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Braves' Giles Is a Nine-Hit Wonder

July 30, 2003|From Associated Press

Marcus Giles was discussing his streak of nine straight hits -- one shy of the National League record -- when teammate Vinny Castilla walked up.

"He's not playing tomorrow," Castilla joked.

"Yeah, I'm going to sit on it," Giles said with a smile.

No chance. Giles went five for five to set an Atlanta record for consecutive hits as the Braves defeated the Houston Astros, 6-3, Tuesday night at Atlanta. He'll certainly be in the lineup today, hoping to tie the mark held by 10 players and last done by the Cincinnati Reds' Bip Roberts in 1992. The major league record for consecutive hits is 12, set by Pinky Higgins of the Boston Red Sox in 1938 and tied by the Detroit Tigers' Walt Dropo in 1952.

"It's not going to be on my mind at all," Giles said, then corrected himself for reporters. "That's a lie. Now that you're all talking about it, it will be on my mind. But I'm going to go with the same approach as I have the last few days. It's working for me."

On a night of streaks, Russ Ortiz stretched his winning streak to a career-high eight games and joined the Toronto Blue Jays' Roy Halladay as the only 15-game winners in the majors. Ortiz also hit a homer in the matchup of division leaders.

"My expectations are to win every ballgame or at least give us a chance to win every ballgame," he said. "I'm proud that I've been able to do my job."

Gary Sheffield hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the fifth that put the Braves ahead for good, and added an RBI single in the eighth.

But everyone was talking about Giles. The second baseman set a career high with five singles -- after getting four hits in each of the previous two games. He is 13 for 15 over the last three days, extended his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games and raising his batting average to .320.

Houston starter Roy Oswalt left in the third after re-injuring his right groin, an injury that already has sent him to the disabled list twice this season.

*

Florida 2, Arizona 1 -- Brad Penny gave up one run and four hits in seven-plus innings at Miami to lead the surging Marlins. The Diamondbacks have lost a team-record eight straight road games.

The Diamondbacks have been outscored, 10-8, while playing six consecutive one-run games, another club record. They've lost four of the six.

The Marlins extended their winning streak to five games and remained one game behind NL wild-card leader Philadelphia. Florida will go for a series sweep today when rookie sensation Dontrelle Willis pitches against Randy Johnson.

*

Chicago 3, San Francisco 0 -- Matt Clement pitched a two-hitter and Moises Alou hit a three-run homer in the first inning at Chicago.

Clement (8-9) struck out eight and walked two in his third career shutout. He had been 2-4 with a 6.98 earned-run average against the Giants.

Clement struck out the side in the fifth inning and received a standing ovation when he batted in the eighth. He matched the low-hit game of his career, on May 28 last year against Pittsburgh. While Clement has pitched at least six innings and given up three runs or fewer in his last seven starts, he is only 3-2 in that span.

*

San Diego 8, Pittsburgh 7 -- Mark Loretta's go-ahead, two-run single followed Rondell White's tying homer in San Diego's four-run ninth inning at Pittsburgh.

The Pirates led, 6-4, after eight innings, but White's two-run homer -- his 17th -- off Mike Lincoln tied it. Gary Matthews Jr.'s single and two walks loaded the bases before Loretta singled to center off Brian Boehringer as the Padres sent 10 batters to the plate in the ninth.

*

Colorado 5, Cincinnati 3 -- Jay Payton of the Rockies matched his career high with four hits at Cincinnati.

Dave Miley's first game as a big-league manager was ugly -- the Reds tied their season high with four errors. Shortstop Ray Olmedo had three throwing errors. The Reds lead the majors with 104 errors in 107 games.

*

St. Louis 2, Montreal 1 -- Scott Rolen's sacrifice fly in the ninth inning led to a Cardinal victory at Montreal.

Garrett Stephenson gave up four hits for his first complete game since Aug. 5, 2000.

Stephenson (5-10) made his first start since July 17 and struck out four and walked none. His last two appearances were in relief, and he was 0-5 with a 5.91 ERA in his previous six starts.

Livan Hernandez (10-7), 4-0 with a 1.76 ERA in his five previous starts in July, gave up five hits and two runs in his third complete game this month.

After striking out twice while going hitless in his first three at-bats, the Cardinals' Albert Pujols singled with one out in the ninth to extend his hitting streak to 13 games.

*

Milwaukee 6, New York 3 -- Royce Clayton hit a three-run homer, and Keith Osik added a solo shot for the Brewers at New York.

Clayton and Osik connected in the second and fourth innings against Dan Wheeler, who replaced injured starter Tom Glavine in the second inning. Glavine left the game because of a right rib cage strain.

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