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Johnson's two homers lead Braves to win

POSTED: September 14, 2008 5:02 a.m.

ATLANTA — Kelly Johnson homered twice, James Parr pitched six more scoreless innings and the Atlanta Braves overcame a shaky bullpen to deal another blow to Colorado's fading playoff hopes, beating the Rockies 9-5 on Wednesday night.

Chipper Jones homered for the Braves, who won it with a five-run seventh after the Rockies scored four in the top half to tie the game.

Parr extended his scoreless streak to 12 innings since coming up from the minors and left with a 4-0 lead. But all his good work was quickly undone by Atlanta's hapless bullpen.

The Rockies' relievers were just as bad.

Johnson, who homered in the first, led off the bottom half of the seventh with a towering drive just inside the right-field foul pole against Luis Vizcaino (1-1). Jones followed with the 407th homer of his career, and Vizcaino was yanked without getting an out after Brian McCann doubled.

Atlanta poured it on against Steven Register. Brandon Jones had an RBI double and Josh Anderson singled up the middle to bring home two more runs. The Braves sent 10 batters to the plate.

The 22-year-old Parr was denied the win but did become the first Braves pitcher since Kyle Davies in 2005 to pitch 12 scoreless innings at the start of his career, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. And he's the first Atlanta hurler since Larry McWilliams in July 1978 to go at least six scoreless innings in each of his first two big-league starts.

Jeff Bennett (3-6) got the win by pitching two-thirds of an inning.

Atlanta took its second straight from the Rockies, only the fourth time since the All-Star break the Braves have put together consecutive wins.

The Rockies, who hoped to pull off the sort of September charge that propelled them all the way to the World Series last season, appear done after their fought straight loss. They began the day seven games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, and have only 16 games remaining.

Johnson, the second batter of the game for Atlanta, homered off Livan Hernandez. Yunel Escobar added a run-scoring double in the fourth, and the Braves knocked out Hernandez with two runs in the fifth.

Parr escaped a couple of jams, one with a big assist from center fielder Anderson. Troy Tulowitzki led off the third with a double, and Hernandez moved him to third with a sacrifice bunt. Parr fanned Dexter Fowler, then gave up a long drive to Jeff Baker.

Anderson raced to the wall in left-center and stretched his glove to the yellow line, making the catch as he crashed into the wall. He tumbled onto the warning track, but quickly bounced up and showed the umpires that he, indeed, had the ball.

Parr pumped his fist as the out call was made, and waited outside the dugout to high-five Anderson.

Blaine Boyer took over in the seventh and gave up a homer to Ian Stewart on his third pitch. A walk and a single sent Boyer packing without getting an out. Will Ohman took over and gave up Dexter Fowler's first big league hit. Jeff Bennett gave up a two-run single to Jeff Baker, and Brad Hawpe tied the game at 4 with a sacrifice fly.

Notes: Johnson had the third multihomer game of his career. ... Jones' homered tied him with Duke Snider for 42nd on the career list.



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