ATLANTA (AP) -- John Smoltz was sorry he didn't save a win for
Jose Capellan in the rookie's major league debut.
Long after Capellan's exit, Andruw Jones hit a winning double in
the 12th inning Sunday to lead the Atlanta Braves over the Montreal
"He threw great," said Smoltz, who blew a three-run lead in
the ninth. "He held his composure. He has a bright future. I'm
very disappointed that I couldn't get him his first win."
Smoltz, who failed to convert a save for the fourth time in 41
chances, had an 8-5 lead but gave up run-scoring singles to Endy
"That's just the worst showing," Smoltz said. "I never would
have dreamed it possible. And now that I've got that over with and
out of the way, I'm not going to talk about it any more."
With the score still tied in the 12th, Thomas led off with a
sharp grounder that shortstop Alex Gonzalez bobbled for an error.
Jones followed with a drive off Luis Ayala (5-10) that bounced to
the wall in left-center.
"He just left a pitch over the plate and I had good wood on
it," Jones said.
Atlanta, closing in on its 13th straight division title, swept
the three-game series and leads the NL East by 8½ games.
"We didn't take advantage of our opportunities to score the
whole series," Montreal manager Frank Robinson said. "Every time
we scored, they scored, the entire series. ... We battled back the
whole series. We just couldn't get over the top."
Juan Cruz (6-2), Atlanta's eighth pitcher, allowed one hit in
two innings for the win.
homered for the Braves. Perez went 4-for-4 and Furcal had three
Tony Batista and Sledge each had a home run, three hits and
three RBI for the Expos.
"Individual stats will come," Sledge said. "It would be much
better if we could come out with a victory."
Capellan, a 23-year-old right-hander, gave up two runs, four
hits and three walks in five innings and struck out four but was
denied the win when the Braves bullpen gave up six runs. Capellan,
14-4 with a 2.32 ERA in the minor leagues this year, was clocked as
fast as 99 mph but needed 111 pitches to get through the five
innings -- 33 in the first inning alone.
"It just shows you the gap between the minor leagues and the
major leagues," Robinson said.
Capellan had to rely on his fastball because he couldn't throw
his curveball consistently for strikes.
"He was nervous," Perez said. "I think that's why he didn't
throw his breaking pitch more. When I went out to the mound, he was
Montreal starter Tony Armas Jr. gave up five runs -- four earned
-- five hits and four walks in 3 2-3 innings.Game notes
Furcal has led off the first with home runs 11 times,
including twice this season. ... Armas threw 97 pitches in 3 2-3
innings. ... Chavez had two steals, increasing his total to 27 for
the season. His previous career high was 18 last year. ... The
Braves begin a five-game series at the New York Mets with a
doubleheader Monday night, while the Expos will play at least the
first two games of a scheduled five-game series with Florida in
Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field, games moved from Miami because of
the threat of rain caused by Hurricane Ivan.
- Home Plate Umpire - John Hirschbeck
- First Base Umpire - Bill Welke
- Second Base Umpire - Laz Diaz
- Third Base Umpire - Chris Guccione