Washington (31-57) at Atlanta (46-42)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Atlanta, GA
Temp: 75° F
  • Game info: 7:35 pm EDT Fri Jul 16, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

With one of their best players back in the lineup, the Atlanta Braves are feeling even better about their chances of winning a 13th consecutive divisional crown.

Marcus Giles and the Braves will look to hold on to at least a piece of first place in the NL East when they resume their four-game series with the visiting Montreal Expos.

Giles returned to the Braves lineup Thursday for the first time since breaking his collarbone in a collision with center fielder Andruw Jones on May 15. The second baseman had a pair of doubles and two RBIs, helping the Braves to an 8-0 win.

“It was a long time to be out,” Giles said. “It’s sore, but my shoulder won’t be an excuse for me for any part of this year. It’s healed enough to do what I did tonight.”

Atlanta manager Bobby Cox was certainly impressed.

“He looked great, fielded flawlessly,” Cox said of Giles. “You couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Following their win, the Braves grabbed part of first place in the NL East for the first time since April 8 when the Philadelphia Phillies lost 3-2 in 11 innings to the New York Mets.

Chipper Jones added two doubles and an RBI for the Braves, who have won 13 of their last 16 games.

Endy Chavez went 2-for-3 for the Expos, who have lost five of eight. Montreal, which is 15 games behind Atlanta and Philadelphia, is the only team in the East more than one game out of first.

“A terrible day,” manager Frank Robinson said. “We just didn’t have it. Like some hitters and pitchers, the Braves seem to have our number. The record speaks for itself. Nobody can explain it.”

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Starting Pitchers

J. Patterson Tex vs. P. Byrd Bos
4-7 Record 8-7
5.03 ERA 3.94
99 K 79
46 BB 19
1.48 WHIP 1.24