Final in 12

Series: Game 1 of 3

Pittsburgh leads 1-0 (as of 3/31)

Game 1: Monday, March 31
Pittsburgh12Final
in 12
Atlanta11
Game 2: Wednesday, April 2
Pittsburgh2Final
Atlanta10
Game 3: Thursday, April 3
Pittsburgh4Final
in 10
Atlanta3

Pirates 12

(1-0, 1-0 away)

Braves 11

(0-2, 0-1 home)

7:10 PM ET, March 31, 2008

Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia 

23456789101112 R H E
PIT 10101141003 12 17 0
ATL 03100005002 11 12 3

W: F. Osoria (1-0)

L: B. Boyer (0-1)

Pirates fight off mistakes, Braves to win in 12

ATLANTA (AP) -- Tom Glavine's homecoming was an afterthought by the time a routine fly ball finally ended a game that was anything but routine.

A Brave Future?

Monday's loss marks only the fourth time in the 18 years Bobby Cox has managed the Braves that they have started a season 0-2. They've responded well in the past.

Year Final Rec. Final Res.
1991 94-68 L, World Series
1997 101-61 L, NLCS
2003 101-61 L, NLDS

"That," said Braves catcher Brian McCann, "was probably the craziest game I've ever been a part of."

Xavier Nady hit his second homer of the game, a three-run shot in the 12th inning, and the Pittsburgh Pirates overcame a horrific ninth and another potential collapse for a 12-11 win Monday night, ruining Atlanta's home opener.

The Braves took advantage of four walks and a huge defensive blunder to erase the Pirates' 9-4 lead. But Nady, who led off the eighth with a homer, lined a 2-0 pitch from Blaine Boyer (0-1) into the right-field seats with two outs and two aboard in the 12th.

Franquelis Osoria (0-1) pitched three innings for his first major league win. It was in doubt right to the end: Jeff Francoeur homered, Matt Diaz had an RBI single and the Braves had the potential tying run on base when Corky Miller flied out to center, ending the 4-hour, 28-minute marathon.

"I'm glad for him to get his first win," Nady said. "But I'm sure that wasn't the way it was drawn up."

Glavine returned to Atlanta after five years with the New York Mets. He left after the fifth, having surrendered one earned run, and turned over a 4-2 lead to the bullpen. The relievers were downright awful, giving up 10 runs (nine earned) in seven innings.

The Braves' defense wasn't better, making three costly errors.

Most of the crowd of 45,269 headed for home on a cool night when Pittsburgh went ahead with a four-run eighth off Manny Acosta. They missed quite a finish.

The Pirates had a five-run cushion with Atlanta down to its last three outs, but no lead is safe for a franchise that hasn't had a winning season since 1992.

Damaso Marte walked two, then closer Matt Capps walked two more to bring home a run. Chipper Jones followed with a two-run single, making it 9-7, then it looked as though Pittsburgh would escape. Mark Teixeira popped out, slapping his helmet in disgust. McCann, who homered in the fourth, followed with a soft fly to left.

Game over?

Not so fast.

Jason Bay inexplicably ran by the ball, apparently thinking Nate McLouth had called him off. It fell between them, allowing two runs to score.

"It was one of those things," McLouth said. "He thought I was going to get it, and I thought he was going to get it."

John Russell watched stoically from the Pirates dugout in his first game as a big league manager, perhaps wondering what he'd gotten himself into. At the end, though, his record was 1-0.

Glavine was the big story at the start of the night, returning to the team where he spent the first 16 seasons of his 303-win career. He had long since showered and dressed by the time it was over.

"I was a little anxious in the first inning," Glavine said. "After that, I felt pretty comfortable."

The 42-year-old left-hander has clearly lost a bit of the stuff that carried him to five 20-win seasons and two NL Cy Young Awards during his first stint with the Braves. Working from behind to all but five of 22 hitters, Glavine surrendered seven hits, walked two and threw 97 pitches -- only 52 for strikes.

But at least it was better than his last outing with the Mets. Glavine was charged with seven runs and got only one out in the second-shortest start of his career, a loss to the Florida Marlins on the final day of the season to complete New York's historic collapse in the NL East race.

With the game tied at 4, the Pirates teed off on Acosta in the eighth. He gave up the homer to Nady after getting two quick strikes. McLouth lined another one over the right-field wall in nearly the same spot for a three-run homer, equaling his career best with four RBIs on the night.

Yunel Escobar, taking over a shortstop for Edgar Renteria, went 3-for-4 with three RBIs but made a costly throwing error that allowed the tying run to score in the seventh.

After beginning the season with a ninth-inning loss in the opener for Washington's new stadium, the Braves returned home on a night filled with nostalgia from those years when Atlanta always made the playoffs.

Longtime Braves catcher Javy Lopez, who retired after a failed comeback attempt in spring training, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Then it was Glavine's turn to throw pitches that counted, cheered by the same fans who booed him lustily after a bitter contract dispute with Atlanta management led him to sign with the Mets.

Glavine was helped out by new Braves center fielder Mark Kotsay, who made a play reminiscent of the guy he replaced. Kotsay threw out Jack Wilson at home to end the fourth, making a good first impression on a town that watched 10-time Gold Glover Andruw Jones do those sort of things for more than a decade before he signed with the Dodgers.

The Braves had more troubles than highlights on defense, however.

Kelly Johnson bobbled away an easy grounder in the second that should have been the third out, allowing an unearned run to score off Glavine. When the Braves had a chance to get out of a seventh-inning jam without the tying run scoring, Escobar one-hopped a throw to first that Teixeira couldn't scoop.

"We showed a lot of character," Glavine said. "If you're going to beat us, you've got to battle us to the last out. But there's no question that other parts of the game were pretty ugly. We need to shore that up."

Game notes


Johnson left in the fourth with an ailing right knee that bothered him most of the spring. The second baseman was day to day. ... Pittsburgh RHP Tyler Yates, acquired from Atlanta last week, pitched a scoreless inning against his former team.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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