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NL: Braves blanked in bid to clinch

©Associated Press
September 9, 2002

ATLANTA -- Hold the champagne. The Braves will have to wait at least one more day to clinch their 11th straight division title.

Delaying the celebration, Bartolo Colon pitched four-hit ball for seven innings and the Montreal Expos beat Atlanta 7-0 Sunday.

Atlanta was assured of at least a tie for first in the East when second-place Philadelphia lost.

But Colon and the Expos made sure the Braves didn't get a chance to party until Montreal was out of town.

"Since you brought it up, yes, I'm pleased," Expos manager Frank Robinson said. "I didn't know they could clinch today."

The Braves could wrap up the division on an off day. The Phillies, who are 201/2 games behind, would hand the Braves another championship by losing today to the Mets.

"We want to win it when everybody's here after a victory," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "That's the way it's scripted. That's the way it's supposed to play out."

Tom Glavine, whose losing streak reached a season-high four games, said he will be watching Monday Night Football while the Phillies are playing. He'd just as soon have another division title by the time he gets to Turner Field on Tuesday.

"I'd like to clinch as soon as we can," Glavine said. "Crazy things can happen in sports. Until you clinch, you can't take it for granted. I'm fairly confident we're going to do it. The sooner the better."

Colon beat the Braves for the third time since being acquired by the Expos in a June 27 trade with Cleveland. He was never in serious trouble against the short-handed Braves, who were missing Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones because of injuries.

Colon threw more sliders and two-seam fastballs than his previous outings against Atlanta.

"Since it was the third time I had pitched against these guys, I had to mix my pitches better," he said.

Glavine lasted six innings, giving up eight hits and four runs. The Braves have been shut out in his past two starts, going 22 innings since their last run in a game he pitched.

GIANTS 3, D'BACKS 1: After going 16 weeks without a splash, Barry Bonds got back into the water.

Bonds hit his 42nd homer, a 418-foot shot into McCovey Cove, to lead San Francisco over slumping Arizona.

The Giants, trying to catch the Dodgers for the wild card, won the last three games of the four-game series with the West-leading Diamondbacks.

Arizona has lost nine of its past 12. The Giants, who host the Dodgers in a three-game series starting today, have won 11 of 14.

ASTROS 6, DODGERS 2: Roy Oswalt took a one-hit shutout into the eighth to win his ninth straight decision and Lance Berkman hit one of visiting Houston's three homers.

The Astros remained 51/2 behind the Cardinals in the Central and moved within 61/2 of the Dodgers for the wild card. Los Angeles leads San Francisco by one for the wild card and trails Arizona by 41/2 in the West.

CARDINALS 3, CUBS 1: Jason Simontacchi outdueled Kerry Wood and added two hits as host St. Louis wrapped up a three-game sweep.

The Central-leader Cardinals have won five in a row and 10 of 13 to move a season-best 20 games above .500, sweeping the Cubs for the second time this season.

METS 11, PHILLIES 3: Vance Wilson homered and drove in a career-high four as visiting New York matched a season high with its sixth straight victory.

PADRES 9, ROCKIES 4: Ryan Klesko hit two home runs and Brian Lawrence won for the first time in five starts as visiting San Diego ended a three-game losing streak.

MARLINS 11, PIRATES 1: Derrek Lee hit a three-run homer and had four RBIs, and visiting Florida got 14 hits to end a five-game losing streak.

REDS 5, BREWERS 4: Jimmy Haynes beat his former team for the third time this season as Cincinnati finished 8-1 at Miller Park.

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