D-Backs rally after blowing late five-run lead

PHOENIX (AP) -- Alex Cintron's struggles off the bench ended
Friday night.

Cintron hit a pinch-hit homer leading off the bottom of the 10th
inning to lift the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 6-5 victory over the
Atlanta Braves on Friday night.

Cintron came into the game batting .192 (5-for-26) as a
pinch-hitter this season.

"I was really happy to come off the bench and do something for
the first time," Cintron said.

Cintron hit the third pitch from reliever Jim Brower (3-3) into
the right-field bullpen, giving the Diamondbacks the win after they
had squandered a five-run lead in the eighth and ninth innings.

"He was looking to drive the ball and I just ended up feeding
his swing," Brower said.

Lance Cormier (6-1), the Diamondbacks' fourth pitcher, walked
two and struck out two in 1 2-3 innings for the win.

Luis Gonzalez was 3-for-5 with two runs scored for the
Diamondbacks, who snapped a two-game losing streak to move within
3½ games of first place in the NL West after San Diego lost at

"It's great finally to win a ballgame when they lost," Cintron

The Braves rallied for four runs in the ninth against Arizona's
current closer, Brian Bruney, but missed a chance to move into sole
possession of first place in the NL East for the first time since
June 4. The Braves remained tied with Washington, which lost 14-1
to Houston on Friday.

Ryan Langerhans tripled off the base of the left field wall and
pinch-hitter Julio Franco walked in the ninth. Rafael Furcal hit an
RBI infield single to deep short, making it 5-2, before Kelly
Johnson homered to right to tie it.

"Honestly, we won the game," Bruney said. "It doesn't matter.

"I'm not here to have a good ERA and do well for myself. I'm
here to win games."

The Braves had runners on first and third with two outs against
Cormier but were unable to score the go-ahead run.

"I thought we'd get them in, to be honest with you," Atlanta
manager Bobby Cox said. "We had I don't know how many chances with
runners in scoring position needing to get just one hit but we
didn't do it."

Moments after Johnson crossed the plate, plate umpire Jim Wolf
ejected Arizona pitching coach Mark Davis for arguing balls and
strikes from the dugout. Manager Bob Melvin came out to argue on
Davis' behalf and was also thrown out, his third ejection of the

"You get emotional in these games and feel you're getting
squeezed," Melvin said. "But they're back there doing the best
that they can. I like Jim Wolf. He's a good guy, though we had a
difference of opinion there, so I got thrown out. He is the

The bullpen's meltdown wasted a solid outing from Claudio
Vargas, who scattered seven hits over seven-plus innings to
outpitch Tim Hudson.

"I feel very good," Vargas said. "I've got my confidence

Vargas pitched out of trouble in nearly every inning with the
help of some stellar defense.

Chipper Jones hit a one-out double in the second but was
stranded at third. In the third inning, Shawn Green made a sliding
catch of Marcus Giles' fly to right to end the inning and strand
two more runners.

Vargas also escaped trouble after walking Hudson with one out in
the fifth when Furcal was retired on a flyball to the warning track
and Royce Clayton made a sliding stop of Johnson's hard smash up
the middle and forced Hudson at second.

Hudson, trying for his 100th career victory, allowed four runs --
three earned -- and eight hits in six innings.

Arizona took a 2-0 lead during an unusual third inning. After
Craig Counsell hit a one-out double into the left field corner,
Clayton laid down a drag bunt. Hudson swiped at the ball and nearly
tagged out Clayton but couldn't control the ball and it fell
harmlessly into the first base coaching box for an infield single.
Counsell hesitated briefly at third before sprinting home and
sliding in headfirst for the game's first run.

Gonzalez followed with a ground-rule double down the right field
line, with Clayton held at third when a fan leaned over the fence
to grab the ball. Clayton scored on a groundout by Troy Glaus.

The Diamondbacks extended the lead to 4-0 in the fifth on three
straight singles by Clayton, Gonzalez and Glaus and a sacrifice fly
by Green.

Gonzalez made it 5-0 in the seventh when he singled, stole
second, went to third on a fly to right and scored on a wild pitch.

The Braves made it 5-1 in the eighth when Johnson doubled off
Vargas, went to third on a single by Giles and scored on Andruw
Jones' single off reliever Jose Valverde.

Game notes
During the game, the Braves scratched LHP Mike Hampton from
his start Saturday. RHP Jorge Sosa (5-1) will start instead. ...
After Green's catch, Vargas stood on the top of the mound with both
arms thrust in the air. ... Before the game, the Diamondbacks
outrighted Armando Almanza, the only left-hander in their bullpen,
to make room for newly acquired Tim Worrell. Almanza, who had a
2.25 ERA in six appearances, either can report to Triple-A Tucson
or declare himself a free agent. ... Worrell, acquired Thursday
from Philadelphia for INF Matt Kata, was in uniform Friday. ...
Chipper Jones slowed a 2-for-37 slide with hits in his first two