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Talk Helps Wade Lead Braves to Win

May 21, 1997|From Associated Press

ATLANTA — A little chat with pitching coach Leo Mazzone was the boost Terrell Wade needed.

Wade settled down after a sluggish first two innings and drove in the go-ahead run with his first hit of the season Tuesday night as the Atlanta Braves defeated the Montreal Expos, 4-2, to extend their winning streak to five.

The Expos only scored once in the first two innings, but had four hits and several hard-hit balls.

"He was trying to throw to spots in the first two innings," said Mazzone, who spoke to Wade in the dugout after the second inning. "He was sacrificing stuff for location. I told him to go ahead and air it out."

Wade (2-3) gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings with five strikeouts and one walk, helping the Braves to their eighth win in 10 games. Mark Wohlers got three outs for his 10th save, sending the Expos to only their second loss in nine games.

"I was getting behind in the first two innings. After Leo talked to me, I just let it go. Instead of nit-picking, I turned my fastball loose," said Wade, who has never pitched into the seventh inning in 14 starts over two seasons.

Atlanta trailed, 1-0, in the fourth but tied the score when Fred McGriff reached on a one-out single off Dustin Hermanson (2-2), Ryan Klesko was hit by a pitch and Mark Lemke hit a run-scoring single.

Jeff Blauser then walked, loading the bases, and Wade hit a one-hop liner to shortstop Andy Stankiewicz, who made a diving stop but threw late to second trying to force Blauser. It was Wade's first hit in seven at-bats this season and raised his career average to .150.

"All week long in batting practice, I worked on shortening my swing to cut down on striking out," Wade said. "Getting the hit was a big chance to help us win and keep me in the game."

Hermanson gave up three runs and five hits in five innings, struck out six and walked four.

"He gave us a good effort, but he had a high number of pitches, 92 in five innings," Montreal Manager Felipe Alou said. "He kept us in the game."



WHO: Atlanta Braves

WHERE: Dodger Stadium

WHEN: Friday 7 p.m., Saturday 7 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m.

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