Cards escape no-hitter, but can't avoid 2-1 loss

Saturday, May 4, 2002

ST. LOUIS -- Damian Moss never got a chance to finish his no-hit bid.

The Atlanta rookie was pulled for a pinch-hitter after seven innings and 116 pitches, and St. Louis got its first hit on Fernando Vina's one-out single in the eighth off reliever Mike Remlinger.

Chipper Jones hit a two-run homer in the 11th, and the Braves beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 Friday night.

Moss, making his sixth career start, was wild in his longest outing in the majors. He walked seven -- including two in the seventh inning -- and bounced a handful of deliveries to the plate.

Moss had only two 1-2-3 innings, and was helped by a double play in his final inning. At that point, Braves manager Bobby Cox decided Moss had pitched enough.

Pinch-hitter Keith Lockhart, who was in the on-deck circle when the last out of the seventh was made, grounded out batting for Moss leading off the eighth.

After being taken out, Moss stayed in the dugout, talking to Tom Glavine. Moss looked unfazed, casually carrying on a conversation with the Braves ace.

Vina broke up the no-hit bid with a single off Remlinger's glove.

Cardinals starter Matt Morris was almost as good as Moss, giving up three hits in eight scoreless innings.

Jones' fifth homer, off a 3-0 pitch from Gene Stechschulte (2-1), was their fourth hit.

Rafael Furcal drew a one-out walk, stole second and went to third on a groundout by Mark De Rosa in the 11th before Jones homered over the center-field wall.

Chris Hammond (1-1) worked a perfect 10th for his first win in the majors since 1997 with Boston.

John Smoltz, the Braves' fifth pitcher, gave up Mike Matheny's RBI single with two outs before finishing for his 10th save in 11 chances.

After Matheny singled, Smoltz retired Eli Marrero with two runners on base to end it.

Marrero is in an 0-for-26 slump. He grounded out with the bases loaded to end the ninth, after Cox elected to intentionally walk Jim Edmonds with runners on first and second and two outs.

The Cardinals finished with three hits and lost for the 10th time in 14 games.

Notes: Moss, who does not have a decision, has held opponents to a .150 batting average. ... Gary Sheffield ended an 0-for-29 slump that had dropped his average to .200 when he singled in the Atlanta fourth. ... Morris faced the Braves for the first time since Aug. 26, 2000, a relief appearance. ... Marrero was 11-for-15 to start the year. ... The Braves' last no-hitter was by Kent Mercker on April 8, 1994, at Los Angeles.

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