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If It's April, It Must Be a Glavine Victory

April 24, 1998| From Associated Press

If it's April and Tom Glavine is on the mound, the Atlanta Braves are virtually unbeatable.

Glavine improved to 3-0 and Andres Galarraga ended a slump with a 415-foot homer as the Braves beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 3-1, Thursday night at Atlanta.

"I do all my crummy pitching in spring training. I get it out of the way," said Glavine, who is 8-0 with a 1.26 earned-run average in his last 12 starts in April dating to April 23, 1996.

"There's no secret formula. I don't know what the deal is. I guess some guys struggle in April and some guys do good in April. I'm just one of those guys who does good in April."

Glavine, who leads the majors with a 1.00 ERA, pitched seven strong innings to help the Braves win their third in a row and eighth in nine games. He gave up one run and six hits, walked three and struck out five.

"Maybe my concentration is a little better [in April]," said Glavine, who was 4-0 in the opening month last season. "I know, obviously, the importance of getting off to a good start."

Kerry Ligtenberg pitched the eighth, and Mark Wohlers struck out the side in the ninth for his sixth save in six chances.

Glavine gave up his first earned run in 21 innings when Matt Williams doubled and scored on Travis Lee's single in the sixth inning to cut the Brave lead to 2-1.

Atlanta made the score 3-1 in the bottom of the inning when Galarraga hit his eighth homer, a blast off Willie Blair (0-4) over the right-center-field fence.

"I'm satisfied," said Blair, whose ERA dropped from 6.75 to 6.30. "I made one mistake to Galarraga. Other than that I kept us in the game."

Blair pitched six innings, giving up three runs and five hits, walking two and striking out two.

"Obviously at 0-4, the results aren't there," he said. "I can't control our runs. I've got to take care of my job, and I've done that, except for one game."

Philadelphia 6, Cincinnati 3--Scott Rolen hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning as the Phillies beat the Reds at Philadelphia.

Rolen hit a shot to left center off reliever Scott Sullivan (0-2).

The Phillies won their first series against Cincinnati at home since April 1994, taking two of three. The Reds had won 17 of their last 20 games in Philadelphia.

Colorado 4, Florida 3--Kirt Manwaring hit a two-out, two-run triple in the ninth inning as the Rockies beat the Marlins at Miami.

Larry Walker drew a leadoff walk from Vic Darensbourg and reliever Rob Stanifer (0-1) walked Vinny Castilla.

Walker advanced on a fly ball, and reliever Felix Heredia struck out Todd Helton. Manwaring hit the next pitch over center fielder Mark Kotsay's head.

Gary Sheffield tripled and doubled twice for Florida. Rookie Andy Larkin pitched six solid innings for the Marlins, and left with a 3-2 lead.

Pittsburgh 7, San Francisco 0--Francisco Cordova pitched a five-hitter for Pittsburgh's first complete game this season, and Jason Kendall drove in three runs off slumping Shawn Estes at Pittsburgh.

Kendall had a two-run double in a four-run second inning and added a sacrifice fly as the Pirates won their second in a row after losing seven straight.

Cordova cruised, striking out eight and walking one. But Estes (0-4)--19-5 last year--continued his season-long struggles. He gave up nine hits and seven runs, six earned, in 5 1/3 innings as his ERA climbed from 5.79 to 6.59.

Montreal 5, St. Louis 2--Vladimir Guerrero and Rondell White homered in the third inning as the Expos beat the Cardinals at Montreal.

Guerrero homered off Cliff Politte with one out and White hit another solo shot one out later to give Montreal a 3-0 lead. Guerrero went three for four with two RBIs.

Ron Gant homered in his third consecutive game for the Cardinals, a two-run shot in the fourth that cut the Expos' lead to 3-2.

Houston at New York--Persistent rain and a lousy forecast caused the series finale to be postponed. Because of the NL's 16-team schedule, the Astros were supposed to make only one trip into New York this season. Both teams, however, are off on Monday, and after the Astros play this weekend in Montreal, they'll return to Shea Stadium to play the makeup game Monday.

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