Series: Game 3 of 3

Atlanta won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, May 17
Atlanta 4Final
Colorado 2
Game 2: Saturday, May 18
Atlanta 3Final
Colorado 7
Game 3: Sunday, May 19
Atlanta 2Final
Colorado 1

Braves 2

(23-22, 12-11 away)

Rockies 1

(20-24, 13-10 home)

    3:05 PM ET, May 19, 2002

    Coors Field, Denver, Colorado 

    123456789 R H E
    ATL 000000110 2 - -
    COL 000000100 1 - -

    W: M. Remlinger (2-0)

    L: C. Nichting (0-1)

    S: J. Smoltz (13)

    Franco homer lifts Braves over Rockies

    DENVER (AP) -- Even when he's struggling, Julio Franco tired to keep things basic.

    Julio Franco

    "Why complicate a game that is so simple," Franco said. "When the time comes to look fastball, look fastball and no further."

    Franco looked fastball and got it, hitting a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning for his first RBI of the season, leading the Atlanta Braves to a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

    "I have been around this game long enough to know the less complicated you make this game the better," Franco said.

    Franco, who entered the game in a double switch in the seventh inning, started the day with a .183 average and one extra-base hit in 71 at-bats.

    "The brilliant manager makes the move to put him in so the pitcher doesn't have to hit there and we get a home run," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "He didn't have an RBI, but he got one today and he used it."

    Franco led off the eighth by driving a 3-2 pitch from reliever Chris Nichting (0-1) into the Colorado bullpen in right-center to break a 1-all tie.

    "It was a bad pitch at a bad time of the game," Nichting said. "I tried to get it in on him a couple times, but that one went away."

    Mike Remlinger (2-0) got two outs for the win. John Smoltz got four outs for his 13th save in 14 chances.

    Atlanta broke a scoreless tie with an unearned run in the seventh. Gary Sheffield singled to left and shortstop Juan Uribe booted Chipper Jones' potential double play grounder to put runners on second and third with no outs. Andruw Jones followed with a sacrifice fly.

    The Rockies tied it in the bottom half. Jose Ortiz led off with a single and moved to second on Mark Little's bunt. Pinch-hitter Larry Walker followed with an RBI single.

    Atlanta starter Damian Moss gave up seven hits and a run in 6 2-3 innings. He pitched out of a jam in the second inning when the Rockies put runners on second and third with no outs. Estalalla was thrown out at the plate on a grounder to third, Little struck out and Denny Neagle flied out to left.

    Neagle allowed one unearned run and two hits in seven innings.

    "Denny has hit a couple of speed bumps in his last two outings," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "He was solid today and we weren't able to do it with the couple of shots offensively that we had."

    Game notes

    Mark DeRosa returned to Atlanta on Sunday to undergo an MRI exam on his right ankle. DeRosa sustained ligament damage running out a double in Friday's game. ... The NL was batting .196 against Moss. ... Bobby Estalella was moved up to No. 5 in the Colorado batting order. ... The three-game series drew 126,288 fans, exceeding the previous high for a three-game home set this year of 115,922 for three home games in a series with Philadelphia.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press