- The Washington Times - Monday, October 7, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Livan Hernandez boasted about his postseason perfection, then went out and backed it up.
Hernandez won again in October and the San Francisco Giants battered Tom Glavine for the second time to beat the Atlanta Braves 8-3 yesterday and even their NL Division Series at 2-2.
"I tried not to put pressure on," Hernandez said. "I knew it was a big game. I do it the same as I do every day. I came into the park and batting practice relaxed, my mind relaxed. I did not want to make a lot of mistakes … and I won again today."
Barry Bonds drove in the first run and the Giants led all the way, sending both teams back to Atlanta for a decisive Game5 tonight. Buses to carry the clubs to the airport for cross-country flights were lined up before it ended.
Kevin Millwood, already waiting at home in Atlanta, will pitch for the Braves on three days' rest against a fully rested Russ Ortiz.
Handed a 7-0 lead, Hernandez the 1997 NLCS and World Series MVP improved to 6-0 in the postseason. Even after a disappointing record of 12-16 in the regular season, he was confident before his first outing of this series.
"I never lose in October," he said.
The wild-card Giants won for the first time in six tries when facing postseason elimination since the 1971 NL Championship Series.
Hernandez carried a no-hit bid into the fifth, but Vinny Castilla hit a high popup that dropped between Hernandez, third baseman David Bell and shortstop Rich Aurilia for a single.
Bell charged in too far and the ball fell behind him. Keith Lockhart followed with another base hit.
Hernandez allowed three runs and eight hits in 8⅓ innings, striking out six. Giants manager Dusty Baker was booed when he lifted his starter, but Scott Eyre and Robb Nen finished up.
"We were trying to make him throw strikes," Braves manager Bobby Cox said of Hernandez. "The first inning we had three strikes [hard-hit balls] at him, but we didn't do much after that. Livan's hard to hit. He comes with so many angles at you. He's sneaky quick."
Aurilia hit a three-run homer in the third his third hit of the game as the Giants found the offense that eluded them in the two previous games of the series, both losses.
Aurilia's shot chased Glavine, who threw 68 pitches in just 2⅔ innings. He is the losingest pitcher in postseason history at 12-15.
Hernandez pitched a 1-2-3 first and had the raucous Pacific Bell Park fans on their feet early, waving their white "Rally Rags."
"It's more difficult to be patient when you're down by seven runs, six runs," said Atlanta's Gary Sheffield, who went 0-for-4 and is batting .071 in the series.
Bonds hit a sacrifice fly and the Giants gave Hernandez a two-run cushion in the bottom half, and they were on their way to an easy victory.
Glavine, making his 32nd postseason start, got in trouble in a hurry.
Trying to redeem himself after losing Game1 at Turner Field, he loaded the bases with none out in the first on a walk to Jeff Kent, sending the fans into a frenzy. They began chanting "Barry, Barry," as the slugger came to bat.
Kenny Lofton scored on Bonds' fly to right-center, the first of his three runs scored. Benito Santiago followed with an RBI groundout to make it 2-0, and the Giants had as many runs as they scored in the entire nine innings of a 10-2 Game3 loss the day before.
The Giants ran out of the dugout with energy and a sense of urgency this time, as the enthusiastic crowd of 43,070 jumped to its feet. The regular-season cheer of "Beat LA," turned to "Beat the Braves."
Hernandez even did something with his bat, laying down two sacrifice bunts, and made a nice play on defense, too. He finished a double play in that ugly fifth inning, getting a congratulatory point of the finger from Aurilia after the out.
"Livan was very focused today," Baker said. "You could tell before the game he was ready. He knew we needed him, and this enhances his reputation as a big-game pitcher. Livan was just on his game. You could tell he wanted it."
Glavine intentionally walked Bonds in the second to load the bases with two outs. Glavine then got behind 3-0 to Santiago and walked him to score a run for a 4-0 lead. The Braves got out of it on a fly ball by Reggie Sanders.
Glavine's start might have been his last in a Braves uniform. His contract is up at the end of the season, and Atlanta will have to win today to reach the NL Championship Series for the 10th time in the last 12 seasons.


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