By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Back-to-back bombs lift Braves
bw Braves 3 col
Pittsburgh Pirate Adam LaRoche, center, visits with old Atlanta Braves teammates Chipper Jones, left, and Andruw Jones, right, during batting practice in Pittsburgh Friday. LaRoche was traded over the winter to the Pirates for reliever Mike Gonzalez. - photo by Associated Press
    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.