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Smokin' Penny stops Millwood's win streak

9/17/2002

MIAMI (AP) -- Brad Penny is starting to get better results with
less hard work.

Penny, who has stopped throwing in the bullpen between starts,
allowed four hits and a run in six innings as the Florida Marlins
beat the Atlanta Braves 5-1 Monday night to snap Kevin Millwood's
eight-game winning streak.

With more rest between outings, Penny said he feels stronger
than he has all season. He hit 98 mph on the radar gun several
times against the Braves.

''It felt really good,'' said Penny, a 24-year-old right-hander
who won for the first time in five starts. ''That's probably the
hardest I've ever thrown.''

Penny (7-6) struck out eight and walked two. He walked Matt
Franco to start the seventh, then gave way to Florida's bullpen.

Vladimir Nunez and Braden Looper held the Braves hitless over
the final three innings.

''That's the best I've ever seen him throw,'' Marlins manager
Jeff Torborg said of Penny. ''I wondered if the calibration of the
gun was off.''

But Torborg wasn't alone.

''That's the best I've seen him,'' Braves manager Bobby Cox
said. ''He was throwing about 98 on every pitch.''

Atlanta had won 19 of Millwood's last 20 starts. The
right-hander was 8-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last nine outings and
15-1 with a 2.27 ERA in 22 starts since May 24. But the Marlins
prevented him from tying his career-best winning streak of nine
games set in 2000.

Millwood (17-7) was lifted after five innings. He gave up seven
hits and five runs, four earned. It was his shortest outing since a
five-inning stint Aug. 11 against Houston.

''I didn't locate my heater very good,'' Millwood said. ''I
couldn't get into a groove. It was one of those night you don't
want to run into too often. I'd much rather have it tonight than
when October comes around.''

Millwood looked sharp early, retiring nine of the first 11
Marlins. But he started getting the ball up in the strike zone in
the fourth and fifth innings, and Florida made him pay.

Kevin Millar doubled to start the fourth, extending his hitting
streak to a career-high 22 games and tying the second-longest mark
in Marlins history. It trails only Luis Castillo's 35-game string
earlier this season.

Millar scored on Derrek Lee's single. Lee moved to second on one
of Preston Wilson's three hits and scored on second baseman Mark
DeRosa's throwing error.

Florida added three more runs in the fifth. Penny led off with a
single and moved to third on consecutive walks to Juan Encarnacion
and Millar.

Lowell followed with a two-run double down the left-field line,
and Wilson capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly.

Lowell's 41st double extended his hitting streak to 14 games.

''It's fun to watch,'' Wilson said. ''We watch every pitch and
we're on the edge of our seat. Keep them going.''

Game notes
Attendance was 6,103 for Penny bobblehead night, leaving
the Marlins with almost 9,000 dolls left over. The crowd was the
smallest to see the Braves in Miami. ... Castillo stole two bases,
giving him 45 steals this season and leaving him 17 shy of tying
his own club record with 12 games left. ... Braves OF Chipper Jones
was out of the starting lineup but popped out as a pinch-hitter in
the seventh.