Andruw Jones and Jeff Francoeur homered on consecutive pitches in the sixth inning to help the Atlanta Braves end their longest streak without a homer in 24 years, and manager Bobby Cox tied Sparky Anderson for fourth place in career victories with a 4-1 decision over the host Pittsburgh Pirates last night.
"I'm proud to be in his [Anderson's] class. I don't belong in it but I'll take it," Cox said.
The Braves went 72 innings without a homer, the equivalent of eight games, until Jones followed Chipper Jones' double off the top of the centerfield wall with a two-run shot to nearly the same location - putting the Braves up, 2-1. Francoeur followed with a drive into the leftfield seats for his sixth homer, the same number as Andruw Jones.
The homer drought was the Braves' longest since a 13-game streak in 1983, but didn't hurt their record as they won their fourth in a row and fifth in six games.
Pirates starter Zach Duke (1-4) limited the Braves to four hits and no runs until giving up about 1,200 feet worth of extra-base hits in a span of four pitches on the double and two homers. After Brian McCann and Matt Diaz singled to chase Duke, pinch-hitter Scott Thorman followed with an RBI double off reliever Jonah Bayliss to make it 4-1.
Cox has a 2,194-1,698 record in 26 seasons with the Braves and Blue Jays. He got his 2,194th victory in his 3,882nd game, while Anderson - the former Reds and Tigers manager - needed 4,030 games. The leader is Connie Mack (3,731), who managed for a record 53 seasons.
In other games:
* At Washington, Shawn Hill (3-3) threw five no-hit innings before leaving with a sore right elbow, and the Nationals ended an eight-game losing streak by beating Florida, 6-0. Josh Willingham led off the seventh with a single off Saul Rivera.
Hill, who had elbow-ligament replacement surgery in 2004 and missed all of 2005, took the mound to start the sixth, but left without throwing a pitch.
* At San Diego, ace Jake Peavy (5-1) became the first pitcher in franchise history to strike out at least 10 in four straight starts, holding St. Louis to three hits in seven scoreless innings in the Padres' 7-0 win over the Cardinals.
* At New York, David Wright, Carlos Delgado and Damion Easley homered, helping the Mets York to a 5-4 victory over Milwaukee that stopped the Brewers' six-game winning streak.
* At Denver, Josh Fogg took a no-hitter into the sixth inning only to see it evaporate, and the Giants' Tim Lincecum (1-0) earned his first major league victory in San Francisco, 8-3, over Colorado.
* At Houston, Chris Young hit two solo home runs and Brandon Webb (3-2) shut down the Astros for his sixth career complete game, leading Arizona to a 3-1 win.
* Diamondbacks rookie infielder Alberto Callaspo was released on his own recognizance, a day after he was arrested on charges of assaulting his wife.
Callaspo, 24, was taken into custody on suspicion of misdemeanor assault and felony criminal damage, according to a police probable cause statement filed in Maricopa County Justice Court.
Callaspo was ordered him to stay away from his wife of 2 years, Marianny Paola, and the couple's home. Callaspo and his wife have a 1-year-old child.
* Slugger Phil Nevin, who had a mercurial career after being the No. 1 pick for Houston in the 1992 amateur draft, announced his retirement. His best season was with the Padres in 2001, when he hit .306 with 41 homers and 126 RBI.
* Marlins reliever Henry Owens went on the 15-day DL with tendinitis in his right rotator cuff. *