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Braves blank Devil Rays, who go 5-21 for month

6/29/2003

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Russ Ortiz pitched three-hit ball
into the eighth inning and Andruw Jones broke a scoreless tie with
an RBI single in the sixth, leading the Atlanta Braves over the
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 2-0 Sunday.

Ortiz (10-4) struck out four and walked two in 7 2/3 innings.
The right-hander retired nine straight before giving up an infield
single to Antonio Perez with two outs in the eighth.

John Smoltz got four outs to finish the three-hitter and earn
his 29th save in 31 opportunities. Smoltz moved past Tom Glavine
into fifth place on the franchise list by pitching in his 506th
game.

Jones put the Braves up 1-0 with an RBI single in the sixth off
Jorge Sosa (1-6). Javy Lopez added an RBI single in the ninth.

The Devil Rays finished 5-21 in June, the most losses in a month
for manager Lou Piniella in his 17-year managerial career.

The 21 losses also set a Tampa Bay record for most during a
month. The Devil Rays went 3-15 in interleague play, establishing a
major league mark for the most defeats.

Sosa allowed one run and five hits over six innings. The
right-hander worked out several jams, holding the Braves to 1-for-9
with runners in scoring position.

Both teams threatened in the first but failed to score.

Rafael Furcal led off the game with a single and went to second
when Marcus Giles walked. Sosa worked out of trouble by retiring
Gary Sheffield, Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones.

Right fielder Sheffield kept the game scoreless when he threw
out Aubrey Huff, who tried to score from second base on Al Martin's
two-out single in the first.

Ortiz retired 11 straight after Martin's hit before Javier
Valentin's two-out double in the fifth. Ortiz then got Perez on an
inning-ending grounder.

Giles doubled with one out in the third, but was left stranded
when Sheffield and Chipper Jones flied out. Martin, in left, made a
running catch on Chipper Jones' fly.

Game notes
The Braves are 71-47 in interleague play. ... The Devil
Rays are 0-12-1 in their last 13 series. ... Giles reached base in
his first three plate appearances with a walk, a double and a hit
by pitch. ... Tampa Bay SS Julio Lugo (hip pointer) was out of the
lineup after starting the previous 38 games. ... Devil Rays 1B
Travis Lee (one RBI in his last 11 games) and rookie CF Rocco
Baldelii (two homers and eight RBI in June) were rested. ...
Chipper Jones went 0-for-4. He needs one hit for 1,500 in his
career.