2001 MLB Postseason

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Atlanta Braves 8
Arizona Diamondbacks 1
Posted: Thursday October 18, 2001 01:57 AM
Atlanta Braves
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Arizona Diamondbacks
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PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Tom Glavine kept Arizona guessing and the Atlanta Braves hit the Diamondbacks relievers like they knew what was coming.

Glavine was masterful over seven innings, allowing a run and five hits, and his teammates tattooed a trio of relievers in a five-run eighth inning as the Braves posted a 8-1 triumph over the Diamondbacks and evened their National League Championship Series at one game apiece.

Glavine (2-0) followed his dominant effort in Game Two of the Division Series with another sterling outing Wednesday. He walked two, struck out two and left with a 3-1 lead.

"Glavine was every bit as spectacular in his own right as Randy Johnson was (in Game One)," Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. "He pitched right into the strength of his defense. We hit a lot of ball right at their defenders. He knew where the guys were positioned behind him and he forced hitters to hit the balls to his defense."

Although he improved to just 5-8 in LCS play, Glavine recorded his 12th career postseason win. He tied teammate John Smoltz, who closed out Wednesday's win, for the most in history.

"I always feel like Game Two is an urgent one in any series," Glavine said. "So much can happen one way or the other, it's a huge swing game."

Glavine was staked to a 1-0 lead on the first pitch of the game as rookie Marcus Giles homered off Arizona starter Miguel Batista (1-1).

After Arizona got even in the sixth, Javy Lopez -- making his first start of the postseason -- hit a two-run homer in the seventh for a 3-1 lead. Lopez has been sidelined with a high left ankle sprain.

"The ankle feels good," Lopez said. "Not 100 percent but it was good enough for me to start a game today."

"Javy is not playing pain-free," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "It's still hurting. Don't get me wrong, when I say he is ready to go, he's not 100 percent. ... It's amazing."

Any hope the Diamondbacks had of a comeback were dashed by relievers Mike Morgan, Greg Swindell and Bobby Witt, who were tagged for a total of six hits, including a solo homer by B.J. Surhoff, after two were out.

"Two outs on three pitches, the next thing you know, five runs," Arizona first baseman Mark Grace said. "You have to put them away. We didn't pitch that bad, we just couldn't get that third out."

Batista lasted seven innings, allowing three runs on just two hits -- the homers by Batista and Lopez. He walked two and struck out three.

"I did my job," Batista said. "I was supposed to go out there and give my team a chance to win. I didn't make mistakes. I wouldn't say the (home run pitches) were bad pitches, they just hit them well. There are no bad pitches in this league. You can make those pitches 20 times and they hit them once. They happened to hit two good pitches."

Game Three of the best-of-seven series is Friday in Atlanta. The Diamondbacks are slated to start Curt Schilling, who was spectacular in Games One and Five of the Division Series. The Braves are expected to counter with All-Star righthander John Burkett.

"I think in all honesty our focus was just on trying to get a game here and get out of here," Glavine said. "Try and get our split, go home and try to take advantage of home-field advantage."

"Of course you want to come out and win both games but in all reality a split is what you are looking for," Giles said. "We go down 0-2 with Schilling going Friday and our backs would be against the wall."

Giles became the seventh player in LCS history to open a game and the first in the National League since Pittsburgh's Orlando Merced did it against Atlanta on October 12, 1991.

Batista looked like he might not survive the first as Julio Franco hit a fly ball to the wall in right field and Chipper Jones walked. But Brian Jordan and B.J. Surhoff grounded out.

Arizona had a chance to get even in the second as Matt Williams and Grace stroked two-out singles. Glavine worked around Damian Miller before striking out Batista looking on four pitches.

Grace opened the fifth with a single and advanced on groundouts by Miller and Batista. But Craig Counsell, who hit .337 against lefthanders in the regular season, lined out to left.

"He kept the ball away and was throwing right where he wanted to," Counsell said. "You could tell he was experienced. He knew exactly what he wanted to do and did it."

Batista settled in and cruised through the sixth. His team got him even in the bottom of the inning.

Glavine retired Jay Bell and Luis Gonzalez on flyouts but walked former Brave Reggie Sanders on a very close 3-2 pitch. Steve Finley singled to right and Matt Williams, who was just 2-for-20 in the postseason prior to Wednesday, singled up the middle to tie the game.

Batista got the first two batters in the seventh before Andruw Jones walked on four pitches. The 30-year-old righthander followed with his second mistake of the game, grooving a pitch that Lopez lined over the right-field wall for a 3-1 lead.

"I figured he was coming around the plate," Lopez said. "He just walked Andruw Jones on four pitches so I was trying to be aggressive on that first pitch."

In the eighth, the 42-year-old Morgan got the first two batters before Franco singled and Chipper Jones walked on four pitches. Jordan made it 5-1 with a two-run double to left and Swindell, 36, allowed a two-run homer to Surhoff. Witt, 37, surrendered singles to Andruw Jones, Lopez and Rey Sanchez for an 8-1 bulge.

"The key for us is to get on the starting pitchers early and hope to get in their bullpen," Jordan said. "It has been exposed. It's tough to get the starters out (of the game) but once we did we settled down and finally got the big hits."

"I got the first two outs on bad pitches," Morgan said. "I tried to get the third out but they got on a roll and it got contagious. It started with me missing location, then they went off. You can't relax with two outs."

Steve Karsay pitched a 1-2-3 eighth before Smoltz finished up with a perfect ninth.


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