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Millwood, Braves even series
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 7      3   Final
10/03/2002 10:49 pm ET 
 Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
 Giants 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 3 7 0
 Braves 1 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 X 7 8 0
Millwood, Braves even series
By Mark Bowman /

Javy Lopez hit a solo home run in the second inning off Kirk Rueter. (John Bazemore/AP)
ATLANTA -- It might have been fitting that Kevin Millwood was on the mound the night that Javy Lopez and Vinny Castilla proved they could enjoy new life in the postseason.

Millwood, who resurrected his career this year, continued the dominance he displayed the past four months and got some much appreciated support from Lopez and Castilla during the Braves' 7-3 win over the Giants in Game 2 of the Division Series at Turner Field on Thursday night.

Back to "It was definitely a big game," Millwood said of the victory that evened the series at one game apiece. "It was definitely the biggest game of the year so far for us. We get out of here with a win and it gives us confidence as we head to their place."

Millwood, who lost just three of his final 25 starts this year, limited the Giants to two runs on three hits in six innings. His outing, which saw him hit 95 and 96 mph on a consistent basis, was reminiscent of the ones he enjoyed in 1998 and '99, before enduring two consecutive injury plagued seasons in 2000 and 2001.

"That's as pumped up as I've ever been on the field," Millwood said. "I think I had more adrenaline flowing than I ever have."

    Kevin Millwood   /   P
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 205
Bats/Throws: R/R

More info:
Player page
Phillies site
Two-out solo homers from J.T. Snow and Rich Aurilia would provide the only runs against Millwood. Snow's home run, which came in the second inning, barely cleared the left-center field wall.

After allowing the Snow homer, Millwood would retire seven straight batters before Benito Santiago singled to begin the fifth inning. Santiago and Snow were the only runners to reach until Aurilia homered in the sixth.

"I felt like I threw the ball well," Millwood said. "I felt like I put pitches in spots where I wanted to most of the night, with the exception of a few pitches."

The Aurilia homer, which came in the sixth inning, occurred immediately after the Braves right-hander stumbled over the first base bag and tweaked his groin while retiring Kenny Lofton. He retired the next batter to end the inning and his evening.

    Javy Lopez   /   C
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 200
Bats/Throws: R/R

More info:
Hit chart
Orioles site
"At the time I didn't think I was affected," Millwood said. "Maybe a little bit tired. I didn't really get sore from it until after I had come out of the game. I started feeling a little bit sore, but nothing that's really going to affect anything."

Millwood, who is now 2-1 with a 3.20 ERA in three Division Series starts, will likely start Game 5 of the series if it is necessary. He'll be doing it on three days rest. But because he threw only 72 pitches Thursday, he doesn't think that will be a factor.

"Believe me, I'll be ready for that game if we have to play it," Millwood said.

Lopez and Castilla, who both struggled at the plate this season, hit back-to-back homers off Giants starter Kirk Rueter to begin the Braves' three-run second inning. It was Lopez's second homer in as many at-bats. His eighth-inning homer during Wednesday's Game 1 loss gave the Braves life and some momentum as they shifted into the second game of the series.

    Vinny Castilla   /   3B
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 185
Bats/Throws: R/R

More info:
Hit chart
Rockies site
"When we got here today, we felt like we could do some damage," Lopez said. "We knew, with a win here tonight, we could turn this series around pretty quickly."

Castilla, who at one point this year went 256 consecutive at-bats without a homer, followed Lopez's homer with a shot over the center field wall to give him his first home run in Atlanta since June 3 and prove that the right wrist that has bothered him much of this season is getting stronger.

"Javy and I both struggled during the season," Castilla said. "But I'm feeling great right now and the season doesn't matter."

Mark DeRosa, who was making his first career postseason start, proved to be one of the other offensive heroes of the evening. The second baseman followed Castilla and Lopez's back-to-back homers with double in the second inning that would put him in position to score on a Rafael Furcal single.

DeRosa added a two-run triple into the right field corner in the fourth inning and would later score on a passed ball charged to Santiago. The Braves other run on the evening came in the first inning when Chipper Jones drove Julio Franco home on a single to left.

Rueter, who was making his second career postseason start, allowed seven runs (six earned) on seven hits in three innings. Giants relievers Manny Aybar and Jay Witasick came on to throw two scoreless innings apiece.

Andruw Jones' two-out single off Felix Rodriguez in the eighth provided the Braves only hit after Rueter exited.

After Millwood exited, Mike Remlinger provided a scoreless seventh and Darren Holmes got the first two outs in the eighth before exiting in favor of John Smoltz in a non-save situation.

As a sellout crowd 47,176 roared for their record-setting closer, he struck out Jeff Kent to end the eighth inning. But Barry Bonds would get the best of Smoltz with a towering solo homer to begin the ninth inning.

"It was a fastball inside that I didn't get inside enough, as evidenced by the three feet he had to work with around the foul pole," Smoltz said. "I wasn't just throwing something up there to see what he could do with it."

After the Bonds homer, Smoltz secured the crucial victory with three consecutive strikeouts.

"That was a must win for us," Chipper Jones said. "Not only did it allow us to dig ourselves out of hole, but it also gave us momentum going into their place. You never want to go two games right off the bat in a five-game series."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for and can be reached at This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Atlanta Braves 7, San Francisco Giants 3
Lofton, CF 4010010.250
Aurilia, SS 4111011.222
Kent, 2B 4000021.125
Bonds, LF 4111010.250
Santiago, C 4010020.444
Snow, 1B 4121021.333
Sanders, RF 4010011.250
Bell, 3B 3000013.286
Rueter, P 1000010.000
Aybar, P 0000000.000
a-Feliz, PH 1000010.000
Witasick, P 0000000.000
b-Goodwin, PH 1000010.000
Rodriguez, P 0000000.000
a-Struck out for Aybar in the 6th. b-Struck out for Witasick in the 8th.
HR: Snow (1, 2nd inning off Millwood, 0 on, 2 out), Aurilia (1, 6th inning off Millwood, 0 on, 2 out), Bonds (1, 9th inning off Smoltz, 0 on, 0 out).
RBI: Snow (3), Aurilia (3), Bonds (1).
2-out RBI: Snow, Aurilia.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Bell.
Team LOB: 4.
PB: Santiago (1).
DP: (Aurilia-Kent-Snow).
Furcal, SS 4011021.333
Franco, J, 1B 3100110.125
Smoltz, P 0000000.000
Sheffield, RF 4000001.125
Jones, C, LF 3011100.333
Jones, A, CF 4010012.250
Lopez, J, C 4221002.375
Castilla, 3B 2211100.500
DeRosa, 2B 3222000.500
Remlinger, P 0000000.000
Holmes, P 0000000.000
Helms, 1B 0000000.000
Millwood, P 1000001.000
a-Lockhart, PH-2B 1000000.000
a-Grounded out for Millwood in the 6th.
2B: DeRosa (1, Rueter).
3B: DeRosa (1, Rueter).
HR: Lopez, J (2, 2nd inning off Rueter, 0 on, 0 out), Castilla (1, 2nd inning off Rueter, 0 on, 0 out).
RBI: Jones, C (1), Lopez, J (3), Castilla (1), Furcal (1), DeRosa 2 (2).
2-out RBI: Jones, C.
S: Millwood.
GIDP: Lopez, J.
Team LOB: 2.
CS: Furcal (1, 2nd base by Rueter/Santiago).
Rueter (L, 0-1) 3.077621218.00
Aybar 2.00001200.00
Witasick 2.00000100.00
Rodriguez 1.01000000.00
Millwood (W, 1-0) 6.03220723.00
Remlinger 1.02000200.00
Holmes 0.21000100.00
Smoltz 1.11110416.75
Rueter pitched to 3 batters in the 4th.

Pitches-strikes: Rueter 62-32, Aybar 30-18, Witasick 19-12, Rodriguez 14-10, Millwood 72-54, Remlinger 21-17, Holmes 14-10, Smoltz 18-16.
Ground outs-fly outs: Rueter 6-1, Aybar 2-2, Witasick 4-1, Rodriguez 2-1, Millwood 5-6, Remlinger 0-1, Holmes 0-1, Smoltz 0-0.
Batters faced: Rueter 17, Aybar 7, Witasick 6, Rodriguez 3, Millwood 21, Remlinger 5, Holmes 3, Smoltz 5.
Inherited runners-scored: Aybar 1-1, Smoltz 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Paul Emmel. 1B: Angel Hernandez. 2B: Jerry Layne. 3B: Tim Tschida. LF: Ted Barrett. RF: Mike Reilly.
Weather: 78 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 6 mph, R to L.
T: 2:58.
Att: 47,167.
Box score official statistics approved by Major League Baseball and the Office of the Commissioner