Braves on the verge

Victory pushes Atlanta two games ahead of Phillies in NL East race

Posted: Thursday, October 04, 2001

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves took a huge step toward their 10th straight division championship, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 8-3 Wednesday night.

The Braves had 13 hits, and Tom Glavine pitched six innings, pushing Philadelphia two games back in the NL East with four to play.

Atlanta can clinch a tie for first by beating the Phillies on Thursday night, the finale of the three-game series.

One night after being limited to three hits and an unearned run, the Braves routed 15-game winner Robert Person, the Phillies' top starter.

Marcus Giles homered, Andruw Jones had three RBIs for Atlanta, which scored four runs in the fifth, building an 8-1 lead.

Glavine (16-7) won his fifth straight decision.

Mets 3, Pirates 0

NEW YORK -- Steve Trachsel pitched a two-hitter for his first complete game of the season as New York beat Pittsburgh, avoiding a three-game sweep.

Trachsel pitched his first shutout since May 6, 2000, for Tampa Bay against Boston.

His latest effort came the night after New York (81-78) was eliminated from the chance to defend the NL championship.

Trachsel (11-13) retired 21 of 22 after allowing a single to Aramis Ramirez with two outs in the first inning. He didn't allow another hit until pinch-hitter Adam Hydzu singled with two outs in the seventh.

Desi Relaford and Mark Johnson homered off Todd Ritchie (11-15).

Cubs 13, Reds 7

CHICAGO -- Sammy Sosa hit his 61st home run, and Jon Lieber became the Cubs' first 20-game winner in nine years as Chicago beat Cincinnati.

Sosa's three-run shot off Chris Reitsma in the bottom of the seventh inning came less than 24 hours after he became the first player in major league history with three 60-homer seasons.

Sosa also drove in another run for the Cubs, who beat the Reds for the 12th time this season, to reach a league-high 154 RBIs.

Corky Miller homered twice, and Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn had solo home runs for the Reds. Scott Macrae (0-1) gave up four runs -- three earned -- and three hits in two innings.

Lieber (20-6) got his 20th win on his first try.

Expos 2, Marlins 0

MIAMI -- Vladimir Guerrero and Orlando Cabrera each hit RBI doubles in the eighth inning as Montreal beat Florida.

The Expos broke open the scoreless game against reliever Juan Acevedo (2-5), who allowed three hits -- all doubles.

Scott Stewart (3-1) got two outs to earn the win in relief as the Expos snapped a three-game losing streak. Scott Strickland pitched the eighth and ninth innings for his eighth save.

Much of the game was a pitcher's duel between Montreal's Tomokazu Ohka and Kevin Olsen of Florida.

Giants 11, Astros 8

HOUSTON -- Barry Bonds broke Babe Ruth's season record with three straight four-pitch walks, remaining at 69 home runs Wednesday night to lead the San Francisco Giants over the faltering Houston Astros 11-8.

Bonds, who went 1-for-2, has 172 walks, two more than the previous mark Ruth set in 1923. Bonds, who hasn't connected since Saturday, has four games left to reach the record of 70 homers Mark McGwire set in 1998.

Houston, which could have clinched a playoff spot with a win, has lost five straight and seven of eight. The Astros stayed in a tie with St. Louis for the NL Central lead.

San Francisco remained two games behind NL West-leading Arizona. Jason Schmidt (13-7) improved to 7-1 since being acquired from Pittsburgh on July 30, allowing three runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings. Nelson Cruz (3-3) was the loser.

Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 3

PHOENIX -- Curt Schilling (22-6) allowed three runs and nine hits in eight innings with eight strikeouts, becoming the first 22-game winner of the season.

Byung-Hyun Kim pitched the ninth for his 18th save as Arizona won for the sixth time in seven games. In the 16 times that Arizona and San Francisco have played on the same day since Sept. 7, both have either won or both lost on that day.

Shawn Chacon (6-10) allowed four runs and six hits in six innings. Todd Helton hit his 47th homer.

Brewers 9, Cardinals 7

MILWAUKEE -- Richie Sexson drove in five runs with his 42nd and 43rd homers as Milwaukee stopped their six-game losing streak and the Cardinals' six-game winning streak. St. Louis lost for just the third time in 18 games.

Jamey Wright (11-12) won despite allowing five runs and eight hits in five innings. Chad Fox got the three outs for his second save.

Bud Smith (6-3), working on 10 days' rest and allowed six runs and six hits in three innings. J.D. Drew homered twice for St. Louis.

Dodgers 12, Padres 5

SAN DIEGO -- Rickey Henderson tied Ty Cobb's major league record of 2,245 runs, but San Diego lost to Los Angeles, which got three-run homers from Gary Sheffield and Paul Lo Duca.

Henderson tied Cobb's 73-year-old record on Ryan Klesko's two-run double in the third inning.

Cobb's record has stood since he retired in 1928.

Henderson still needs three hits to become the 25th player to reach 3,000.

Sheffield hit a three-run homer into the second deck off Bobby Jones (8-19) in the first inning, his 35th, and Lo Duca hit a three-run shot off rookie Brett Jodie in the seventh. It was the third homer in two nights for Lo Duca.

Jones allowed 37 homers in 33 starts, breaking the club record.

Eric Gagne (6-7) allowed two runs on three hits in six innings.

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