Even with a big lead in the National League East, the Atlanta Braves aren't taking anything for granted.

Playing like a team fighting for a playoff spot, the Braves rallied for two runs in the ninth inning yesterday to defeat the visiting San Francisco Giants, 7-6.

Julio Franco tied the game with an RBI triple and Andruw Jones followed with a game-winning single off Giants closer Dustin Hermanson.

"We take every game like it's our last game," Jones said. "Especially when they give us opportunities like they gave us today. Every opportunity we have to win games, we've got to take advantage."

The Braves have lost one of their last 19 series since losing two of three games at Florida June 22-24. They improved their record against the NL West this month to 13-4 after taking three of four from the Giants.

Barry Bonds was not in the starting lineup a day after he hit two of the three longest home runs in Turner Field history. He pinch-hit in the ninth and grounded out against Roman Colon (1-0) to end the inning.

* PIRATES 5, BREWERS 1: Daryle Ward homered twice and had five RBI and visiting Pittsburgh sent Milwaukee to its 12th straight loss.

The Brewers tied their NL record for consecutive losses and have scored just seven runs in the last five games. The franchise mark for consecutive losses is 14 in 1994, when the team played in the American League.

* CUBS 5, EXPOS 2: Greg Maddux threw seven shutout innings for his 302nd career win and also drove in a run, leading Chicago on the road.

Maddux (13-8), who became the 22nd pitcher in major league history to reach 300 wins on Aug. 7, scattered five hits, struck out two and walked none.

* MARLINS 6, METS 4: Florida is trying to make its move in the NL wild-card race.

Damion Easley, starting because of an injury to Luis Castillo, hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning to extend the Marlins' winning streak to four.

* WHITE SOX 9, PHILLIES 8: Timo Perez bunted in the go-ahead run and Joe Borchard hit the longest homer in U.S. Cellular Field history to boost Chicago at home.

Borchard gave the White Sox a 3-2 lead in the second with a drive to right-center off Brett Myers that cleared the bleachers and landed in the middle of a concourse -- an estimated 504 feet from the plate.

* TIGERS 9, ROYALS 1: Craig Monroe homered twice and drove in five runs, and Nate Robertson threw his first career complete game to lift Detroit on the road.

Ivan Rodriguez added a two-run homer for the Tigers, who snapped a four-game losing streak and sent Kansas City to its 10th loss in 12 games.

* ASTROS 11, REDS 3: Brad Ausmus hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the sixth inning and drove in a season-high four runs, leading surging Houston at home. Adam Dunn hit his 40th homer for Cincinnati.

Braves' Andruw Jones, right, gets warm welcome after driving in the game-winning run in the ninth inning against the Giants.