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Nationals home opener is Thursday night

ATLANTA (AP) -- The Montreal Expos lost 10 of their last 11
series against the Braves, splitting the other.

The Washington Nationals won their very first series against
Atlanta.

Jose Guillen homered twice, becoming the first player in the
major leagues with five this season, and the Washington Nationals
beat the Braves 11-4 Wednesday to win the last two games in the
three-game series.

"This team is going to surprise a lot of people," Washington's
Jose Vidro said after the Nationals completed a 5-4 trip and headed
homer for Thursday night's RFK Stadium opener.

It will be the capital's first regular-season game since the
expansion Senators became the Texas Rangers after the 1971 season.
President Bush, the Rangers' former owner, is scheduled to throw
out the ceremonial first pitch.

Guillen drove in four runs, including a two-run drive off Roman
Colon in a six-run ninth that included pinch-hitter Terrmel Sledge's
three-run triple.

Guillen also homered off Adam Bernero in the seventh inning.
Manager Frank Robinson said he was most impressed with the cleanup
hitter's sacrifice fly off starter John Thomson in the fifth
inning.

"It's nice to have somebody who can carry us," Robinson said.
"He has instilled in this ballclub that he can get the big hit and
drive in the run."

Guillen is hitting .359 with five homers and eight RBI.

"It's kind of different for me this year," he said. "If they
want me to be the guy, it doesn't matter. I'm just going to go up
there and look for a good pitch to hit. I'm an aggressive hitter."

It was the first series win for the Expos/Nationals over the
Braves since Montreal swept a three-game series from March 31-April
2, 2003.

Tomo Ohka (1-1) won despite walking six in six innings. He gave
up three runs and four hits, leaving with a 5-3 lead.

Thomson (1-1) allowed four runs, seven hits and four walks in
six innings.

Braves manager Bobby Cox was ejected by plate umpire Randy Marsh
in the first inning, his first ejection of the season. Cox and
Thomson were upset about Marsh calling a ball on a close 3-2 pitch
to Nick Johnson for the second walk, which loaded the bases. Ryan
Church followed with a two-run single for a 2-0 lead.

Cox was tossed when he continued to complain while standing on
the dugout steps after the third out.

"I thought the pitch was a strike," Cox said. "It cost us two
runs at the start of the game."

Cox left the dugout but said he continued to manage after he was
tossed. Asked if that is allowed, Cox said "Nope. I just manage
the game downstairs. It's not a problem. It's easy. Everybody does
it."

Chipper Jones' third homer cut the margin in half in the bottom
of the inning, and Atlanta went ahead 3-2 in the third on Johnny
Estrada's two-run double. Washington went ahead for good in the
fifth when Jamey Carroll and Jose Vidro hit back-to-back triples
and Guillen followed with a sacrifice fly.

Braves right fielder Raul Mondesi appeared to misjudge Vidro's
drive, pulling up as if he thought the ball would clear the fence
for a home run. Mondesi also struck out with the bases loaded and
two outs in the fifth after Adam LaRoche was intentionally walked.

Guillen's homer off Bernero in the seventh gave Washington a 5-3
lead, but LaRoche hit an RBI single in the seventh. Mondesi, who
stranded six runners, then struck out, leaving his batting average
at .133.

After Guillen's two-run homer off Colon in the ninth, Sledge had
a three-run triple off Kevin Gryboski and scored on Brad
Wilkerson's single.

Game notes
Chipper Jones needs one homer to tie Reggie Smith for
fourth among switch-hitters with 314. ... Former longtime Braves
president Stan Kasten attended the game. Kasten may be part of a
group that could attempt to purchase the Nationals.