ATLANTA (Ticker) -- After stealing home-field advantage from
the Atlanta Braves, the San Francisco Giants hope to take a
commanding lead in their National League Division Series when
they play Game Two on Thursday.
In the series opener on Wednesday, San Francisco downed Atlanta,
8-5, as J.T. Snow's two-run double in the second inning helped
propel the Giants to six runs against Tom Glavine in the first
four frames. Rich Aurilia and Benito Santiago also hit two-run
doubles for the Giants, who ended the regular season with eight
Paced by Santiago's three hits, the Giants' No. 5-9 hitters went
8-for-22 with five RBI and five runs scored.
Barry Bonds, who entered the series with a career postseason
batting average of .196, went 1-for-4 with a walk and a run
scored. He also was robbed of a home run in the eighth inning
by Braves center fielder Andruw Jones, who leaped over the wall
to snag the fly ball.
Rueter, who is 60-29 lifetime on the road, and 3-7 with a 5.65
ERA in 16 career outings against Atlanta. He started against the
Braves on May 13 and left without a decision after allowing
four runs and nine hits in five innings.
The lefthander has made a pair of appearances in the Division
Series. He yielded one run and four hits over seven innings
against Florida in 1997 and zero runs and three hits in 4 1/3
innings of relief against the New York Mets in 2000.
"I got to pitch in Game Two of the 2000 series when (Giants
starter) Shawn Estes was injured," Rueter said. "I got to come
in. But being a starter all year, you want to get out there and
start a game and help your team win. So (Thursday) will mean a
great deal to me."
In the Braves' 21 prior postseason series since 1991, they
dropped the opening game nine times, losing seven of those
"You try to put it out of your mind," Braves manager Bobby Cox
said. "It's one game out of whack and that's the way you look
at it, whether you win it or not. I'd rather win the first one,
that's for sure. But you've got another game (Thursday) -
you've got to win it."
Atlanta's Kevin Millwood (18-8, 3.24) will start in place of
Greg Maddux, who is being pushed back to Game Three on Saturday
because of a blister on the index finger of his right hand.
"It doesn't affect me, really, at all," Millwood said of the
switch. "It usually would be my regular turn from the last time
I pitched. Mentally, it's not a big deal, and physically, it
might even be a little better."
Millwood, who is 7-6 at Turner Field this season, is 3-2 with a
4.78 ERA in six lifetime starts against San Francisco. He
opposed Rueter on May 13 and also did not receive a decision
after allowing four runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings.
The righthander is 1-1 with a 3.07 ERA in two starts and one
relief stint in the Division Series. He went 1-0 with a 0.90 in
two games, including one start, against Houston in 1999 and 0-1
with a 7.71 ERA in one start against St. Louis in 2000.