Baseball: Braves are tamed

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The Independent Online
ED SPRAGUE hit a two-run home run in the ninth inning in Atlanta, Georgia, on Sunday to give the Toronto Blue Jays a 5-4 victory over Atlanta, levelling the World Series at one game apiece.

Sprague, Toronto's back-up catcher, came to the plate as a pinch-hitter for the pitcher, Duane Ward, and stunned the Braves with his well-struck shot off the relief pitcher, Jeff Reardon.

The win was sweet for the Blue Jays, who had appeared to be deprived of a run in the fourth when Roberto Alomar was called out, even though he seemed to have beaten the tag at home plate. The American League umpire, Mike Reilly, was in a perfect position to make the call. But he said 'Out]' and out of the dug-out sprang the Blue Jays manager, Cito Gaston, to argue one of the most blatant misses by an umpire in the World Series since Don Denkinger made a mistake in game six in 1985.

The two teams now go to the Toronto SkyDome for the next three games of the best-of-seven series with the score level at 1-1.

It was Toronto's first pinch homer since 20 September 1991, when Pat Borders connected, and made Sprague, along with Kirk Gibson, the only players ever to rally their team from a deficit to a victory with a ninth-inning, pinch-homer.

Sprague's homer came a day after the Braves reserve catcher, Damon Berryhill, hit a three-run homer off Jack Morris to rally Atlanta over Toronto 3-1.