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Around the NL

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 5, 2001

Braves win in ninth

ATLANTA -- If the first two games are any indication, the East race between the Braves and Mets should be exceptional.

Pinch-hitter Keith Lockhart drove in the winning run on a fielder's choice in the ninth inning and the Braves edged the Mets 3-2 Wednesday night.

Brian Jordan opened the ninth with a walk off loser Donne Wall before Turk Wendell came on to retire Javy Lopez on a fly to left.

Rico Brogna, however, doubled to right, sending Jordan to third before Lockhart hit a bouncer to the right side of the mound. Wendell fielded the ball, but his off-balance throw home wasn't close as Jordan scored the winner.

"It was like slow motion (the final play)," Wendell said. "I'll probably laugh when I see the replay. I don't know if I was falling with class, or if there was anything athletic about it."

"Wow," said Braves manager Bobby Cox after the second straight game between the clubs with last-minute heroics.

On Tuesday, the Mets won 6-4 in 10 innings when Robin Ventura hit the second of his two-run homers.

The two favorites in the East have 17 matchups left in a year when the schedule was expanded so division teams would play each other more often.

The Braves got six strong innings from Kevin Millwood. The right-hander, who struggled with a 12.46 ERA during spring training, gave up three hits, one run, walked one and struck out two.

The Mets tied it at 2 in the ninth off John Rocker on an run-scoring single by Jay Payton.

PHILLIES 7, MARLINS 3: Bobby Abreu had two hits, including a home run, and visiting Philadelphia scored four runs in the eighth inning to complete the Phillies' first season-opening three-game sweep since 1994.

With Philadelphia trailing 3-2 heading into the eighth, Marlins reliever Dan Miceli walked three batters sandwiched around an infield single by Pat Burrell.

After one of two wild pitches thrown by Miceli scored Scott Rolen to tie it, the go-ahead run came in on pinch-hitter David Newhan's sacrifice fly.

Doug Glanville's soft liner to left was misplayed by Cliff Floyd to score two more.

EXPOS 3, CUBS 2: Kerry Wood struck out 10 and shut down Montreal for six innings.

Unfortunately for host Chicago, that didn't include the first.

Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run single and Orlando Cabrera added a run-scoring single, and the Expos made it stand up.

ROCKIES 13, CARDINALS 9: Todd Helton hit a three-run homer and Larry Walker had a two-run shot for host Colorado. Jim Edmonds and Ray Lankford each hit two homers for the Cardinals. Both of Edmonds' two-run shots soared into the upper deck at Coors Field, only the 14th and 15th time homers to have been hit there. Both of Lankford's homers came off reliever John Wasdin.

ASTROS 8, BREWERS 6 (12): Richard Hidalgo's three-run homer in the 12th inning, his second of the game, rallied host Houston. After the Brewers went ahead 6-5 in the 12th on Raul Casanova's sacrifice fly against Jay Powell, the Astros rallied in the bottom half.

PIRATES 6, REDS 5 (10): Pittsburgh tied it with three unearned runs in the top of the ninth off closer Danny Graves, and Kevin Young hit a 10th-inning homer.

Pittsburgh lost left-hander Terry Mulholland, who suffered a sprained ligament in his left knee during the fourth inning.

The Reds again were without Ken Griffey in the starting lineup. Griffey, unable to run hard because of a strained hamstring, pinch hit in the sixth inning and took a called third strike from Jose Silva.

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