Originally created 08/17/00

Braves sweep series with Padres



ATLANTA -- Even with a surgically repaired back and a year-long recovery from cancer, Andres Galarraga is capable of carrying a team.

Galarraga homered for the second straight day, and Andruw Jones' eighth-inning double plated the eventual winning run as the Atlanta Braves beat the San Diego Padres 4-1 Wednesday, completing a three-game sweep before 31,650 at Turner Field.

"We've got to help Chipper," Galarraga said. "Chipper hasn't been hitting it so good for a while, and me and Brian (Jordan) help him out. That's why it helps to have balance."

The Padres, who entered the series having won 13 of 15, tied a major-league record by hitting three Braves batters in the bottom of the eighth, when Atlanta rallied for three runs and the win, capping a 5-1 homestand. Numerous teams have had three batters hit in one inning, and the last time it happened to the Braves was in 1969.

The victory enabled the Braves to keep their lead in the National League East at two games over the Mets, who played the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night.

Kevin Millwood was brilliant for six innings before leaving the game with a strained left patellar tendon, striking out eight and walking just one while winning his third straight decision.

"I didn't want to be a he-man and try to stay out there," said Millwood, who is expected to make his start in Colorado next Tuesday. "It's really not that new to me. I've had it happen before, and it's really not that serious."

With two outs in the sixth, he went to a 2-0 count on San Diego's Mike Darr before trainer Jeff Porter and manager Bobby Cox came out to check on him. He convinced them he was fine and finished the inning, but after he got to the mound to start the seventh, Porter and Cox came out and removed him from the game.

Millwood left with a one-hitter but got no decision for his third straight start.

"I wanted to stay in and pitch nine innings," said Millwood, who added that if he had had a no-hitter, he still would have left the game. "I want to pitch nine innings every time out. What good is a no-hitter on Aug. 16 if you can't pitch in September or October?"

Scott Kamieniecki (2-1) picked up the win after getting the final out in the eighth inning, and John Rocker collected the save, his 16th, with a perfect ninth inning.

The Braves got a break in the seventh that saved them a run. Kerry Ligtenberg, who replaced Millwood, allowed a single to John Mabry, and San Diego catcher Wiki Gonzalez belted a ground-rule double to right-center. Had the ball not bounced over the wall, Mabry would have scored easily.

In the top of the eighth, the Padres tied the game on a bases-loaded walk to pinch hitter Desi Relaford, Bringing up Bret Boone with a chance to break the game open. Facing Kamieniecki, Boone roped a ball into deep left-center field, but a well-positioned B.J. Surhoff snared it to end the threat.

The Braves' three-run rally in the eighth laid waste to a stellar outing by San Diego starter Adam Eaton, who allowed four hits and one run over seven innings.

"They're a good team," said Boone. "When you give them opportunities, they're going to beat you. Adam's out there pitching his butt off, and we couldn't give him any help."

In the bottom half, Rafael Furcal reached base after being hit by a pitch and scored on Andruw Jones' double. The Braves plated two more when Surhoff and Galarraga were hit by pitches with the bases loaded.