Tom Glavine has always been overshadowed by teammates and overlooked by opponents. On Tuesday night, he was again the "other" pitcher and, as usual, he was the winning one.
Glavine pitched eight strong innings and the Atlanta Braves introduced Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez to NL-style baseball with a 7-2 win over New York, snapping the Yankees' nine-game home winning streak.
Glavine (10-3) became the NL's third 10-game winner. The left-hander, who shut out the Yankees for nine innings on June 30 last year and got a no-decision, gave up seven hits, walked two and struck out one.
"I'm not going to say it's not special, it is," said Glavine, who also lost Game 3 of the 1996 World Series to New York. "I grew up a Yankee hater from Boston, so I'm aware of what Yankee Stadium is and what this place means in the history of baseball.
"You throw in the mix the fact that these guys are playing so well, and all the hype that's surrounding this matchup, and it was a fun game for me to win."
Pitching on a staff with Greg Maddux and John Smoltz, Glavine has rarely received the credit he deserves. Few realize he's the winningest left-hander in baseball the past 11 years, and second only to Maddux in wins since 1991.
"Tommy is a great pitcher, he's a big game pitcher, a money pitcher. Always has been," said Atlanta manager Bobby Cox. "He's got as much guts as you could ever imagine. Just watching him pitch tonight. He won't give in, won't give in to anybody. He'll figure out a way to beat you."
Atlanta found the best way to beat Hernandez (2-1) is a base at a time. The Braves were patient at the plate as the Cuban right-hander tried unsuccessfully to nip the corners or get hitters to swing at balls outside the strike zone.
Hernandez didn't get out of the fourth inning of his fourth major league start. He allowed six hits and six runs three earned in 3 2-3 innings. He was hurt by four walks two with the bases loaded.
"When your wild, it's not a matter of being real high or real low, it's a matter of this," New York manager Joe Torre said, holding his fingers inches apart.
Ryan Klesko went 3-for-4 and Ozzie Guillen doubled twice and scored three times as the Braves won the second of four games this week between the teams with the best records in baseball. The clubs will conclude what many are calling a '98 World Series preview on Wednesday and Thursday in Atlanta.
"It's just another series," said Cox, "it's just that it's against the same team. Hey, our fans are going to get a chance to see the New York Yankees."
Derek Jeter and Paul O'Neill homered for the Yankees, who still have a .729 winning percentage despite going 5-5 in their last 10.
Hernandez's wildness ana costly error by third baseman Scott Brosius allowed the Braves to score four runs in the fourth.
With Atlanta leading 2-1, Klesko singled and Javy Lopez walked. One out later, Andruw Jones hit a slow roller toward third that Brosius kicked around to load the bases.
Hernandez got ahead of Guillen Atlanta's No. 9 hitter before throwing three straight balls to force in a run, and then walked Curtis Pride to bring in another. Hernandez struck out Keith Lockhart, but Chipper Jones capped Atlanta's inning with a two-run single.
"It took some very patient hitting there in that one inning to be able to work him for those walks," said Jones, who smacked the first pitch up the middle. " We got a couple of clutch hits and did some good situational hitting."
Hernandez was replaced in the fourth by Ramiro Mendoza, whose spot in the starting rotation he had taken.
"I tried to work the corners as usual," Hernandez said through an interpreter. "I just wasn't as sharp. They're good hitters and maybe today was their lucky day."
Notes: Glavine is 6-0 in seven road starts this year. ... Hernandez had a 30-pitch fourth. ... Only nine teams this century have had a better record after 70 games than the Yankees (51-19). ... New York's Tino Martinez is in a 3-for-34 slide. ... The Braves addressed their bullpen problems on Tuesday by acquiring hard-throwing right-hander Russ Springer from Arizona for lefty Alan Embree. ... John Smoltz, scheduled to start Thursday against David Wells, will have his start pushed back to Friday against Toronto. Denny Neagle will take his spot.
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