MONTREAL (AP)—Russ Ortiz wanted to pitch nine innings Saturday night. His first shutout of the year was merely a bonus.
Ortiz (14-7) retired the first 15 batters before Einar Diaz lined a clean single to right-center to lead off the sixth.
“I felt like the way I was throwing I could finish the game and that was my main focus,” Ortiz said. “If the shutout was there, obviously that’s a great thing, but my whole objective was to finish the game.”
After five perfect innings, his teammates had other things in mind.
“Yeah, we were thinking about,” Jones said. “It’s always nice to be part of a no-hitter and it would have been great if he did it, but we’ll take the win.”
Ortiz’s third career shutout was his first since Sept. 19, 2003, when he reached 20 wins for the first time in his career with a 1-0 three-hitter against Florida.
“I thought he changed speeds really well and he banged strikes all night,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “He had his great changeup going tonight.”
The Braves have won 11 of 12, and are 35-12 since the All-Star break.
“Andruw took care of the big runs with the grand slam—that really was a huge hit,” Cox said. “It put us way up, so that helped.”
“It’s a tough spot, but I’ve been in that spot before,” Horgan said. “I just didn’t make a good pitch.”
LaRoche doubled and, one out later, Ortiz hit an RBI double over center fielder Ryan Church to make it 8-0.
Patterson allowed three hits and six runs in two-plus innings.
“Two walks and 3-2 and he hit him—I look at that as a walk too,” Expos manager Frank Robinson said. “It’s just like he wasn’t out there tonight.”
Montreal fell to 4-8 on its season-high 13-game homestand.
Drew walked with two out in the first and scored the game’s first run on Chipper Jones’ RBI double.
The Braves added two more in the second to take a 3-0 lead on Rafael Furcal’s RBI single and Diaz’s throwing error. Furcal stole his 22nd base when Diaz’s throw popped out of his hand and rolled slowly up the third-base line, allowing Charles Thomas to run home from third.
Andruw Jones, who also hit a grand slam off Kevin Millwood on May 27 in Philadelphia, has three career grand slams. … The Braves had 13 hits, the 13th time in their last 14 games they have had 10 or more hits in a game. … The Expos have been shut out 16 times this season, including four times by Atlanta.