SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Deivi Cruz scored from second base on Jason Ellison’s short single to left, sliding under the tag at home plate to end the San Francisco Giants’ thrilling 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.

Pedro Feliz hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning to put San Francisco up 4-3, but Adam LaRoche tied it with a solo homer off closer Tyler Walker (3-2) in the ninth.

Cruz reached second against Dan Kolb (2-6) with one out on shortstop Rafael Furcal’s throwing error. After pinch-hitter Yorvit Torrealba drew a two-out walk from Jay Powell, Ellison popped a single to right – and Cruz never hesitated, beating Kelly Johnson’s throw and Johnny Estrada’s tag by an eyelash.

Powell, Estrada and Atlanta manager Bobby Cox all argued the call by plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth while the Giants celebrated their fourth victory in six games since the All-Star break.

Jason Schmidt struck out 10 and allowed seven hits over seven innings, but the San Francisco ace appeared headed for his third loss in four starts after the Braves took a 3-1 lead with three short rallies.

Horacio Ramirez was in control until the seventh, when Moises Alou doubled and Mike Matheny singled before Feliz drove his 13th homer into the left-field stands. It was a measure of redemption for the third baseman, who was booed by the home fans after leaving the bases loaded twice in the Giants’ loss to Atlanta on Monday night.

Ramirez allowed 10 hits in 7 1-3 innings, but LaRoche’s homer saved him from just his second loss in his last 10 starts. He retired nine of 10 before the Giants’ seventh-inning rally.

Andruw Jones, Estrada and LaRoche drove in early runs for the Braves, who fell 11/2 games behind Washington in the NL East.

Schmidt struck out at least 10 batters for the 22nd time in his career, matching his season high against Arizona on June 22.

After LaTroy Hawkins pitched the eighth, Walker needed just two pitches for his fourth blown save of the season – his second straight following his struggles against the Dodgers on Saturday. Walker then walked two and threw a wild pitch before barely escaping the ninth.

In the third, Michael Tucker doubled and got to third on Schmidt’s sacrifice bunt before scoring when LaRoche couldn’t get Ellison’s grounder out of his mitt in time to throw home.

Estrada had an RBI single in the fourth, and LaRoche added another in the sixth as the Braves pecked away at Schmidt. Furcal stole another base, giving him an NL-leading 31 this season, and extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

Notes: Braves LHP Jeff Foster struck out Tucker in the ninth. Foster, a native of nearby Stockton, needed more than 30 tickets for friends and family at each of the three games in the series. … Atlanta 3B Chipper Jones, who returned from the disabled list Monday, went 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored while batting in the fifth spot for just the fifth time in his 11-year career. He was replaced by Wilson Betemit in the seventh. … Giants 2B Ray Durham sat out with an injured left foot. The oft-injured veteran should return during this homestand.

AP-ES-07-20-05 0103EDT


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