a sore left hand.
  • Smoltz worked RHP Matt Wise for a 10-pitch walk with two outs in the eighth inning.
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All-Star reliever Derrick Turnbow is 0-5 with four blown saves in his last 15 appearances.  (AP)
All-Star reliever Derrick Turnbow is 0-5 with four blown saves in his last 15 appearances. (AP)

Players of the Game

J. Francoeur
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

C. Capuano
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 0
K 4

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Milwaukee Brewers
Brady Clark, CF4000011
Tony Graffanino, 2B4010010
Prince Fielder, 1B4000001
Kevin Mench, LF4010001
Gabe Gross, RF4010021
Bill Hall, SS3110011
David Bell, 3B3010010
Damian Miller, C3000013
Chris Capuano, P2000010
   a- Geoff Jenkins, PH0001000
    Matt Wise, P0000000
    Derrick Turnbow, P0000000
a-hit a sacrifice fly for Capuano in the 8th
2B - Tony Graffanino (, Smoltz), Kevin Mench (, Smoltz), Bill Hall (, Smoltz)
SF - Geoff Jenkins ()
RBI - Geoff Jenkins ()
SB - Gabe Gross (, 2nd base off Smoltz/McCann)
Team LOB - 4
Milwaukee Brewers
Chris Capuano 7411041
Matt Wise 1000100
Derrick Turnbow (L,-) 0.1111200
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Capuano 68-47, Matt Wise 25-15, Derrick Turnbow 23-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Capuano 12-4, Matt Wise 1-2
Batters Faced - Chris Capuano 24, Matt Wise 4, Derrick Turnbow 4
Atlanta Braves
Willy Aybar, 3B2000001
    Tony Pena, 3B1000000
   a- Scott Thorman, PH1000001
    Pete Orr, 3B0000000
Marcus Giles, 2B3100121
Edgar Renteria, SS4000001
Andruw Jones, CF3111100
Jeff Francoeur, RF4021000
Brian McCann, C3010000
Matt Diaz, LF3000011
Adam LaRoche, 1B3010011
John Smoltz, P1000101
a-grounded out for Pena in the 8th
2B - Jeff Francoeur (, Turnbow), Brian McCann (, Capuano)
HR - Andruw Jones (, Capuano)
SH - John Smoltz ()
RBI - Andruw Jones (), Jeff Francoeur ()
PK - Jeff Francoeur (, Capuano)
Team LOB - 5
Atlanta Braves
John Smoltz (W,-) 9511080
Pitches-Strikes - John Smoltz 99-74
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Smoltz 8-11
Batters Faced - John Smoltz 32
Game Information
Attendance - 31336
Game Time - 2:16
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Lance Barksdale, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - Ron Kulpa, Third Base - Dan Iassogna