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TIME OFF FOR BAD BEHAVIOR A SAVIOR FOR BRAVES

SHARE TIME OFF FOR BAD BEHAVIOR A SAVIOR FOR BRAVES

John Smoltz was well rested, and that meant trouble for the Montreal Expos.

Smoltz returned from an eight-game suspension for hitting New York's John Cangelosi with a pitch, hit his first homer of the year and allowed just three hits over eight innings Wednesday as the Atlanta Braves defeated the Expos 6-2.Bill Pecota had three RBIs as Atlanta ended a four-game losing streak and regained a 11/2-game lead over Montreal in the NL East.

"I used the time off wisely," Smoltz said. "I worked diligently but didn't overwork. I just concentrated on Montreal. Pitchers don't usually have that luxury."

Prior to his first at-bat, Smoltz said he told teammate Dave Gallagher that he was going to swing at the first pitch, no matter what. It resulted in Smoltz's third career homer and first since 1992 as he led off the third.

Phillies 5, Marlins 2

At Philadelphia, Danny Jackson allowed four hits over eight innings, and Doug Jones gained his league-leading 20th save.

Jackson (10-2) struck out seven, walked none and didn't allow a baserunner until Gary Sheffield singled with two outs in the fourth.

Astros 3, Reds 1

At Houston, Kevin Bass and Jeff Bagwell both homered in the eighth for the Astros runs. Bagwell broke an 0-for-7 slump with his 25th home run. After Ken Caminiti singled, Bass followed with his third homer of the year.

Cubs 6, Pirates 5

At Chicago, Glenallen Hill's two-run, bases-loaded double with two outs in the ninth lifted the Cubs. Hill, who homered for a 4-0 lead in the fifth, later doubled and drove in Rey Sanchez and Shawon Dunston with the winning runs.

Orlando Merced's three-run homer ignited a four-run seventh to tie the game, and his sacrifice fly put Pitt up 5-4 in the eighth.

Padres 10, Rockies 4

At Denver, pinch-hitters Billy Bean and Craig Shipley each delivered run-scoring hits in the seventh inning to rally the Padres. Trailing 3-1, Bean tied it with a pinch-triple off Willie Blair (0-4), and Shipley followed one out later with a tiebreaking single. The Padres added four runs in the ninth.

Dodgers 6, Giants 2

At Los Angeles, Ramon Martinez pitched a five-hitter - giving up a record-setting homer to Matt Williams - and doubled twice for the Dodgers. Williams broke Willie Stargell's NL record for home runs before July with a solo shot off Martinez in the fourth inning.

American League

Blue Jays 5, Brewers 0

Pat Hentgen finally put the brakes on Toronto's slide. In Milwaukee, Hentgen pitched a three-hitter to help the Jays snap a 10-game losing streak.Hentgen walked three and struck out four.

Randy Knorr gave Hentgen all the support he would need with a two-run homer, his fourth.

Yankees 4, Red Sox 3, 10 innings

At Boston, Danny Tartabull, who had struck out in his three previous at-bats, homered leading off the 10th as the Yankees won their eighth straight.

Tartabull hit the third pitch from reliever Jeff Russell (0-5) into the Red Sox bullpen for his 14th homer, sending Boston to its 12th straight home loss.

White Sox 7, Royals 6

At Chicago, Tim Raines drove in Ozzie Guillen with a single in the ninth inning for the White Sox. Guillen walked on four pitches to open the ninth against Billy Brewer (3-1), and Norberto Martin sacrificed. Raines followed by lining a single to center to score Guillen.

Orioles 7, Indians 6, 10 innings

At Cleveland, Chris Sabo singled home the winning run as the Orioles strung together three straight two-out hits in the 10th.

Baltimore won for the fifth time in its last six games, all on the road, and improved its league-leading road record to 24-13. Cleveland has lost four of five at Jacobs Field since setting a team mark with 18 straight home wins.

Athletics 1, Angels 0

At Oakland, Calif., Scott Brosius' ninth-inning home run, the first hit off Chuck Finley since the second inning, extended the Athletics' winning streak to seven. The surging A's have won 15 of 19 games to move into contention in the AL West.

Brosius' sixth homer made a winner of Dennis Eckersley (2-3) after rookie Carlos Reyes held the Angels to two hits in eight innings. Eckersley had a perfect ninth.

Rangers 11, Twins 10

At Minneapolis, Dean Palmer led off the ninth with a game-tying homer, and Jeff Frye won it with a sacrifice fly.

Palmer, who hit two homers, hit a 1-0 pitch from Rick Aguilera (0-2) for his 12th homer.

Kirby Puckett, one of four Minnesota players with two RBIs, had four hits. Puckett leads the AL with 72 RBIs.

Mariners 9, Tigers 4

At Seattle, Jay Buhner's home run ignited a five-run rally in the seventh inning for the Mariners.

Edgar Martinez went 4-for-4 with a homer, two runs scored and two RBIs for the Mariners.