Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 8/21)

Game 1: Tuesday, August 20
Atlanta 2Final
San Diego 6
Game 2: Wednesday, August 21
Atlanta 6Final
San Diego 3
Game 3: Thursday, August 22
Atlanta 2Final
San Diego 9

Braves 6

(81-44, 38-22 away)

Padres 3

(53-73, 32-30 home)

    10:05 PM ET, August 21, 2002

    Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California 

    123456789 R H E
    ATL 100040001 6 - -
    SD 000201000 3 - -

    W: K. Millwood (13-6)

    L: D. Tankersley (1-3)

    S: J. Smoltz (44)

    Sheffield has his way against former team

    SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The Atlanta Braves didn't need much more than Gary Sheffield and Kevin Millwood.

    Gary Sheffield

    Sheffield drove in five runs on two homers and a double, and Millwood pitched eight strong innings as the Braves beat the San Diego Padres 6-3 Wednesday night.

    Sheffield, who was with San Diego from 1992 until being traded to Florida on June 24, 1993, went 3-for-3 and walked twice to reach base in all five plate appearances. He has 24 homers, second on the team behind Andruw Jones' 26.

    Sheffield hit a solo homer in the first inning on the third pitch he saw from rookie Dennis Tankersley.

    "By hitting a home run in your first at-bat, you feel comfortable the rest of the day,'' Sheffield said. "I didn't care if I had a strike or two strikes on me tonight, I just felt like I was going to hit the ball hard.''

    Sheffield hit a sinker for a tiebreaking three-run homer into the seats in left field with one out in the fifth, capping a four-run inning and giving the Braves a 5-2 lead. He added a ground-rule RBI double in the ninth.

    Both homers came off Tankersley (1-3), who was making his eighth start.

    "The first one was out of the zone,'' Tankersley said. "The second one was right where I wanted to throw it. I was surprised he hit it as good as he did. I thought we had him set up pretty good. But he just went down and got it.''

    Sheffield's three-run homer gave Millwood a new cushion after he blew a 1-0 lead by giving up Mark Kotsay's two-run homer in the fourth.

    "He's made our lineup more dangerous and better,'' Millwood said of Sheffield, who was obtained from Los Angeles in January. "There's no real way to pitch to the guy. If you don't want to pitch to him, you have to pitch to Chipper Jones.''

    Millwood (13-6) held the Padres to three runs and six hits in eight innings to win his fourth straight decision and improve to 11-1 in his last 18 starts. The Braves, who have baseball's best record at 81-44, have won 16 of his last 18 starts.

    Millwood struck out seven and walked three. John Smoltz needed just eight pitches to get through a perfect ninth for his major league-leading 44th save in 48 chances.

    Millwood opened with three perfect innings before Ramon Vazquez led off the fourth with an infield single. Kotsay followed with an opposite-field homer to left to give the Padres a 2-1 lead. It was Kotsay's career-best 13th.

    The Braves came right back against Tankersley, one of 10 pitchers who've made their major league debut with San Diego this year. Mark DeRosa singled leading off the fifth and Rafael Furcal followed by beating out an infield single to third.

    Phil Nevin's throw to first on the play was wide, allowing DeRosa to score and Furcal to take third. After Matt Franco walked, Sheffield hit his second homer.

    San Diego pulled to 5-3 on Gene Kingsale's sacrifice fly in the sixth.

    Tankersley allowed five runs on six hits in five innings, walked five and struck out three.

    Game notes

    Sheffield also hit two homers June 1 at Cincinnati. He has 25 career two-homer games. He has never had a three-homer game. ... Tankersley has allowed eight homers in eight starts, four in the first inning. ... Padres rookie LHP Oliver Perez was scheduled to come off the disabled list and start against the Braves on Thursday, but had some discomfort in his left shoulder on Wednesday and was scratched. The start will go to rookie LHP Mike Bynum, who'll make his second big league start.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press