Final

Series: Game 3 of 3

Atlanta won 2-1

Game 1: Tuesday, June 18
Detroit 6Final
Atlanta 0
Game 2: Wednesday, June 19
Detroit 1Final
Atlanta 4
Game 3: Thursday, June 20
Detroit 2Final
Atlanta 3

Tigers 2

(25-45, 9-26 away)

Braves 3

(43-29, 23-15 home)

    7:35 PM ET, June 20, 2002

    Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia 

    123456789 R H E
    DET 000002000 2 - -
    ATL 000000003 3 - -

    W: K. Ligtenberg (1-3)

    L: J. Acevedo (1-3)

    Braves rally for three in ninth to edge Tigers

    ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Braves felt a lot better about their chances when Adam Bernero left the mound.

    Javy Lopez
    Lopez

    Bernero pitched eight scoreless innings, but the Braves rallied for three runs in the ninth to beat the Detroit Tigers 3-2 Thursday night.

    Javy Lopez drove in the winning run with a two-out single against Juan Acevedo, who couldn't preserve Detroit's second shutout against the Braves in three games.

    ''Their starter did an awesome job for eight innings,'' Chipper Jones said. ''We were kind of glad to get him out of there.''

    Bernero was lifted after giving up Julio Franco's leadoff double in the ninth. The Detroit starter threw only 84 pitches, allowing five hits, striking out four and walking none.

    ''He was like (Greg) Maddux out there,'' Gary Sheffield said. ''You think he's throwing you one straight. By the time you swing, it's on your hands and breaks your bat.''

    The real Maddux pitched five scoreless innings for Atlanta, but had to leave the game after reinjuring a sore left calf muscle. He wasn't sure if he would be able to make his next start.

    Acevedo (1-3) walked Sheffield and gave up Jones' run-scoring single to right. Sheffield moved to third on the single, then was caught off base when Andruw Jones grounded to third baseman Chris Truby.

    But Chipper Jones surprised the Tigers by stealing third, and scored the tying run on Wes Helms' sacrifice fly to right-center.

    ''I've got to get to third in that situation,'' Jones said. ''The second pitch to Wes, (Acevedo) didn't even look at me. I said, 'If he doesn't look at me again, I'm going.' That puts a lot more pressure on their defense and gives Wes a chance to make a productive out.''

    While making the catch on Helms' fly ball, Wendell Magee collided with Robert Fick in right-center. Both players went down, allowing Andruw Jones to tag and go to second.

    ''It's a different game if Andruw doesn't get to second,'' Detroit manager Luis Pujols said.

    With first base open, the Tigers walked Keith Lockhart intentionally. Then, Vinny Castilla was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

    Lopez followed with a line drive to left that cleared the head of former Braves player George Lombard, who appeared to get a poor break on the ball. Lopez, who broke a 1-for-12 slump, had entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth.

    Acevedo took out his frustration on home plate umpire Brian Gorman.

    ''We didn't lose the game on the last pitch,'' the Tigers closer said. ''We lost the game with the umpires making bad calls. You guys can just look at the replay. A couple of pitches to Sheffield were right there. These umpires -- I just better stop before I get in trouble.''

    Kerry Ligtenberg (1-3) got the victory, while Bernero got nothing.

    ''It's part of the game, I guess,'' Bernero said. ''My job is to pitch well and give us a chance to win. We won a game this year when I gave up three runs in six innings. This makes up for that.''

    Maddux originally hurt his calf last Saturday against Boston, forcing him to leave the game in the seventh. He maintained his regular spot in the rotation, although it was quickly apparent the injury was still bothering him.

    In the fifth, Maddux failed to cover first on a grounder by Magee. Maddux grabbed at his left leg while Franco fielded the ball, then watched as the Atlanta first baseman was beaten to the bag by Magee.

    Maddux finished the inning, but was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom half. He left a scoreless game having given up just two hits.

    ''It's fine when I'm pitching and fine when I'm hitting, but I have a hard time running,'' Maddux said. ''It's a little embarrassing when you can't cover first. That's a routine play I can do in my sleep, but I just couldn't get over there.''

    After Maddux left, the Tigers broke through for their only runs in the sixth against Chris Hammond, who was victimized by some truly horrendous defense.

    Chipper Jones made the first of three Atlanta errors in the inning when he overthrew second after fielding a single by Truby to left field.

    Bernero bunted the runner to third, but Hammond gave himself a chance to escape the jam by striking out Ramon Santiago. Damian Jackson doubled to right, however, breaking up the scoreless tie.

    Fick followed with a grounder to second baseman Lockhart, who bobbled the ball while attempting to make a backhanded play. Inexplicably, Lockhart then threw toward third, trying to catch Jackson rounding the bag, only to have the ball skip into the Tigers dugout.

    Jackson trotted home and Lockhart was charged with two errors on the play.

    Game notes


    The Braves had made only nine errors in their previous 26 games. ... Lombard, acquired from the Braves on Wednesday, went 0-for-3 in his first start for the Tigers. ... Former President Jimmy Carter sat next to the Braves dugout with his wife, Rosalynn. ... Braves C Henry Blanco showed his arm strength by throwing out two runners attempting to steal in the eighth.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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