John Smoltz and Andy Benes enjoyed different kinds of comebacks.
Just four months after elbow surgery, Smoltz won in his return to the major leagues, helping the Atlanta Braves beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 Thursday.Benes went back to St. Louis, the team he wanted to re-sign with, and led the Arizona Diamondbacks to an 8-2 victory over the Cardinals for a doubleheader split.
"Yeah, I heard the boos," said Benes, who pitched a seven-hitter for his first complete game since Aug. 1, 1996 at Philadelphia. "Four or five years ago, I probably wouldn't have been able to handle it, but it's not the first time and it's not going to be the last time."
Benes (2-1), who won 28 games with St. Louis from 1996-97, signed an $18 million, three-year contract with Arizona after a $30 million, five-year deal with the Cardinals was nullified because it came after the deadline for teams to re-sign their former players who became free agents.
Arizona's losing streak had stretched to seven following the Cardinals' 5-4 win in the opener at Busch Stadium.
"A lot of people probably were looking forward to seeing him fail, and he handled it very professionally like the warrior he is," Arizona manager Buck Showalter said. "We're lucky to have him."
In Atlanta, Smoltz (1-0) allowed two hits in five shutout innings, striking out seven.
BRAVES 3, PIRATES 1: Pittsburgh's 25-inning scoreless streak finally ended with Kevin Young's RBI double off Dennis Martinez in the seventh. Mark Wohlers got three outs for his fourth save.
Francisco Cordova (2-1) allowed two earned runs and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings.
BREWERS 5, EXPOS 3: Marquis Grissom singled off Shayne Bennett (0-1) in the 14th at Olympic Stadium, and Fernando Vina tied his career high with five hits.
Doug Jones (1-0) pitched two hitless innings, helping the Brewers improve to 7-2 on the road. Milwaukee is just 2-3 at home.
DODGERS 4, ROCKIES 3: Todd Hollandsworth's third hit of the game drove home the go-ahead run off Jerry DiPoto (0-1) in the 10th at Coors Field after Jose Vizcaino reached second when center fielder Ellis Burks dropped a shallow fly ball for an error.
Mike Lansing doubled leading off the bottom half and advanced on a grounder. But Jim Bruske retired Dante Bichette on a game-ending popup, getting his first save since Oct. 1, 1996.
MARLINS 12, PHILLIES 4: At Miami, Craig Counsell capped a six-run first with a grand slam, and Charles Johnson also drove in four runs as Florida won its third straight following a 1-11 start.
Livan Hernandez (2-1) allowed four runs and nine hits in seven innings, striking out eight and walking three.
Bobby Bonilla was ejected along with Marlins manager Jim Leyland in the first inning after the third baseman argued a called third strike.
CUBS 8, METS 4: Henry Rodriguez hit a three-run homer and Jeff Blauser hit a solo shot as visiting Chicago broke a four-game losing streak and stopped New York's four-game winning string.
Brant Brown tripled, doubled and had a two-run single for the Cubs. Sandy Martinez tripled and doubled, Mickey Morandini hit a two-run single and Rodriguez added a double.
Kevin Tapani (3-1) stranded eight runners, seven in scoring position, through five innings. Dave Mlicki (0-2) left after the fourth, trailing 5-2.
ASTROS 7, REDS 4: Bill Spiers doubled with the bases loaded to start a five-run third inning, helping visiting Houston stop a three-game losing streak.
Mike Hampton (3-0) gave up two runs and 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings, and Billy Wagner got three outs for his third save. David Weathers (1-1) was tagged for six runs - five earned - and eight hits in 2 1-3 innings.