Braves 6, Phillies 1

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PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Kevin Millwood didn’t have much luck against his old teammates.

Russ Ortiz pitched six shutout innings and Robert Fick had three RBIs, leading the Atlanta Braves over Millwood and the Philadelphia Phillies 6-1 Wednesday night.

Gary Sheffield added a two-run homer for the Braves, who improved the NL’s best record to 46-23.

Facing his former team for the first time, Millwood (8-5) allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings. It was his fourth loss in his last five starts, and he’s given up 12 runs and 19 hits in his last two outings.

Tom Glavine, who signed with the New York Mets after 16 seasons with the Braves, also lost his first start against his former team. He gave up six runs and eight hits in a 10-4 loss on May 24.

Ortiz (8-4) allowed four hits, struck out three and walked three for his first win in four starts.

“It was just like when we faced Tommy,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “You hope it’s a 1-0 game and you win.”

Fick gave the Braves a 2-0 lead in the first on a two-run single. Millwood retired the first two batters, before Sheffield and Chipper Jones hit singles. Andruw Jones walked to load the bases, and Fick hit a single down the first-base line.

Fick had another two-out RBI single in the third to make it 3-0. After Javy Lopez walked, Vinny Castilla’s RBI single put the Braves ahead 4-0. Sheffield hit his 19th homer off Carlos Silva for a 6-0 lead in the sixth.

“He’s one of the best pitchers in the game. Maybe he was too pumped up,” Fick said.

Millwood said it was “a little strange” facing his old friends.

“Once I got out there, it wasn’t a big deal,” he said.

Phillies manager Larry Bowa thought Millwood was trying too hard to beat the Braves.

“I’m sure, but I don’t know if he’ll admit it,” Bowa said.

Millwood was traded to the Phillies for minor league catcher Johnny Estrada in a cost-cutting move last December. The right-hander signed a one-year, $9.9 million contract with the Phillies after earning $4.1 million in Atlanta last season.

Millwood often was overshadowed by Atlanta’s Cy Young trio of Greg Maddux, Glavine and John Smoltz during his tenure with the Braves. But he was Atlanta’s best pitcher last season, going 16-3 in his final 25 starts.

Since pitching his first no-hitter against San Francisco on April 27, Millwood is 4-4 with a 4.12 ERA in 10 starts.

“It was business as usual kind of like it was against Glavine,” Chipper Jones said. “I tried not to think of it being Kevin out there and concentrate just like any other pitcher.”

The Phillies’ best threat off Ortiz came in the first. Bobby Abreu led off with a single and Placido Polanco walked. But Jim Thome grounded into a double play and Pat Burrell struck out to end the inning.

Polanco had an RBI single off Trey Hodges in the eighth to make it 6-1. But Chipper Jones threw out Abreu at the plate on a single by Burrell to prevent a potential rally.

“My ball was moving great,” Ortiz said. “I felt I had great stuff. Ididn’t have great control. I didn’t want to give in. I kept battling.”


Ortiz, pitching for the Giants, beat Millwood in the decisive fifth game of last year’s NL divisional playoffs. Ortiz is 7-2 with a 3.20 ERA in his last 11 starts. … Burrell had two hits for the second straight game, raising his average to .208. … Thome was 1-for-4, including two strikeouts and stranded four runners. He’s hitting .246. … Fick has an 11-game hittingstreak. … Sheffield has seven homers and 16 RBIs in his last 16 games.

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