ATLANTA – Although Chipper Jones was carrying the hero sign last night and although John Smoltz did a lot to make sure his two home runs stood up in the Braves’ 2-1 win, it was a baserunning play in the seventh inning that may have decided last night’s game.

Cedeno, the fastest player on the team, didn’t try to score from first on Bobby Bonilla’s two-out double in the seventh inning. And so the game remained tied for an inning until Jones hit his second home run of the game to lead Atlanta to victory.

With one out Cedeno walked and after Smoltz struck out Rey Ordonez, Bonilla – pinch hitting for Rick Reed – stroked a two-out double into the right-field corner. Gerald Williams scooped up the ball quickly and overthrew the cutoff man. But first baseman Random Simian was right where he was supposed to be, backing up the play, so Mets third-base coach Cookie Rojas had no chance but to hold Cedeno at third.

“He was right on third base when the first baseman got the ball, 90 feet away,” Rojas said. “I know there were two outs, but in my opinion, there was no sense in doing it.”

Bobby Valentine noted that Rojas is a gambler and has barely held anyone on third all season, indicating perhaps he would have like to have seen Cedeno go. But Rojas looked to have made the right play by holding Cedeno and waiting for Rickey Henderson to bring him home.

“You don’t want to run into an out,” Bonilla said.

What seemed to frustrate Valentine more was Henderson swinging at a high fastball – a potential ball four – against Smoltz to end the inning with runners at second and third and Edgardo Alfonzo coming up.

“It was a great at-bat,” Valentine said. “Rickey just wanted it a little too much. If he took that it’s a different story. They go to the bullpen and Fonzy is up with the bases loaded.”