Originally created 08/03/97

Braves notes

MIAMI - Manager Bobby Cox called closer Mark Wohlers into the eighth inning of Friday night's game, despite numbers that show the right-hander shouldn't be used before the ninth.

Wohlers and the eighth inning don't mesh. All three of his blown saves this season have come in games in which he entered in the eighth. Eight times he's entered in the eighth, working eight innings, and he's given up 10 hits and allowed four of 12 inherited runners to score.

"When you come in in the eighth in a one-run game, there's no room for error," Wohlers said. "If you're not on your game right from the get-go, you get the result like last night. When you come in in the ninth, you have time to make adjustments."

Wohlers gave up a game-tying hit to Devon White Friday and the Braves lost in 12 innings 3-2.

It's clear the Braves sorely miss setup man Greg McMichael, whom they traded to the Mets last November. Cox used two relievers in the eighth before Wohlers, including pulling left-hander Alan Embree rather than allowing him to pitch to the switch-hitting White.

Asked about using Wohlers in the eighth, Cox said, "I'll do it anytime, as long as he's rested. The name of the game is trying to win the game."

MILLWOOD IN RELIEF? If Denny Neagle ran into problems Saturday night, forcing the bullpen into the game early, Cox was prepared to use Kevin Millwood, today's scheduled starter, and start Tom Glavine in this afternoon's series finale.

Glavine, who missed Thursday's start with a sore Achilles tendon, said he could make the start if he was needed.

"I'd rather it be Tuesday," he said, "but if it was tomorrow it wouldn't be a problem."

Testing the injury Friday, Glavine found that he could run, but not sprint.

"I've got enough to cover first base, but that's about it," he said. "I don't expect to be 100 percent, but I hope to be at 90 percent. And, hopefully when the game is over I'll still be at 90 percent."

Meanwhile, Glavine's divorce has become final. He and his former wife, Carri Ann, will share joint custody of their 2-year-old daughter, Amber, and the pitcher will pay between 17 percent and 23 percent of his gross income in support.

KLESKO PLEASING: Cox was pleased to see Ryan Klesko stay on pitches and try to drive the ball to left field Friday, so he started him against Marlins left-hander Al Leiter Saturday. Klesko's jammed right thumb still bothers him, but not enough to keep him from playing.

"You noticed I didn't swing and miss too many pitches," he said. "I was picking and choosing."

ETC.: After going 9-for-71 in the first two games against the Marlins, the Braves' batting average has fallen to .277, their lowest since April 4 when it was .254 after four games. ... Jeff Blauser has cooled off at the plate. He headed into Saturday's game hitless in nine at-bats in the series and with only two hits in his last 28 at-bats. In his last 10 games he's hitting .114 and his average has tumbled from .346 at the All-Star break to .320. ... Andruw Jones is also experiencing a downswing in his offensive fortunes, hitting .184 in his last 10 games. However, four of his last seven hits have been home runs and he has five doubles and six homers among his last 18 hits.


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