Braves 0-2 but aren't conceding quite yet

Posted: April 03, 2003

The Atlanta Braves aren't getting too worked up about an 0-2 start, even though it hasn't happened in 6 years.

Zach Day and three relievers combined on a three-hitter, and Jose Vidro hit a two-run homer to lead the visiting Montreal Expos over the Braves, 3-0, last night.

The vagabond Expos, who won't play in Montreal until April 22, have outscored Atlanta, 13-2, in the first two games at Turner Field.

The Braves had not lost their first two games since 1997, when they dropped a pair of one-run decisions at Houston. They quickly rebounded, going on to win 101 games and the sixth of their 11 straight division titles.

"It's way too early to get frustrated," said Braves starter Horacio Ramirez, who lost his major league debut despite allowing just two runs in seven innings. "There's a lot of games left in the season. We've only played two games. If we get a little streak going, we'll be fine."

Vidro hit a two-run shot in the first - all the support Day needed. Making just his third big-league start, the 24-year-old righthander dominated a Braves team that looked downright feeble offensively, getting only one runner past second base.

Day (1-0) allowed just three hits in seven innings, and only one of those was hit hard. He walked two and struck out three.

Despite a gorgeous night - clear skies and 65 degrees for the first pitch - the game drew only 19,116. That wasn't far off the lowest crowd in Turner Field history, a turnout of 18,931 for a game against Pittsburgh last September.

In other NL games last night:

* At New York, Sammy Sosa's bid for his 500th career homer was blown back by the wind for an out in the sixth inning and the Mets held on to beat the Chicago Cubs, 4-1. Cliff Floyd and Roger Cedeno homered for the Mets, who were without catcher Mike Piazza. He began serving his four-game suspension for charging the mound in spring training. Al Leiter (1-0) held the Cubs to four hits in six innings.

Matt Clement (0-1) tied a Cubs record by throwing three wild pitches in one inning. He was pulled after three innings because of tightness in his left lower back.

* At Houston, Craig Biggio's two-run single capped a rally from a four-run deficit in the ninth inning and gave the Astros an 8-7 win over Colorado. Jose Jimenez (0-1) replaced Todd Jones with a 7-3 lead and gave up six hits while retiring just one batter.

* At San Diego, Marquis Grissom's three-run double capped a five-run third inning for San Francisco and the Giants held on to win, 5-3, and complete a three-game sweep. Ex-Brave Damian Moss scattered two hits and six walks in five innings for the win.

* At Phoenix, Los Angeles righthander Kevin Brown shut down Arizona on three hits in six-plus innings of a 5-0 victory. Shawn Green was 4-for-4 with a home run, two doubles and three RBI for the Dodgers.

* At St. Louis, Woody Williams pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning and Mike Matheny had three hits and two RBI as the Cardinals beat Milwaukee, 7-0.

* At Cincinnati, Kevin Young and Jason Kendall hit two-run homers in the eighth inning, and Pittsburgh kept the Reds winless in their new ballpark by rallying for a 7-4 victory.

Noteworthy

* Houston announced it will offer active and retired military personnel and their dependents half-price tickets to Sunday games. *

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