Opening day is the best. It is really the best when you win. And win the Braves did in 2007.
Quotable: “He couldn’t get a bunt down, but he could hit a homer,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Renteria.
— ESPN.com news services
When Edgar Renteria squares to bunt against the Philadelphia Phillies, the pitcher might try to hit his bat.
After twice failing to execute a sacrifice, Renteria ripped his second homer — a two-run shot — in the 10th inning to lead the Atlanta Braves over Philadelphia 5-3 in the season opener.
Renteria’s solo shot off starter Brett Myers with two outs in the eighth inning tied it at 3.
“He couldn’t get a bunt down, but he could hit a homer,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Renteria.
Last July, Renteria hit a tie breaking RBI double off Myers after he failed to bunt in the ninth inning of a 5-1 win in Philly.
“I’m a bunting guy,” said Renteria, who has 82 career sacrifices. “I’ll try and move the guy to second every time. That’s my game. Sometimes you hit the ball good and the ball goes
John Smoltz went six innings, Bob Wickman (1-0) pitched out of a jam in the ninth and Chad Paronto tossed a scoreless 10th for the save.
Kelly Johnson walked to start the 10th against Ryan Madson (0-1). Renteria fouled off two bunt attempts before hitting a liner into the right-center field seats.
Brian McCann hit a two-run homer for the Braves.
Leading 2-1, Smoltz ran into trouble in the sixth after retiring Philadelphia’s two most dangerous hitters — Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. Pat Burrell blooped a single and Wes Helms followed with a double just out of Gold Glove center fielder Andruw Jones’ reach to tie it at 2.
Aaron Rowand then hit a pop-up to shallow center that bounced off second baseman Johnson’s glove, scoring Helms for a 3-2 lead. Johnson, a converted outfielder, appeared to lose the ball in the sun and it was ruled a single.