ATLANTA (AP) -- Bartolo Colon wasn't too impressed with his first
start for the Montreal Expos, but his performance left his new
Colon won in his first start since coming over from Cleveland,
and Fernando Tatis hit a go-ahead grand slam as the Expos beat the
Atlanta Braves 5-2 Tuesday night.
Michael Barrett also homered for second-place Montreal, which
pulled within 8½ games of the Braves in the NL East. Atlanta lost
for just the second time in 13 games.
''In the first inning, I felt very nervous, even warming up in
the bullpen,'' Colon said through an interpreter. ''After the first
inning, everything went away and it just felt great.''
The Indians sent Colon, pitcher Tim Drew and cash to the Expos
last week for first baseman Lee Stevens and three minor leaguers.
In 16 starts with Cleveland, Colon was 10-4 with a 2.55 ERA and won
his last three starts.
He didn't miss a beat in his first appearance ever against
Atlanta. Colon gave up two runs in the first -- one earned -- and
then held the Braves scoreless over his final six innings to pick
up his first NL victory.
''They're such a good team and they're playing so well, I knew
it wasn't going to be an easy job,'' Colon said. ''But other than
that, it was another day at work.''
The big right-hander appeared to get stronger as the game wore
on, throwing a 98 mph fastball in the seventh inning on his 97th
pitch. He allowed just five hits and struck out six.
''He's the most impressive pitcher I've ever caught,'' Barrett
said. ''I know that's going to make some of my boys jealous. I was
trying really hard not to smile too much back there. I was so
Scott Stewart came on with two outs in the ninth with a man on
pinch hit and Stewart got him to fly out on the first pitch for his
''Wow, what can you say?'' Stewart said of Colon. ''I mean,
Colon got the run support he needed in the sixth when Barrett
led off with a solo shot off Damian Moss (4-3). After Colon struck
out, Jose Macias singled and moved to second an out later on
Vladimir Guerrero's single, a liner up the middle which sent Moss
sprawling on the mound. Wil Cordero walked, setting up Tatis' sixth
career grand slam.
It was the second homer in two nights for Tatis, and both were
fly balls that carried just beyond the wall in right field.
Moss had cruised through the first five innings, giving up only
one hit and facing one more than the minimum before unraveling in
''I looked at the replay, and it was where I wanted it,'' he
said of the pitch to Tatis. ''I don't think he should have hit it
out. I think a lot of guys were sitting on my changeup but I
thought if I threw it where I wanted it, I could still get them
The Expos got off to a rocky start for their new pitcher,
committing two errors in the first. Rafael Furcal led off with a
triple and scored when Guerrero misplayed a fly ball by Julio
Franco into a three-base error.
Franco came home when Gary Sheffield reached on a throwing error
by shortstop Orlando Cabrera, giving the Braves a 2-0 lead.
''He got a few bad breaks in the first inning, but he shut them
down and didn't give them anything else,'' Montreal manager Frank
Robinson said. ''He comes right at you. He doesn't let up.''
A thunderstorm that moved across Turner Field kept the
Expos from taking batting practice. The rain stopped about 6:15
p.m. ET, and the game started on time at 7:35. ... Atlanta CF
Andruw Jones, who made the All-Star team earlier in the day, nearly
was doubled up at first in the sixth when Vinny Castilla lined out
to Guerrero in right field. Jones went halfway to second, then
jogged back after the catch and narrowly beat Guerrero's throw.