ATLANTA (AP)—The Chicago Cubs let another lead get away. This time, they didn’t let the win get away, too.
The Braves bounced back from two runs down in this one, but they couldn’t complete another comeback on an emotional day. Just before the game, the players learned that 305-game winner Tom Glavine(notes) had been released, a shocking move considering everyone thought the left-hander was about to rejoin the team from a rehab assignment.
Chicago just needed a win after losing 11 of 15.
“We hung in there,” manager Lou Piniella said. “Our pitchers did a nice job. Offensively, we did just enough.”
Derrek Lee(notes) started the 11th by drawing a walk from Jeff Bennett(notes) (2-3), then pulled off a nifty bit of baserunning to reach second. On a routine fly to left, Lee caught Matt Diaz(notes) off guard by tagging up and just beating a delayed throw to the bag.
“It was simply luck,” Hoffpauir said. “Sometimes it goes your way.”
The Braves won the series opener 6-5 in 12 inning after rallying from a 5-0 deficit in the eighth. Kevin Gregg(notes) blew the save in that one, giving up a two-out, two-run homer to Jeff Francoeur(notes) in the ninth.
Gregg bounced back to set Atlanta down in order in the 11th, earning his ninth save in 11 chances.
The loss capped a very busy day for the Braves. They released Glavine, announced they would call up top pitching prospect Tommy Hanson(notes) and bolstered their offense by acquiring All-Star center fielder Nate McLouth(notes) from Pittsburgh.
“Sentimentally, it stinks,” Jones said. “But optimistically, looking into the future, it’s a step in the right direction.”
McLouth wasn’t around to help in this one.
The Cubs jumped ahead in the fourth on Mike Fontenot’s(notes) two-run double. The Braves, held to one hit through the first four innings by Lilly, rallied to tie it on Brian McCann’s(notes) run-scoring single in the sixth and Jones’ pinch-hit double in the seventh.
Atlanta was held hitless for 6 2-3 innings the previous night by rookie Randy Wells(notes), showing why it wanted another hitter such as McLouth. To get him, the Braves sent three prospects to the Pirates: outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, along with pitchers Charlie Morton(notes) and Jeff Locke.
The Braves strung together four singles against Lilly in the sixth, including McCann’s RBI hit. But Francoeur struck out with the bases loaded to end the threat.
Atlanta tied it in the seventh. Gregor Blanco(notes) tried to bunt his way on, and wound up reaching when Lilly threw into the dirt at first for an error. Up came Jones, who wasn’t in the lineup against the left-handed Lilly because a sore toe hinders the switch-hitter when he bats from the right side.
Jones wasn’t worried about the pain when he launched a drive to left-center, just out of the reach of Reed Johnson for a double that brought Blanco around all the way from first. Jones hobbled into second base and clapped his hands hard several times, a rare show of emotion for the most senior member of the team.
The Braves placed RHP Jorge Campillo(notes) back on the disabled list for the second time this season because of lingering pain in his shoulder. OF Brian Barton(notes) was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett, but his stay in Atlanta was likely to be short after Atlanta acquired McLouth. … Chicago OF Milton Bradley(notes) sat out after straining his right calf running out a grounder Tuesday. He had an MRI and also will miss Thursday’s game, then be re-evaluated to determine if he should go on the DL. … The Cubs wouldn’t say if they disciplined RHP Carlos Zambrano(notes) for missing the team’s charter flight to Atlanta. Zambrano is already serving a six-game suspension for disputing an umpire’s call.