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NL: Braves cool off Padres

By Associated Press
Published May 5, 2004

ATLANTA - Russ Ortiz felt a little more confident when he saw the opponent.

Ortiz kept up his domination of the Padres, allowing one run in 61/3 innings to lead the Braves to a 4-2 homecoming win Tuesday night.

Damon Hollins had a career-high three RBIs with one hit and Johnny Estrada went 3-for-3 with a walk and scored three times.

Ortiz improved to 12-2 against the Padres in his career.

"I knew I was pitching against them, and I knew I had done well against them," he said. "You get a little more confident. It definitely helps."

The Braves played at Turner Field for the first time in 16 days after their longest road trip this season. They didn't make an error after being charged with seven, tying a team record, Sunday at Colorado.

The Padres, one of baseball's most surprising teams the first month, have consecutive losses after a six-game winning streak.

Ortiz bounced back from his worst start of the season to allow four hits, coming out after Jay Payton walked with one out in the seventh. Kevin Gryboski ended any thoughts of a comeback by getting Ramon Hernandez to hit into a double play.

John Smoltz pitched the ninth for his first save since April 17, despite giving up two hits and throwing a wild pitch that allowed a run to score. It was his fourth save overall.

Ortiz gave up seven runs in 31/3 in his last outing, a 10-7 loss at San Francisco.

Hollins, called up from the minors last week when utilityman Eli Marrero went on the disabled list, started in place of Chipper Jones, also on the DL.

Hollins is back for his second stint with the Braves after playing with four other organizations. Approaching his 30th birthday, he's still a rookie, trying to make his mark.

[Last modified May 5, 2004, 01:16:26]

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