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42-22, 25-7 Away
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40-27, 20-13 Home

Braves hand Martinez second straight defeat

ATLANTA (AP) -- Pedro Martinez pitched too well to worry about
losing consecutive starts for the first time in nearly four years.

Gary Sheffield drove in Rafael Furcal with a sacrifice fly in
the eighth inning, leading the Atlanta Braves past Martinez and the
Boston Red Sox 2-1 Friday night.

Martinez (7-2) lost back-to-back starts for the first time since
he losing three in a row in September 1998.

He gave up both runs in eight innings of work, allowing eight
hits and striking out five. In the three starts before this one, he
allowed 11 earned runs, including three in his first loss of the
season last Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"I'm looking forward to the next game,'' Martinez said. "If I
pitch the way I did tonight, I'll win more than I lose.''

The Braves won for the ninth time in 10 games, with reliever
Chris Hammond (5-2) getting four of those victories.

"To win a game like this is huge,'' Sheffield said. "Pedro's
never a comfortable at-bat by any means. He's a great pitcher and I
feel like I'm a respected hitter. Sometimes you win and sometimes
you lose.''

With one out in the eighth, Furcal singled to left and moved to
third on Matt Franco's hit-and-run single to right. Sheffield hit a
deep sacrifice fly to left, and Furcal scored easily.

"It was a fastball up and in,'' Martinez of the pitch to
Sheffield. "I thought I would get it past him, but he has quick
hands. It wasn't a bad pitch. I was lucky to keep it in the park.''

Earlier, Martinez got out of a two-on, two-out jam in the second
by getting Keith Lockhart to ground out. The Boston star got Andruw
Jones to hit into an inning-ending double play in the sixth.

John Smoltz pitched the ninth for his 20th save.

Atlanta's Kevin Millwood was just as effective as Martinez,
leaving after seven innings of three-hit ball. He got into trouble
in the third after giving up a two-out double to Johnny Damon, who
later scored on Jose Offerman's single to right.

But Millwood settled down after that, retiring 13 of the last 14
batters he faced. He struck out four and walked two.

"I had a game plan going in, I stuck to it and it worked,''
Millwood said. "I thought my fastball and my slider were my two
out pitches. Any time you can have two out pitches in one night,
it's probably going to be a pretty good night.''

The game had a postseason feel, drawing only the second sellout
of the season at Turner Field. A large contingent of Red Sox fans
cheered loudly throughout, giving Boston second baseman Lou Merloni
a serenade of "Looooouuuuu'' before each at-bat. They also clapped
every time Martinez fouled off a pitch during his three awkward
at-bats, drawing a smile from him.

"It was a good game,'' Martinez said. "Millwood pitched a good
game, and their relievers came in and did a good job. There's
nothing to do but just tip your hat.''

Game notes
Hall of Famer Hank Aaron chatted with Boston manager Grady
Little and other players on the field before the game. Aaron is a
Braves' senior vice president and assistant to club president Stan
Kasten. ... While standing in the on-deck circle in the sixth
inning, Boston SS Nomar Garciaparra fielded a foul ball and gave it
to a child in the front row. The youngster playfully bounced the
ball around the aisle for the remainder of the inning.