- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 18, 2001

PHOENIX What a welcome back party for Javy Lopez.
In his first start since he was hurt last month, Lopez broke a tie with a two-run homer in the seventh inning and the Atlanta Braves pulled away to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-1 last night in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series.
"I told the coaches, 'Let's get Javy in there,"' Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "'He might hit a home run, produce some runs,' and that's exactly what he did."
The best-of-7 series is tied at 1-1 and shifts to Atlanta for Game 3 tomorrow night.
After Tom Glavine shut down Arizona for seven innings, the Braves turned the game into a rout with five runs off of a parade of old-timers out of the Diamondbacks bullpen.
Brian Jordan doubled in two runs off 42-year-old Mike Morgan, B.J. Surhoff hit a two-run homer off 36-year-old Greg Swindell and Rey Sanchez singled in a run off 37-year-old Bobby Witt.
Before that, it was just the sort of low-scoring pitcher's duel that has been the norm for both teams.
Glavine allowed one run and five hits to improve to 2-0 in this year's playoffs. He struck out two and walked two before giving way to Steve Karsay. As usual, Glavine's biggest weapon was his control as he baffled the Diamondbacks into harmless groundouts and fly balls.
Arizona manager Bob Brenly marveled at the way Glavine was able to tailor his pitches so the batters would be likely to hit where the defense was playing.
"Tom Glavine was every bit as spectacular in his own right as Randy Johnson was, if you ask me," Brenly said. "He pitched right to the strength of his defense. That's pretty crafty."
Glavine tied teammate John Smoltz's major league record with his 12th postseason victory. Glavine also has 12 postseason losses, tied with teammate Greg Maddux for the most ever.
The victory was crucial for an Atlanta team that didn't want to go home 0-2 and face Curt Schilling in Game 3.
"I always feel like Game 2 is an urgent game in any series. To me it's a huge swing game," Glavine said. "You can either go up two, down two or tie things up. Any of those is vastly different than the other. In this instance, it's probably magnified. We certainly didn't want to go home down 2-0 with the prospect of facing Curt."
Arizona starter Miguel Batista allowed only two hits in seven innings, but both were homers and that was all the support Glavine needed in his 29th postseason start. Batista struck out three and walked two.
Brenly had skipped the pregame news conference because of the cold and flu.
"I started feeling better there for awhile," he said, "but the last few innings of the ballgame I think I had a relapse."
Marcus Giles, who came within a foot or less of hitting two out against Johnson in Game 1 Tuesday, homered on the game's first pitch to give Atlanta the quickest 1-0 lead possible.
Batista retired 13 in a row in one stretch and didn't allow another hit until Lopez's first-pitch homer off the right-field foul pole in the seventh put the Braves up 3-1. Batista walked Andruw Jones on four pitches right before allowing the homer.
"As soon as I stepped into the batter's box, I was shooting for right field all the way," Lopez said. "The first pitch around the plate, I was going to swing as hard as I can."
Both Batista and Brenly said the pitch was well off the plate, making a tough one to hit out of the park.
"You can throw that pitch 30 times and if he hits it once, that's not bad," Batista said. "Look at it, it was 21/2 inches off the plate. He was probably just looking for it and got the good part of the bat on it."
That Lopez was playing at all was an upset after he sprained his left ankle in a collision with Robin Ventura at the plate on Sept. 30.
"With a high ankle sprain, it generally takes six to eight weeks," Cox said. "The best we could get from the doctor was a chance for the World Series, and that was probably less than 50-50. They got him ready somehow. It's kind of amazing."
The home run silenced the pom-pon waving crowd of 49,584 the second-largest in Bank One Ballpark history.
The crowd had gone wild moments earlier when Matt Williams' two-out single tied the game at 1 in the sixth after the Diamondbacks had squandered scoring threats in the first and fifth. It was the first run Glavine had allowed in 14 innings this postseason.
The echoes of trumpeter Jessie McGuire's stirring rendition of the national anthem had barely died down when Giles hit the game's first pitch 383 feet into the left-field seats to give the Braves the quickest lead possible. It was the seventh leadoff homer in LCS history, and first in the National League since Orlando Merced did it for Pittsburgh off Smoltz in 1991.
Arizona loaded the bases with two outs in the second inning on singles by Williams and Mark Grace and a walk to Damian Miller. But that brought up Batista, who was 2-for-32 this season. Batista struck out looking to end the inning.
Besides the two homers Batista gave up, he had two scares from Julio Franco, who flew out to the right-field fence in the first inning and the center-field wall in the third.
The Diamondbacks were without shortstop Tony Womack, who has a sore right calf.

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