Baseball: Bream rises to net a rich prize for Braves

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The Independent Online
THE Atlanta Braves scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning on Wednesday night to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 and reach a second consecutive World Series, where they face the Toronto Blue Jays, starting tomorrow.

After Ron Gant had hit a sacrifice fly, scoring the Braves' first run, they were down to their last out with the bases loaded when Francisco Cabrera, the former Toronto back-up catcher who had just 10 at bats in the Majors this year, lined a single to left field knocking in David Justice with the tying run.

Sid Bream chugged around third and slid around catcher Mike LaValliere's tag to score the winning run and set off bedlam in the stands and on the field as the Braves buried Bream at home plate in a pile of ecstatic players.

The Pittsburgh manager, Jim Leyland, said: 'I'm still in shock. I thought the game was ours in the ninth after we got the two outs. . . The Pittsburgh Pirates walk tall tonight, but the Atlanta Braves walk a little taller.'

Earlier, the Blue Jays had beaten the Oakland Athletics 9-2, winning the American League pennant to become the first non- US team to reach the World Series. They won the best-of-seven- games AL Championship series

4-2 behind the five-hit pitching of Jays starter, Juan Guzman, in his seven innings of work. He gave up one run and struck out eight.