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Glavine Wins 12th in Braves’ 3-2 Victory

<i> From Associated Press</i>

Tom Glavine kept pace with Greg Maddux, thanks to a big assist from Andruw Jones.

Glavine survived early trouble to join teammate Maddux as the second 12-game winner in the majors, pitching the Atlanta Braves to their sixth consecutive victory, 3-2, over the New York Mets on Friday.

Glavine left with a 3-1 lead after throwing 119 pitches in seven innings, only to watch from the clubhouse as the Mets threatened to tie it up in the eighth against Dennis Martinez.

Two infield singles around a bloop hit made the score 3-2 before Brian McRae lined a sharp single to center. Jones scooped up the ball and came up throwing, unleashing a high, arching throw that reached catcher Eddie Perez on the fly. Perez appeared to tag Carlos Baerga a split-second before the runner could touch home with a head-first slide.

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“I’ve had a few plays that were better,” said Jones, who has thrown out 10 runners this season. “But that was big. It saved a run and saved the game for us.”

Glavine shrugged off another fielding gem by the 21-year-old outfielder, who could probably keep his spot in the lineup on defense alone.

“If we needed someone to get thrown out, that’s who you want them hitting to,” Glavine said. “He’s got the strongest arm out there. I’m not amazed at anything he does anymore.”

Baerga jumped up quickly and began yelling to plate umpire Greg Bonin, “He never touched me.” But Bonin simply shook his head and walked away.

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“It was amazing he made that kind of throw,” Baerga said of Jones. “I was arguing because I didn’t feel [Perez] touch me. . . . The replay showed it was really close.”

The Braves’ winning streak is their second-longest of the year, surpassed only by a seven-game stretch in May, and they pushed their lead in the NL East to a season-high 10 1/2 games over the Mets.

Chicago 12, Philadelphia 9--Tyler Houston homered twice and had five runs batted in, leading the Cubs to victory over the Pirates at Chicago for their fourth win in five games.

Henry Rodriguez and Jose Hernandez added solo shots, and Kevin Tapani won for the first time since June 6, stopping his three-game losing streak. He gave up seven runs, six earned, and 10 hits in eight-plus innings, striking out eight and walking one.

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Houston’s second homer, his fifth of the season, capped a five-run third inning that started with hustle on the basepaths by Sammy Sosa and featured two Pirate errors.

Montreal 8, Florida 4--Shane Andrews homered and drove in three runs, and Orlando Cabrera also had three RBIs as the Expos snapped a three-game losing streak with a victory over the Marlins at Montreal.

Javier Vazquez (3-6) went 6 2/3 innings for his second consecutive victory after a 10-start winless drought. He gave up four runs and eight hits, struck out four and walked one.

Cabrera, starting at shortstop in place of slumping Mark Grudzielanek, had an RBI single in the fifth and a two-run triple in the sixth that gave Montreal a 7-3 lead.

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Grudzielanek, is sitting out the three-game series against the Marlins to figure out why he has struggled with his hitting and fielding.

Philadelphia 2, Milwaukee 0--Curt Schilling added five strikeouts to his major league-leading total and Doug Glanville had a two-run single as the Phillies defeated the Brewers at Philadelphia.

Schilling (8-8), who gave up five hits in seven innings, has 180 strikeouts in 19 starts, ahead of Nolan Ryan’s pace when he set the major league mark of 383 in 1973. Ryan had 179 strikeouts after 19 starts.

The Phillies ended a five-game losing streak, while the Brewers lost for only the fourth time in 11 games. A postgame fireworks show helped attract a crowd of 55,393, the largest to see the Phillies at home or on the road this year.

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Mark Leiter got the final out for his 16th save.

Cincinnati 6, St. Louis 3--Reggie Sanders drove in three runs with a single and a homer and the Reds held on for a victory over the Cardinals before a big Cincinnati crowd that showed up to see Mark McGwire and postgame fireworks.

McGwire thrilled more than 10,000 fans who showed up for batting practice by clearing the wall on 13 of 21 swings, but got to swing the bat only once during the game and flew out. He remains tied with Reggie Jackson for most homers before the All-Star break at 37.

The Reds sold 41,302 tickets, almost twice their average attendance, and had a walk-up crowd of 9,338 for McGwire’s first regular-season game in Cincinnati.

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Houston 6, Arizona 5--Derek Bell hit a two-run homer and Bill Spiers had three hits as the Astros beat the Diamondbacks at Houston in the first-ever game between the teams.

Shane Reynolds (10-5) won for the eighth time in 10 decisions, giving up two runs on 11 hits and one walk in seven innings. He had eight strikeouts.

Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his 19th save, giving up Tony Batista’s two-run homer with two outs.

Bell hit his 12th home run of the season in the first inning off Andy Benes (6-9). Bell’s shot, a line drive to left, extended the Astros’ homer streak to six games.

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