Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Atlanta leads 2-0 (as of 7/20)

Game 1: Friday, July 19
Atlanta 4Final
Philadelphia 1
Game 2: Saturday, July 20
Atlanta 4Final
Philadelphia 3
Game 3: Sunday, July 21
Atlanta 2Final
Philadelphia 1

Braves 4

(63-35, 30-18 away)

Phillies 3

(44-52, 25-25 home)

    1:15 PM ET, July 20, 2002

    Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

    123456789 R H E
    ATL 103000000 4 - -
    PHI 000012000 3 - -

    W: J. Marquis (7-5)

    L: T. Adams (4-7)

    S: J. Smoltz (36)

    Closer Smoltz converts 22nd straight save

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- John Smoltz is on another roll, this time as a closer.

    John Smoltz
    Smoltz

    Already the franchise record-holder for consecutive wins by a Braves starter, Smoltz set another team mark by converting his 22nd straight save as Atlanta held on for a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.

    Smoltz shared the Braves record for consecutive saves with Mark Wohlers, who converted 21 chances in a row in 1995. Before becoming one of the premier closers in the majors, Smoltz was an All-Star starter who earned 14 straight victories in 1996.

    "The only reason I've been able to get into this position is because of the guys in front of me,'' said Smoltz, who has allowed four runs and struck out 31 over his last 23 appearances.

    Gary Sheffield and Andruw Jones each drove in two runs. Julio Franco had two hits and scored twice for the NL East-leading Braves, who have won five straight and 22 of their last 28 games.

    Smoltz retired Travis Lee with runners at first and second to end it, his major league-leading 36th save in 39 opportunities. On the final play, Smoltz made a nifty catch on a throw by first baseman Franco.

    "John's the only guy in the world that would make that play,'' Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "I've said all along that he is the best athlete in the National League for the last 12 or 13 years.''

    Braves starter Jason Marquis (7-5) didn't allow a hit until the fifth and set a career high for wins. He gave up two runs on two hits, leaving after 5 1/3 innings and 94 pitches.

    "He had had plenty,'' said Cox, who turned the game over to the best bullpen in the majors. "We're taking care of him.''

    Marquis, who missed a month earlier this season with a sore shoulder, didn't mind Cox's decision.

    "I know my pitch count was getting up there,'' he said. "I also know (Cox) has confidence in me.''

    The Phillies had their biggest rally in the sixth, when they cut a three-run deficit to 4-3. Lee singled, and Bobby Abreu flied out. Cox lifted Marquis for reliever Kevin Gryboski, who quickly gave up two hits, including Jeremy Giambi's RBI single, and a walk.

    Mike Lieberthal drove in a run with a groundout to make it 4-3. Chris Hammond took over and retired Jimmy Rollins on an inning-ending grounder.

    Hammond pitched a scoreless seventh, and Kerry Ligtenberg worked the eighth before Smoltz entered in the ninth.

    Marquis received plenty of defensive support, none more eye-catching than center fielder Andruw Jones' fully extended diving catch in the third inning. Marlon Anderson appeared to have an extra-base hit into the left-center gap but was denied when Jones caught the ball just inches before touching the turf.

    "Without him in center field, we probably lose this game,'' Cox said. "He has the best beat on balls that I've ever seen.''

    Lieberthal homered leading off the fifth, his seventh of the year.

    The Braves did all their offensive damage in two innings off Phillies starter Terry Adams (4-7).

    Sheffield extended his streak of reaching base to 46 games when he singled home Franco in the first inning.

    The Braves added three runs in the third. With one out, Rafael Furcal and Franco singled before Sheffield hit an RBI double into the left-field corner. After an intentional walk to Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones, who was 4-for-26 in his career against Adams, smashed a two-run single off the glove of third baseman Scott Rolen.

    Adams managed to escape further trouble when Vinny Castilla lined into an inning-ending double play.

    Adams, whose spot in the rotation has been in jeopardy the last two weeks, allowed four runs on six hits in six innings. He said he didn't feel any pressure to impress during the start.

    "I tried to keep it out of my mind,'' he said.

    Phillies manager Larry Bowa didn't reveal his plans concerning Adams.

    "Randy Wolf is pitching (Sunday), that's all I know,'' Bowa said. "I'll talk to (general manager) Ed Wade in the morning. We'll talk about our pitching staff.''

    Game notes


    The Braves have not lost in 21 straight series. ... Smoltz is one of two pitchers in major league history with 20 wins in one season and 30 saves in another. Dennis Eckersley won 20 games for Boston in 1978 and saved 30 games eight times with Oakland and St. Louis. ... Marty Bystrom and Larry Christenson, pitchers on Philadelphia's 1980 championship team, threw out the first pitch. ... Sheffield's streak of reaching base is two shy of the franchise record set by Dale Murphy in 1987. ... Franco is hitting .371 (23-for-62) in his last 25 games. ... CF Andruw Jones had six putouts, including three on the warning track.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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