Final in 10

Series: Game 1 of 3

Arizona leads 1-0 (as of 7/22)

Game 1: Friday, July 22
in 10
Game 2: Saturday, July 23
Game 3: Sunday, July 24

Braves 5

(54-43, 25-29 away)

Diamondbacks 6

(47-51, 24-27 home)

    9:40 PM ET, July 22, 2005

    Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona 

    12345678910 R H E
    ATL 0000000140 5 12 1
    ARI 0020201001 6 12 2

    W: L. Cormier (6-1)

    L: J. Brower (3-3)

    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 Philadelphia.

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

    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 season.

    "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 hammer."

    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 back."

    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 at-bats.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press