Every fifth day, we have a change. (They may have to think about using Smoltz on a four days’ rotation soon.) Smoltz allowed a couple of solo homers, but only two other hits, didn’t walk anyone, and struck out nine in eight innings. Reitsma let the first two on but then finished it off for the save.
Furcal, back in the lineup, homered leading off the game. Marcus had a big day, reaching four times (two hits, two walks) and scoring twice, including a solo homer in the fifth. Smoltz was 2-3 and was almost 3-3, his ball to deep right-center just getting caught. Julio, starting against the lefty, had two stolen bases. The Braves had 13 hits and walked five times, and a little of that “timely hitting” and they would have scored a lot more than five runs. As it was, twelve were left on base, which could have come back to bite them.
Matt Belisle gave up two runs for the Reds and Kent Mercker also pitched… Ramirez will face Ramon Ortiz tomorrow night.