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Back-to-back bombs lift Braves

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Posted: May 11, 2007 11:53 p.m.
Updated: May 26, 2007 5:00 a.m.
    PITTSBURGH — 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 Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.
    The Braves went 72 innings without a homer, the equivalent of eight games, until Jones followed Chipper Jones’ double off the top of the center-field wall with a two-run shot to nearly the same location — putting the Braves up 2-1. Francoeur followed with a drive into the left-field 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. The Pirates dropped their ninth in 13 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.
    Kyle Davies (1-1) limited the Pirates to one run and seven hits over seven innings.
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