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.
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.”
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.”