On a pitching staff full of Cy Young winners, Kevin Millwood showed why he was the only all-star.
Millwood pitched a seven-hitter and Chipper Jones homered for the third straight game to help the Braves beat the Florida Marlins, 5-2, last night in Atlanta.
While Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine have struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness, Millwood (11-4) pitched well enough to be selected Wednesday to his first all-star team. Last night he struck out 10 and walked one to win his fifth straight start.
"I've thrown my curveball a lot this year," Millwood said. "It gives me something a little off-speed, a little slower."
Millwood allowed no hits after the fifth inning in his fourth career complete game and first since Aug. 25 at Houston.
Brian Jordan and Ryan Klesko also homered for the Braves.
Jones's homer in the sixth inning off Brian Meadows (6-10) put the Braves ahead 4-2. It was his 20th of the season and gave him six in his last seven games. Jones also had an RBI double in the first inning.
"I certainly struggled the first part of the season," said Jones, who has an eight-game hitting streak (12 for 25, .480) with six homers and nine RBI. "When you hit over .500 in the spring, you know you're going to come back down at some point.
"Unfortunately, once Opening Day got here, I lost it."
DODGERS 11, ROCKIES 8: The performance wasn't what he wanted but the result was, and finally Chan Ho Park can get a good night's rest.
Park earned his first win since May 26, helping his cause with two RBI, as Los Angeles outlasted Colorado in Denver.
"Honestly, I don't feel good because I gave up seven runs," Park (5-7) said. "But finally I can sleep tonight because I won. It's easy to forget the bad games if I'm winning."
Mark Grudzielanek drove in three runs for the Dodgers, who built leads of 5-0 and 10-5 to avoid being swept in the four-game series. It was only their second victory in 11 games.
"Just to get a win, the way we've been playing," said a relieved Eric Karros, who hit two homers, giving him 16 this year. "Thank goodness we got this one today. They've been few and far between."
CUBS 9, PIRATES 4: In Pittsburgh, Jose Hernandez homered and drove in four runs and Chicago, accustomed lately to losing by big scores, roughed up Pirates rookie Kris Benson.
The Cubs entered the game having lost six of seven, and were outscored 217-130 while losing 20 of 26. But last night their hitting carried them. Hernandez keyed a five-run third inning off Benson (6-7) with a three-run homer, then added an RBI single in the fifth.
REDS 8, CARDINALS 5: In St. Louis, Greg Vaughn and Mike Cameron homered, and Pete Harnisch won his third straight to lead Cincinnati. The win averted a three-game sweep by the Cardinals (42-43), who were attempting to get over the .500 mark for the first time since June 8.
EXPOS 4, METS 3: With closer John Franco out with a hand injury, the bullpen is the focal point for New York these days. It failed against visiting Montreal, as an eighth-inning sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Shane Andrews helped the Expos rally for the win.
"I hope this is the exception," Mets Manager Bobby Valentine said.
DIAMONDBACKS 8, ASTROS 7: In Phoenix, Matt Williams singled in Jay Bell with the winning run as Phoenix rallied with two runs in the 11th.
CAPTION: Expos' Ugueth Urbina is in a mood to celebrate after closing out the Mets for his 19th save of the season.