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ATLANTA (AP) — The San Francisco Giants couldn't wait to get to the champagne, to pop the cork on a celebration eight years in the making.
But first, they had to pay their respects to the guy in the other dugout.
Bobby Cox's career ended when the Atlanta Braves lost to the Giants 3-2 in the deciding game of the NL division series Monday night, giving San Francisco its first playoff victory since a run to the World Series in 2002.
The chants of "Bobby! Bobby! Bobby!" from the crowd at Turner Field were to be expected for a retiring manager who's sure to wind up in Cooperstown. The more touching gesture was provided by the Giants, who quit jumping around long enough to clap for Cox and tip their caps in his direction.
"He's a legend in this sport," second baseman Freddy Sanchez said. "He's been a great mentor to so many people in the sport. We had to show our respect. First things first. Then we could go celebrate."
They certainly had reason.
Twenty-one-year-old rookie Madison Bumgarner pitched six strong innings. Late-season pickup Cody Ross homered and drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the seventh. Finally, the San Francisco bullpen closed out a series that was tight and tense to the very end.
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