On a pitching staff full of Cy Young winners, Kevin Millwood showed why he was the only All-Star.
Millwood pitched a seven-hitter and Chipper Jones homered for the third straight game to help the Atlanta Braves beat the Florida Marlins 5-2 Thursday night.
"I've thrown my curveball a lot this year," Millwood said. "It gives me something a little off-speed, a little slower."
"I wanted to pitch my fastball and slider until they made me change. When they did, I started going with the curveball more and picking up the tempo."
Millwood allowed no hits after the fifth inning in his fourth career complete game and first since Aug. 25 at Houston.
"I picked up the tempo a little bit," Millwood said. "Chipper said something to me about it. I was dragging along, and when a guy like that says something to you, you'd be pretty smart to listen."
Jones' solo homer in the sixth inning off Brian Meadows (6-10) put the Braves ahead 4-2. It was his 20th homer of the season and gave him six in his last seven games. Jones also had an RBI double in the first inning.
"I certainly struggled the first part of the season," said Jones, who has an eight-game hitting streak (12-for-25, .480) with si homers and nine RBI. "When you hit over .500 in the spring, you know you're going to come back down at some point. "
"Unfortunately, once opening day got here, I lost it."
Klesko hit a two-run homer in the fourth off Meadows, who lost for the fifth time in his last six starts. Klesko's homer, his 11th, put Atlanta ahead 3-1.
Brian Jordan hit a solo shot in the eighth, his 17th, off Brian Edmondson for the Braves' final run.
Bruce Aven drove in both Braves runs with a sacrifice fly in the third and an RBI double in the fifth. Aven leads the Marlins with 43 RBI.
Meadows gave up seven hits and four runs in six innings. He walked one and struck out one.
"I thought he did pretty well," said Marlins manager John Boles. "The guys who hit home runs tonight have hit a lot of them. They're quality hitters. When you make a mistake, they're going to make you pay for it."
- Florida 2B Luis Castillo started and singled in the third despite having his right hand heavily taped. Castillo left the Wednesday's game in the fourth after getting bruised by Klesko's hard grounder.
- Braves C Javy Lopez reported no pain after making throws to second base from the catcher's stance. Lopez has been on the DL since June 23 with a sprained right knee.
- Jones, who didn't make the All-Star team for the first time since his rookie year in 1995, has put up nearly identical numbers the first half of this year as in 1998. He hit .309 before the break last year with 21 homers and 69 RBI. This year he's hitting .308 with 20 homers and 62 RBI.
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