Originally created 07/23/98

Braves crush Phillies



PHILADELPHIA -- Oh, to be young and throw a 95 m.p.h. fastball and a knee-buckling ...

Oops, sorry, that's Kerry Wood.

This was someone named Carlton Loewer and Wednesday night he looked like Wilbur Wood, not Kerry.

Twenty-four hours after the Cubs' phenom blazed a trail of heat through Atlanta's lineup, Loewer tried the same approach and watched rockets light up the city skyline.

It was one inning and out for Philadelphia's rookie as the Braves opened a nine-game trip by burying the Phillies with a week's worth of offense, taking a 14-2 victory in front of 28,304 fans at Veterans Stadium.

"We play so many close games, down-to-the-wire games, it's a relief to come out and have a relaxing, fun day," third baseman Chipper Jones said. "Everybody contributed one way or another and everybody goes home happy."

This one was so easy Ozzie Guillen had three hits by the fourth inning, Jones had three RBI in his first two at-bats and the trio of Guillen, Keith Lockhart and Jones had crossed home plate six times by the end of the second.

The season-high run total and 16 hits made Tom Glavine's night as smooth as the outfield turf. With his 16th career win against the Phils, including a 10-3 record at Veterans Stadium, the left-hander matched last season's win total and became the National League's first 14-game winner, while improving his road record to 8-1 this season.

"Needless to say, things are going a little bit better than they did last year," Glavine said. "But I don't know if I'm getting caught up in any of that (20-win) stuff."

Glavine (14-4) retired the first 11 hitters he faced, but lost his perfect game when Scott Rolen broke his bat in sending a flare into right-center field with two outs in the fourth. Rico Brogna followed with his 14th homer and Glavine's shutout bid was history.

No matter. With Andres Galarraga hitting a pair of home runs for the second time in a week and driving in four runs, all Glavine had to do was work seven innings and go take a shower. He matched his season-high with 10 strikeouts and allowed four hits and a walk.

"I had a good overall package," Glavine said. "My fastball was good, the changeup was real good and the slider was good. Sometimes when you least expect (strikeouts) to come, they come. I guess it was a combination of good stuff and good location."

Loewer (4-3) was scrubbed, shaven and had completed the New York Times crossword puzzle by the time his teammates filed sadly through the clubhouse door. His evening ended almost before the right field door closed on the Phanatic.

Three runs in the first, five in the second and Loewer was gone, having retired three of the 13 hitters he faced, charged with seven hits and eight runs, seven earned.

Thanks to Loewer and a host of relievers, several struggling hitters got healthy. Michael Tucker, with two hits in his last 33 at-bats, had an RBI double in the first inning, walked and scored in the fourth and tripled in the sixth.

Keith Lockhart snapped an 0-for-11 skid with a first-inning single, then drew three walks, while Glavine had two singles and scored a run.

"Things were looking up after (Lockhart) got his first hit," Tucker said. "I had to get one too because we're both in the same boat."

The Cubs' scouting report says Galarraga has a slider-speed bat. Don't tell that to Loewer, who threw him a 94 m.p.h. fastball in the second inning and watched it disappear over the right field fence for a three-run homer, his 31st and first since July 15.

Galarraga cracked No. 32 in the fifth against reliever Jerry Spradlin, the seventh time he's homered twice in a game this season and the 26th time in his career. More amazingly, he has six two-homer games in his last 38 games dating back to June 2.

"I think as soon as I hit the first one I feel comfortable," Galarraga said. "Believe me, I don't think I've got to hit another one."

Though the lineup carried the night, it was Mark Wohlers' perfect ninth inning that created the biggest smiles. In his best outing since returning from the minors, he got three ground balls and was around the strike zone with almost every pitch.

"Tonight I just tried to get guys out, rather than prove I can throw my fastball for strikes," Wohlers said.

There was no better way to start a tour of Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Atlanta -- 3 5 0 3 1 0 0 0 2 -- 14 16 0
Philadelphia -- 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 -- 2 4 2

E -- Jefferies (1), Loewer (1). LOB -- Atlanta 11, Philadelphia 3. 2B -- GerWilliams (12), Tucker (21). 3B -- Tucker (2). HR -- Brogna (14) off Glavine; Galarraga 2 (32) off Spradlin, Loewer. RBIs -- OGuillen 2 (8), ChJones 3 (83), Galarraga 4 (82), GerWilliams 2 (23), JLopez (70), Tucker (38), Glavine (6), Brogna 2 (71). GIDP -- JLopez.

DP -- Philadelphia 2 (MLewis, Relaford and Brogna), (KJordan).