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Back To Back HRs Lead Braves To Win

A day off worked wonders for Javier Lopez.

"It's just one of those things where you feel really, really good," said Lopez, who teamed with Andruw Jones to hit back-to-back homers in both the second and third innings in the Atlanta Braves' 9-7 victory over the Montreal Expos on Saturday night.

"When I saw the ball, it looked big. That really helped me."

Lopez, rested Friday night, had a pair of two-run homers, his 14th and 15th of the season, off Mike Johnson (0-2). Jones hit his 11th and 12th homers off Johnson, the third time he has homered twice in a game this year.

Braves manager Bobby Cox, in professional baseball since 1960, said he has never seen two players hit back-to-back homers in consecutive innings.

"There's a first time for everything," Cox said. "I'll tell you what. We needed them."

The Braves lead the National League with 102 homers and are second in the majors to Seattle, which has 109.

Johnson, recalled from Triple-A Ottawa on Friday, allowed eight hits and seven runs in three innings.

"You just have to keep at it," Johnson said. "You can't try to do any more. It just gets you into trouble."

After allowing four runs in the first inning, Braves starter Tom Glavine (9-2) faced the minimum in the second, third and six innings and was saved by an inning-ending double play in the fourth.

Glavine, 5-0 in his last seven starts and 12-0 against Montreal since 1993, allowed 11 hits and six runs five earned in 6 2-3 innings. He gave up RBI singles to Brad Fullmer, Chris Widger and Shane Andrews in the first.

"You'll probably think I'm an idiot, but I had good enough stuff to throw a shutout tonight," Glavine said. "So much of this game is people looking at the end results. I can't control high choppers off home plate."

Atlanta tied it in the second on the first set of back-to-back homers and Michael Tucker's RBI single, and made it 7-4 in the third on the second set of homers. The Braves added two runs in the sixth on an error and Chipper Jones' RBI single.

The Expos added runs in the fifth on Fullmer's infield single, the seventh on Rondell White's RBI single, and the eighth on Jose Vidro's RBI single off Kerry Ligtenberg.

Dennis Martinez pitched the ninth for his second save of the season and eighth of his 23-year career.

Cox said Martinez will remain in the bullpen as he goes with a closer-by-committee over the next few days. Martinez, who failed in his start Tuesday night to break Juan Marichal's record for victories by a Latin pitcher, said he will accept any role Cox gives him.

"I've been in every situation there is," Martinez said. "However they want to use me is fine with me."

Notes: Atlanta first basema Andres Galarraga said he is not worried about closer Mark Wohlers, despite the right-hander's recent problems. "You can't always point your finger at the bullpen," Galarraga said. "It's difficult to say. The last three games they haven't been doing very good." In the ninth inning Friday, Wohlers was immediately removed after walking Widger on four pitches. Mike Cather entered and gave up a game-winning grand slam to DaRond Stovall. Since returning from the disabled list May 24, Wohlers has surrendered seven earned runs, six hits and nine walks in 6 2-3 innings. ... Johnson is the first Expos pitcher since Ron Darling in 1991 to give up four homers in a game.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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