English>News Center>Sports

Braves complete series sweep over Astros
Updated: 2001-10-13 11:16

John Burkett tossed six-plus solid innings and Paul Bako and Chipper Jones hit two-run homers as the Atlanta Braves beat the Houston Astros 6-2 on Friday to sweep their National League divisional playoff series 3-0.

The Braves have competed in nine of the last 10 NL championship series and bounced Houston three times along the way. After getting swept in last year's divisional series by the St Louis Cardinals, Atlanta struggled to its lowest total of regular-season wins since 1990.

But the Braves got a clutch three-run homer from Jones in the series opener and well-pitched games by Tom Glavine and Burkett in the final two contests to close out the Astros.

Atlanta catcher Bako said: "I swung through two fast balls, then he (pitcher Shane Reynolds) hung a change and I hit it good to right field. I'm glad to contribute.

"This is great, you dream about this kind of thing but now it has happened to me."

Chipper Jones said: "I hit the homer real good on a fast ball from (Octavio) Dotel. This makes up for a lot of things. People wrote us off all year, said we were finished as a contender.


"All we want is to get to the World Series again. Our pitching is set up real good for the next series -- and I don't care whom we play St Louis or Arizona, we can take them. They are still playing and using up pitching."

Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said: "We hit six home runs in the three games, and got timely hits when we needed them.

"Houston made the mistakes. Last year in the playoffs we gave the Cardinals extra outs, this year we played airtight. It's very satisfying."

Cox's Houston counterpart Larry Dierker said-- "We didn't hit, didn't field, and gave them extra outs. Getting back to the post season was huge this year, but our big hitters (Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell and Lance Berkman) didn't hit.

"We definitely seem to have a monkey on our backs in the post season."

Houston's Jeff Bagwell said-- "I didn't do my job, which is driving in runs. We're upset and disappointed again. I don't understand why this happens in the playoffs. "

Houston won three straight Central Division titles from 1997-99 but went 2-9 in divisional series play. After Astros closer Billy Wagner vowed to "stomp" the Braves, Houston managed to score just six runs in this series.

Atlanta will face the winner of the Arizona-St Louis series in the best-of-seven NLCS beginning on Tuesday.

Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells
Commonwealth Games Swimming
Selected Reuters Sports Pictures on March 13
  Today's Top News     Top Sports News

Australia, US, Japan praise China for Asia engagement



Banker: China doing its best on flexible yuan



Hopes high for oil pipeline deal



Possibilities of bird flu outbreaks reduced



Milosevic buried after emotional farewell



China considers trade contracts in India


  Manchester United gains on Chelsea
  UEFA Cup loses top-name clubs
  Cuba celebrates win over Puerto Rico, advances in Classic
  Els moves into Bay Hill contention with 67
  World Cup to boost Japanese economy by $4 billion
  Alonso confident; Fisichella apologizes
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.