Originally created 05/02/00

Braves win 14th straight; set record



LOS ANGELES -- Dust off the record books, the Braves have carved themselves a place in history.

Far away from home, in a stadium steeped in baseball memories, the Braves celebrated a modern-day franchise record with a 14th win in a row Monday night by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 in front of 28,790 at Dodger Stadium.

Only the 1891 Boston Beaneaters, who won 18 in a row, stand between the Braves and the top spot in franchise record books that date back to 1876.

"I think we knew coming out of spring training we had a good ballclub, but who wins 14 in a row?" said Kevin Millwood, who pitched seven shutout innings. "Nobody does that anymore."

The Braves did it the hard way, making Quilvio Veras' third-inning homer and an unearned run in the eighth stand up. Millwood went seven in a fifth straight start, Rudy Seanez pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, then John Rocker picked up his sixth save despite allowing a ninth-inning run and being mooned by a fan who ran onto the field with two outs.

"It's nice, I guess that's the record," manager Bobby Cox said. "It's something to be very proud of. It's hard to do."

Millwood did a number on the Dodgers for the second time in five days, working seven gallant innings and allowing only five singles. After taking no-decisions in his first three starts, he's reeled off three wins in a row and dropped his ERA to 2.77.

"I didn't feel like I had my best stuff early on," he said. "It was a struggle. It never came easy. I get a lot of satisfaction out of that and coming away with a win."

Millwood beat the Dodgers last Wednesday in Atlanta, striking out seven and not allowing an earned run in seven innings. He was not nearly as dominant this time, though he came away with the same result.

The Braves pitcher, who escaped a first-and-second jam in the second, had good command of a knee-wavering curve, which he used to great effect, and he did his best work with runners on base.

Millwood stranded two Dodgers in the third when he struck out Shawn Green swinging at a knee-high fastball and Eric Karros flied to Andruw Jones. In the fourth, he coaxed an inning-ending grounder from pitcher Eric Gagne with Adrian Beltre on second, then didn't allow a runner to advance past first base, setting down nine of the final 10 hitters he faced.

Despite not having his best fastball, Millwood showed how much attention he's paid to the teachings of Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine by keeping the Dodgers off the scoreboard. He was particularly tough against the heart of Los Angeles' lineup, blanking Gary Sheffield (0 for 2), Green (0 for 2) and Karros (0 for 3).

Gagne, a 5-1 loser to the Braves last week, survived the first by inducing Brian Jordan to tap into a 6-4-3 double play, the 22nd twin killing the Braves have bounced into in 25 games.

Veras, who quietly hit .321 in April, extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 games by rifling Gagne's 3-1 delivery into the empty right field pavilion in the third.

Gagne tap-danced around trouble in the sixth, stranding two runners when center fielder Devon White tracked down Javy Lopez's drive to the warning track, and exited after seven trailing 1-0.

In the eighth, Veras singled and took advantage of second baseman Mark Grudzielanek's mental lapse by advancing to second on Jones' roller. Another bizarre play followed as Andres Galarraga knocked the ball from first baseman Karros' glove, allowing Veras to scamper home with an insurance run.