Originally created 10/18/01

Braves rally to tie series

PHOENIX -- To an overwhelmed lineup, the hitters vowed this one would be different, and it was.

With no Randy Johnson to overcome, the Atlanta Braves were a confident group behind left-hander Tom Glavine while tying the National League Championship Series with a 8-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 2 Wednesday night at Bank One Ballpark.

"I don't think they're going to take our confidence away, no matter they do," said rookie second baseman Marcus Giles, who hit Diamondbacks starter Miguel Batista's first pitch of the game for a home run. "Right now we've got a pretty good rhythm and roll going."

The Braves, limited to three hits in Tuesday's loss, staged two late rallies to thaw the fear and frost on Peachtree Street.

Javy Lopez, uncertain he could play until three days ago, hit a tie-breaking home run in the seventh inning, then Julio Franco triggered a five-run eighth with a two-out single. Before a parade of Arizona relievers could record a third out, Brian Jordan doubled home two runs, B.J. Surhoff launched a two-run home run, and Rey Sanchez knocked in his first run of the postseason.

"Javy's home run was a breakthrough," Jordan said. "That was the big hit we were looking for. We know he can turn a game around with one swing."

Glavine, who was making his 29th postseason start, the most in major league history, had faced similar tests before, and he was equal to the challenge again.

In case you needed proof that emotions were running a little high, Glavine's angry response to home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg's ball four call on Reggie Sanders with two out in the sixth provided the evidence. Steve Finley followed with a single that bounced over first baseman Franco's head, and Matt Williams delivered a game-tying base hit through the middle.

In the dugout, Glavine's poker face vanished as he slammed down his cap and glove, then had some choice words for Kellogg.

"My tirade was a little unusual for me," Glavine admitted. "Your emotions get going a little more in the postseason than any other time of year. I was mad, but once you get off the field and the inning is over, you've got to forget about it."

Glavine, who has allowed two runs or fewer in 20 of his 29 October starts, took his 12th postseason win, tying teammate John Smoltz for the most in major league history.

"Seeing Tom upset, you've got to give that little extra," Sanchez said. "You know he's pitching his heart out, and you have to really respect that."

Said Giles, "It's good to have someone get mad. Tom is a competitive guy. I think everybody saw him come in and get mad, and it fired us up."

They say the ball flies farther when BOB's roof is open. Giles, who saw two drives fall just shy of the right field wall in Game 1 with the roof closed, launched Batista's first pitch into the left field seats, the seventh leadoff home run in LCS history.

After Giles' long ball, Batista and Glavine settled into a war of attrition. Batista didn't allow another hit until the seventh, when Lopez, whose high ankle sprain kept him out of the Division Series, followed a two-out walk to Andruw Jones by ripping a fastball toward right. The ball flew toward the seats, and as Batista wished it foul, it caromed off the foul pole, igniting a celebration in the visiting dugout.

"(Bobby Cox) gave me the opportunity to play, he gave me his confidence," Lopez said. "I guess one way or the other, I've got to contribute to win a game."

Glavine, meanwhile, was dissecting home plate and the Diamondbacks, inducing Arizona's hitters to pound his trademark sinkers and changeups into the turf. The left-hander, who held the Diamondbacks to one run in his only start against them this season, remained perfect (6-0) since Sept. 3.

"I always feel Game 2 is an urgent game in any series," Glavine said. "To me it's a huge swing game. You can go up two, down two, or tie a series up. We certainly didn't want to go two down with the prospects of facing Curt (Schilling)."

Even for a confident club, that would be a daunting prospect.

Reach Bill Zack at bzack30143@aol.com.


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