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Francouer lifts Braves over Bucs, 5-4



Published: Mon, July 16, 2007 @ 12:00 a.m.

Saturday’s game was delayed over an hour by rain.

ATLANTA (AP) — Jeff Francoeur hit a bases-loaded single with two outs in the ninth inning Saturday night, giving the Atlanta Braves a 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Willie Harris led off the ninth with an infield single that bounced off reliever Shawn Chacon’s foot, and Harris moved to second on Yunel Escobar’s sacrifice. Edgar Renteria popped out before Chacon (4-2) issued an intentional walk to Chipper Jones.

The runners advanced to second and third on Chacon’s wild pitch to Andruw Jones, who walked on a 3-2 pitch. Francoeur then hit a 2-1 pitch up the middle to drive in the winning run.

Bob Wickman (2-2) worked a scoreless ninth for the victory. Andruw Jones hit a two-run homer for Atlanta.

Ryan Doumit had a pinch-hit, three-run homer off Rafael Soriano in the seventh inning to cap Pittsburgh’s comeback from a 4-0 deficit. Soriano relieved Tyler Yates, who gave up two hits and a walk and was charged with three runs.

Long rain delay

The game was delayed by rain for 1 hour, 12 minutes in the bottom of the seventh. The Braves loaded the bases with one out in the eighth but couldn’t score.

Atlanta left-hander Chuck James threw six scoreless innings and left with a 4-0 lead, but the Pirates rallied against Yates and Soriano in the seventh.

Yates walked Jason Bay and gave up a single to Jose Castillo. Ronny Paulino followed with an infield hit and Bay scored on third baseman Chipper Jones’ wild throw to first for an error.

Soriano replaced Yates and immediately gave up Doumit’s homer to center.

James gave up two hits and three walks with four strikeouts.

The Braves took a 3-0 lead in the first inning for the second straight game. Escobar and Renteria reached on singles off Tom Gorzelanny. Escobar scored from third on a wild pitch by Gorzelanny that was too high for catcher Ronny Paulino to reach.

Andruw Jones followed with a two-run homer, his 17th.


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