Final in 10

Series: Game 3 of 3

Atlanta won 3-0

Game 1: Tuesday, April 15
Atlanta2Final
in 10
Montreal1
Game 2: Wednesday, April 16
Atlanta3Final
Montreal2
Game 3: Thursday, April 17
Atlanta14Final
in 10
Montreal8

Braves 14

(8-8, 5-4 away)

Expos 8

(9-7, 4-3 home)

    4:45 PM ET, April 17, 2003

    Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan, Puerto Rico 

    12345678910 R H E
    ATL 1100204006 14 13 1
    MON 2010030200 8 9 3

    W: J. Bong (2-0)

    L: R. Biddle (1-1)

    Catcher hits grand slam in 10th inning

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Javy Lopez made it a grand homecoming.

     Javy Lopez
    Lopez

    The island favorite hit his second home run of the game, a grand slam in the 10th inning that set off a festive celebration and sent the Atlanta Braves over the Montreal Expos 14-8 Thursday for a three-game sweep.

    So popular in his homeland that he bought at least 40 tickets each day, Lopez rewarded his fans with a career-high six RBI. Both of his homers brought prolonged chants and cheers led by his dad -- prompting a pair of rare curtain calls by a visiting player.

    "I couldn't ask for any more," Lopez said. "What better way to leave the country? I knew I had a lot of fans in Puerto Rico, but I have more than that. It is something to remember."

    After the teams combined to score a total of eight runs in the first two games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium, they broke loose at the cozy ballpark with the tight dimensions.

    Lopez led the way with three hits, including his seventh career slam. He wound up getting 60 tickets for the finale, and it was well worth it.

    "Everything was totally a plus," he said.

    Even though a 53-minute rain delay washed out batting practice, the hitters quickly got into the swing as Rafael Furcal homered on the third pitch of the game by Livan Hernandez.

    Marcus Giles homered, doubled twice and singled, and Andruw Jones also homered as the Braves won their fourth in a row and reached .500 for the first time this season.

    Endy Chavez hit a two-run homer in the eighth for Montreal that made it 8-all.

    "This is the worst game we've played all year, from both sides," Expos manager Frank Robinson said. "We were playing catch up all night."

    Chipper Jones, out of the starting lineup for the second straight day because of a sprained left groin, pinch-hit in the 10th and drew a leadoff walk from Rocky Biddle (1-1). After Furcal sacrificed, Giles doubled home the go-ahead run.

    A pair of intentional walks and right fielder Vladimir Guerrero's second error of the game produced a run and loaded the bases for Lopez.

    With the rain starting to fall harder, Lopez hit a long drive to left field that again got the crowd of 13,170 swaying.

    "It is very exciting, very emotional," Lopez said.

    The slam finished Biddle, who had been Montreal's most effective reliever this year.

    "I made a bad pitch and it went out of the yard," he said. "I didn't really have a command on any of my pitches. Some days you got it, some days you don't."

    Jung Keun Bong (2-0) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.

    Lopez had been 0-for-8 in the first two games in San Juan, disappointing all the fans who came to see him. He singled his first time up, then hit a two-run homer in the seventh for an 8-6 lead.

    "I was just satisfied after I got my first hit. At least I was going to leave Puerto Rico with a base hit," he said.

    Swept by Montreal in a three-game series at Turner Field to open the season, the Braves got even behind their All-Star catcher.

    "He was too excited in the first two games,'' Andruw Jones said. "He was trying to do too much. He gave them something to remember it by."

    Lopez agreed.

    "I came to the park today with my mind shot. It was a hassle -- the people, family, signing the balls. But I understand it."

    After Furcal's sixth leadoff homer, Russ Ortiz gave the lead back in the bottom half, issuing four of his career-high eight walks. He walked Orlando Cabrera and Wil Cordero with the bases loaded.

    Vinny Castilla made it 2-all with an RBI double, and Cabrera put the Expos ahead with a sacrifice fly in third.

    Giles hit a solo homer and Julio Franco singled home a run in the fifth to give Atlanta a 4-3 lead.

    Again Montreal rallied, with Jose Vidro grounding a three-run double down the third-base line off Ray King. Braves manager Bobby Cox argued the call with third base umpire Bill Hohn while King talked it over with plate umpire Eric Cooper.

    Expos reliever Luis Ayala could not hold the 6-4 lead, however. Giles doubled with one out and Andruw Jones hit his fifth homer with two outs. After Cordero was charged with an error for failing to handle Franco's hard grounder to first, Lopez hit his second homer of the season.

    Game notes
    Cox said Chipper Jones probably would start Friday night at Philadelphia. ... Gary Sheffield doubled to extend his hitting streak to 14 games for Atlanta. ... The Expos are staying at a beachfront hotel-casino and this note was posted in the Montreal clubhouse: "Casino closes at midnight until Saturday afternoon."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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