Braves blast Astros

HOUSTON – Chipper Jones had a career-high five hits and scored three runs, and Kevin Millwood won for the ninth time in 10 decisions as the Atlanta Braves routed the Houston Astros 13-3 Sunday.

Atlanta had a season-high 20 hits in winning for the 10th time in 12 games. Every Braves starter had a hit. The 20 hits were the most allowed by Houston pitchers since June 24, 2000, when the San Francisco Giants had 22.

Millwood (11-6) gave up two runs on six hits, while striking out six and walking two in five innings for Atlanta.

Jones, who did not start Saturday because of a strained right hamstring, doubled in the second and third innings, and singled in the fourth, seventh and ninth. He also walked in the fifth inning.

Houston lost for just the fifth time in its last 16 games.

Atlanta went ahead 8-2 after a five-run third inning, aided by one of Houston’s season high-tying three errors.

Franco led off with a single and scored on Gary Sheffield’s 21st home run of the season. Chipper Jones then doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch by Dave Mlicki (4-6) and scored when shortstop Julio Lugo made a bad throw on Andruw Jones’ grounder for an error. Henry Blanco drove in Jones with a single and scored on a double by Rafael Furcal.

Mlicki lasted just 2 1-3 innings. He gave up eight runs – six earned – on eight hits.

The Braves increased their lead to 10-2 in the fourth when Vinny Castilla hit a sacrifice fly and Andruw Jones scored on a bases loaded catcher’s interference call against Greg Zaun with Millwood at bat.

Atlanta added two runs in the sixth on Furcal’s sixth home run of the season.

Orlando Merced hit his sixth home run of the season in the sixth inning to cut the Houston deficit to 12-3.

Houston took a 2-0 lead in the first innings on a two-run double by Daryle Ward. Ward’s hit followed singles by Julio Lugo and Lance Berkman.

Atlanta moved ahead 3-2 in the second on a sacrifice fly by Castilla and a two-run single by Millwood.

Notes: Houston rookie Ricky Stone has made 58 appearances this season. The team record for the most appearances by a rookie in a season is 61, set in 1986 by Charlie Kerfled … Jeff Bagwell is one of only three major leaguers to have hit at least 250 home runs and stolen at least 100 bases since 1996. He has 256 home runs and 126 steals. The others are Barry Bonds (308 homers/149 stolen bases) and Alex Rodriguez (273/151) … The Braves extended their streak to 16 series without a loss.

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