Braves 11, Expos 4

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP)—Heading into the All-Star break, the Atlanta Braves are starting to spurt.

Andruw Jones hit a three-run homer in a six-run first inning and Chipper Jones had four RBIs, leading Atlanta over the Montreal Expos 11-4 Monday night.

A day after scoring nine runs in the fifth inning of a 10-4 win over Boston, Atlanta sent 16 batters to the plate in the first two innings and built an 8-0 lead. The Braves reached .500 for the first time since June 12 (30-30).

“Things are going our way lately,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “Balls were dropping in the hole everywhere.”

Zach Day (5-9) was chased after 47 pitches, allowing eight runs and eight hits in 1 1-3 innings.

Paul Byrd (2-1) gave up three runs—two earned—and 10 hits in seven innings.

“It’s nice to have a 6-0 lead before you take the field. I think that was the edge mentally,” Byrd said.

The crowd of 13,122 was the first time in four games that attendance topped 9,000.

Rafael Furcal opened the game with a walk and scored on Nick Green’s double. J.D. Drew singled and one out later, Johnny Estrada hit an RBI single to make it 2-0. Adam LaRoche then singled to left, and Carl Everett bobbled the ball for a run-scoring error, and Jones followed with his 13th homer for a 6-0 lead.

The drive to right field was his first home run in 103 at-bats since June 1.

“It’s been a while since I hit a home run, but I’ve hit the ball good the past two weeks,” Jones said.

Chipper Jones finished Day’s night in the second with a two-run double.

“He just didn’t have it today,” Expos’ manager Frank Robinson said. “It’s one of those nights, one of those games.

Atlanta added three runs in the sixth off Rocky Biddle on Chipper Jones’ two-run single and Estrada’s RBI double.

Brian Schneider hit an RBI single in the second for Montreal that drove in Tony Batista, who had reached on an error by Chipper Jones at third. The Expos got RBI singles from Terrmel Sledge in the fourth and Jose Vidro in the seventh, and Everett hit his second home run of the season in the eighth, adrive off Juan Cruz.


Green came out of the game after the first inning because of a strained back. He was replaced at second by Jesse Garcia. “He couldn’t breathe,” said Cox. … Everett’s homer was just the second the Expos have hit in 15 games in Hiram Bithorn Stadium this year. … Atlanta 1B Adam LaRoche made a niftybackhanded, twisting grab of a hard grounder hit by Sledge in the eighth.

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