Originally created 03/02/98

Wind-aided home runs help Los Angeles defeat Braves



VERO BEACH, Fla. -- It could have been the wind or just some poor pitches.

Bobby Cox preferred to point at the wind for a pair of Dodger home runs that helped make the difference in the Braves' 5-3 loss Sunday afternoon at Holman Stadium, their second in three Grapefruit League games.

"There were some good things and some other things," Cox said.

The good things were two more hits for second baseman Marty Malloy, who is 4-for-4 this spring, and two scoreless innings from Greg Maddux in his spring debut.

Now, the other things: In his first appearance, reliever Alan Embree yielded a two-run homer to Eric Karros in the fourth inning, then Mike Cather gave up a game-tying homer to Raul Mondesi in the seventh.

The blown save was Atlanta's third in three games. Brad Clontz blew one in the first game against the Royals, then Odaliz Perez blew a save against the Mets on Saturday and Cather did it again Sunday.

What hurt as much was third baseman Wes Helms' throwing error on Roger Cedeno's two-out slow roller in the eighth, allowing the go-ahead run to cross the plate. Two other errors, one by shortstop Mark DeRosa and another by center fielder Damon Hollins, upped the club's total to five errors in three games.

"They weren't easy plays by any means," Cox said.

Keith Lockhart made his only hit of the game count. He sent a bases-loaded triple into the right field corner in the fifth to give the Braves a lead.

Andruw Jones was robbed of a two-run homer when left fielder Todd Hollandsworth made a terrific catch in the third inning. Jones was hitless in four at-bats and is 0-for-7 in two games.

TAKING NO CHANCES:

Cox had Walt Weiss in Sunday's lineup, but when the shortstop reached the clubhouse his right knee was still swollen and he was scratched.

Weiss fouled a pitch off his knee in his first at-bat against the Royals on Friday and hasn't played since then. It's not considered serious, but Cox wasn't taking any chances this early in camp.

"He could play, but there's no sense in it," Cox said. "There's so many games left, it doesn't matter."

Trainers list Weiss as day-to-day and there's a chance he may play this afternoon against the Astros at Disney's Wide World of Sports.

Tom Glavine will make his first spring start against Houston, with Bruce Chen, Micah Bowie, Dwayne Jacobs and Pedro Borbon following him to the mound. Sean Bergman will start for the Astros.