Braves 5, Cardinals 4
ATLANTA (AP) _ Mark McGwire was held to a harmless single on the one-year anniversary of his record-breaking 62nd home run, and Kevin Millwood pitched the Atlanta Braves past the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 Wednesday night.
Atlanta completed a three-game sweep and maintained its 3 1/2-game lead in the NL East over the New York Mets, who beat San Francisco 7-5.
Chipper Jones hit his 39th homer, and fourth in four games, as the Braves won for the 16th time in 19 games.
McGwire went 1-for-3 against Millwood (16-7) and struck out against reliever Russ Springer. Last Sept. 8, McGwire broke Roger Maris’ single-season homer record when he connected at Busch Stadium off the Cubs’ Steve Trachsel.
Rookie Howard Battle, whose two-out, pinch-single in the ninth inning Tuesday night gave Atlanta a 3-2 win, had the go-ahead RBI for the second straight night.
Battle drew a bases-loaded, two-out walk in the sixth, the fourth of the inning by rookie left-hander Rick Ankiel (0-1), to break a 2-2 tie. Gerald Williams followed with a two-run single for a 5-2 lead.
Millwood went six innings and allowed two runs. He is 4-0 in his last six starts.
The Cardinals made it close when Craig Paquette hit a two-run homer off Springer in the eighth. John Rocker pitched the ninth for his 32nd save.
Jones homered and Brian Hunter blooped an RBI single in the fourth. Ankiel went six innings and allowed five runs.
Edgar Renteria hit a home run leading off the game. He doubled and scored on a double by J.D. Drew in the fifth to tie it at 2.
McGwire ended an 0-for-13 slump with a third-inning single. He has 54 home runs, four behind Sammy Sosa, with 21 games left.
Notes: Ankiel, who had three no-decisions in his first three major league starts, was 6-0 with a 0.91 ERA at Double-A Arkansas and 7-3 with a 3.16 ERA at Triple-A Memphis before his recall last month. ... The home run by the switch-hitting Jones was his 12th of the season in 124 at-bats right-handed. He had a total of 12 homers from the right side in his career entering the season (678 at-bats). ... Atlanta has has won eight of nine from the Cardinals this season.