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All's Wells

Boomer becomes majors' first 10-game winner

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Posted: Tuesday June 06, 2000 02:02 AM

  John Burkett Charcoal Burkett: Atlanta's John Burkett wipes away sweat during his short night's work against Toronto. AP

ATLANTA (AP) -- The game was over before the Atlanta Braves came to bat.

Rookie Chris Woodward's three-run homer capped a five-run first inning, and the Toronto Blue Jays cruised to a 9-3 victory Monday night as David Wells became baseball's first 10-game winning this season.

"There's not a better No. 1 starter in the game than David Wells," Atlanta's Chipper Jones said. "When they got five runs in the first, the prospects of getting back in the game with David Wells on the mound were pretty remote."

Wells (10-2) pitched six solid innings, turning the game over the bullpen with a 9-2 lead.

"I've blown some five-run leads, but you know in the back of your mind that you've got it," said Wells, who allowed seven hits.

Raul Mondesi added a three-run homer in the third for the Blue Jays, who lead the AL with 93 homers. The Braves have lost three of four since beginning interleague play, allowing 51 hits in those games.

"Those guys can hit," said Jones, referring to the Yankees and Toronto. "They've got some pretty good pitching, too."

The Braves played without closer John Rocker, who was demoted to Triple-A Richmond before the game. The pitcher who saved 38 games a year ago was struggling with his control and under fire again for threatening a reporter Sunday.

Rocker wouldn't have played a role in this game. The Blue Jays pounded John Burkett (4-3) in the first and knocked out the Atlanta starter in the third, ending his four-game winning streak.

Click on the image for a larger version.  

"I really don't think that had anything to do with the way we played tonight," Jones said. "Burkett was a little off, and when you're a little off in this game you're going to get tattooed."

With one out in the first, Craig Grebeck walked, Mondesi singled and Carlos Delgado brought home the first run with a single. Burkett had a chance to escape the inning after striking out Jose Cruz Jr., but Alex Gonzalez made it 2-0 with another single and Woodward followed with a drive into the left-field stands, his second homer since being recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on May 5.

"He was a skinny kid when he signed," manager Jim Fregosi said. "But he's worked hard with the weights. He's so much stronger now."

"I don't consider myself a power hitter," Woodward said. "But confidence-wise, I'm doing pretty well."

Burkett gave up two more hits leading off the third, prompting manager Bobby Cox to call in Bruce Chen.

"It was just a bad game all the way around," said Burkett, who allowed eight hits and also walked two.

Chen struck out Wells and retired Stewart on a sacrifice fly that increased Toronto's lead to 6-0. Grebeck hit a grounder to shortstop Rafael Furcal, who bobbled the ball for an error. Mondesi made the Braves pay for their miscue, sending his 12th homer over the center-field wall.

Atlanta scored two runs in the fourth on RBI singles by Brian Jordan and Javy Lopez. Jordan drove in another run with an eighth-inning single.

Notes: Wells, already leading the AL with only 1.1 walks per nine innings, did not walk anyone and struck out six. ... Atlanta's 1-4 start in June is their worst for the month since 1995. ... The Braves dropped to 10-17 at home in interleague play.

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