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Lopez Leads Braves, 6-3

He breaks out of a slump with a tiebreaking two-run homer to help beat the Giants and give Atlanta its 20th victory in 24 games.

May 11, 2003|From Associated Press

ATLANTA — Javy Lopez hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh inning and the Atlanta Braves rallied to beat San Francisco, 6-3, Saturday night, ending the Giants' six-game winning streak.

Chipper Jones hit a game-tying homer earlier in the seventh and drove in three runs to lead the Braves to their 20th win in 24 games.

After Vinny Castilla singled off Joe Nathan (4-1), Lopez hit the next pitch 413 feet over the center-field wall to make the score 4-2.

"Hitting the way I've been hitting lately, tonight has to help my confidence," said Lopez, who had two hits in three at-bats to raise his average to .242 with five homers and 11 RBIs.

He had been in a 4-for-24 slump before the game.

Nathan entered the game with an 0.34 earned-run average. He had given up one run and 11 hits in 23 1/3 innings. Right-handed hitters were hitting only .109 against him until the seventh.

"I made a mistake to Lopez. It was a fastball up. I was trying to go away and left it up in the zone," said Nathan, whose ERA went up to 1.50.

Jones, who had three hits in four at-bats, also had an RBI single in the first inning off Kirk Rueter and a run-scoring double in the eighth. Andruw Jones had an RBI single in the eighth.

John Smoltz pitched the ninth as the Braves won for the 68th consecutive time in a game he pitched in, extending a major league record. He gave up two hits, including a run-scoring double to Rich Aurilia.

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