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Braves Find a New Hero in Defeating Mets

September 07, 1998|From Associated Press

John Smoltz already liked Shea Stadium. Now Marty Malloy has a fondness for the ballpark, too.

Smoltz pitched a three-hitter for his second shutout of the season and Malloy homered in his major league debut, leading the Atlanta Braves over the New York Mets, 4-0, Sunday at New York.

Smoltz (14-3) defeated the Mets in his major-league debut at Shea Stadium on July 23, 1988, the same day he was called up. This time, he struck out a season-high 12 and walked none, getting his second complete game of the season.

"I love pitching here," he said.

Smoltz gave up three two-out singles and didn't let a runner past first.

"It was a consistent day as far as where the pitches went, and I was able to keep them off balance," said Smoltz, 10-2 since coming off the disabled list June 20. "If I'm throwing my fastball the way I was today, I'm going to have success. I threw a lot of good pitches today."

Malloy, 26, had played in the Braves organization since 1992 and hit only 33 homers in the minors. In his second major league at-bat, he drove a 2-0 pitch from Rick Reed 372 feet into the right-field bullpen in the third inning.

"I don't know what to say," Malloy said. "I'm at a loss for words. I hadn't hit very many home runs in the minor leagues. When I hit it I thought it was going."

Andruw Jones, Ryan Klesko, Andres Galarraga and Malloy hit solo homers for the Braves, who stopped a three-game losing streak.

Reed (16-9) gave up three runs and seven hits in 7 2/3 innings for the Mets, who remained a game behind Chicago in the National League wild-card race after the Cubs lost, 4-3, in 10 innings at Pittsburgh.

"I had no idea who he was," Reed said of Malloy. "I do now. I got him out inside the first time, and I went back in there. I think he was looking in there and he got it."

Malloy, brought up from triple-A Richmond before the game, struck out in the first before hitting his homer. He wound up two for four and added a single in the sixth.

"I said, 'Nice going rook,' " Brave third baseman Chipper Jones told him after the homer. "He came over and asked me when's a good time to bunt, and I said any time. And he goes deep, and I'm like, 'You're messin' up the whole program.' "

Florida 6, Montreal 2--Kirt Ojala won for the first time in 10 starts and the Marlins stopped a 10-game home losing streak at Miami.

Ojala (2-4) gave up two runs and eight hits in six innings as Florida won at home for the first time since beating the Padres on Aug. 19. Ojala won for only the second time in 15 career starts. The other was against St. Louis on Aug. 24, 1997.

Milwaukee 5, Philadelphia 4--Fernando Vina hit an run-scoring single and another run scored on Phillie third baseman Scott Rolen's error in the bottom of the ninth inning at Milwaukee.

With the Brewers trailing, 4-3, in the ninth, Wayne Gomes (9-6) walked Darrin Jackson and Jose Valentin sacrificed. Jackson then took third on pinch-hitter Jeff Cirillo's infield single.

After Marquis Grissom popped out, Jackson scored the tying run when Vina beat out an infield single. Mark Loretta then hit a hard bouncer that Rolen couldn't handle, and Cirillo scored.

Colorado 12, San Diego 2--Jamey Wright pitched seven shutout innings, Dante Bichette got his 200th hit and Mike Lansing hit an inside-the-park homer to lead the Rockies at Denver.

Batting leader Larry Walker went three for three as the Rockies hammered Joey Hamilton (12-12) for seven runs--four earned--in four innings and took two of three from the West-leading Padres.

Bichette became the first player in the majors to get 200 hits this season, and surpassed his previous high of 198 in 1996.

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