Pitching to Barry Bonds is not recommended. Bonds hit a pair of monster two-run homers off of Ortiz, one in the third and one in the fifth, and drove in six runs on four hits in all. It was pretty awful. The Braves got the game close on a couple of occasions, but then someone, usually Bonds, would stretch the lead out again.
Russ Ortiz was even wilder than usual (though the two homers were right over the plate). He only walked three but was constantly behind in the count, gave up nine hits, and only had one strikeout. He left with two on, nobody out, in the sixth. Martin actually got two outs, giving up an intentional walk, but then Bobby yanked him for some reason and brought in Gryboski. Gryboski gave up three inherited runs, though to be fair the first one was on a really weak grounder that died in front of Chipper for an infield hit.
The Braves did have eleven hits; Furcal, Chipper, and LaRoche had three apiece. Bonds’ homers (the guys who pretend to measure such things say they were the second and third longest in Turner Field history) were all the more impressive because it didn’t look like the ball was carrying well at all.
The Dodgers won, so the Braves are back to a half-game behind them for the second-best record in the league. The Marlins and Phillies both won to move to 8 1/2 and 10 1/2 back in the division respectively… Noah Lowry is to face John Thomson tomorrow in a 1 PM game. Given that Thomson’s usually around the plate, Bonds (if he’s in the lineup; Alou often rests him the last day of a series) might hit something really long. After tomorrow, the Braves play mostly division opponents the rest of the year, the exceptions being three hosting the Reds and ending the season with three in Chicago.