ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The San Francisco Giants try to become the
first team to rally from a two games to one deficit in the
National League Division Series when they face the Atlanta
Braves in a decisive Game Five on Monday.
The National League has never had a team rally to win the
Division Series after losing two of the first three games. Six
teams have accomplished the feat in the American League, but
only two when the fifth game was on the road.
The Giants kept their season alive and forced the do-or-die game
with an 8-3 victory in Game Four on Sunday. Livan Hernandez
pitched eight-plus strong innings and Rich Aurilia homered and
drove in four runs for San Francisco, which won an elimination
game for the first time since 1962.
The Giants are trying to win their first postseason series since
1989, when they defeated the Chicago Cubs in the NL
Championship Series before losing to the Oakland Athletics in
the World Series.
Atlanta's Tom Glavine was shelled for the second time in the
series on Sunday. The Braves are trying to advance to their
second straight NLCS and 10th in 11 seasons.
Atlanta fell to 6-2 in Division Series-clinching games. The
Braves are 10-5 all time at Turner Field in the NLDS.
Kevin Millwood makes his second start of the series for Atlanta
on Monday. He was scheduled to start only Game Three before
pitching Game Two in place of Greg Maddux, who had a blister on
his pitching hand.
Millwood (1-0, 3.00 ERA) helped the Braves even the series with
a win in Game Two, allowing two runs and three hits in six
innings. He struck out seven and did not issue a walk.
"He was excellent (in Game Two)," Giants manager Dusty Baker
said. "That's the best we've seen him throw. I see why they said
he's been throwing as good as anybody in the league. The last
six weeks or so, he's the best pitcher on the staff. Judging
from how he threw the other day, I understand how they can say
"He's always had good mound presence, and I think that's
important," Cox said. "I think a lot of that has rubbed off on
Tommy Glavine, John Smoltz and Greg Maddux through the years."
Millwood is 17-3 in 26 starts dating to May 24.
San Francisco has not defeated a righthander in the playoffs
since Chicago's Mike Bielecki took the loss in Game Five of the
Russ Ortiz (1-0, 2.57) tries to duplicate his Game One
performance for the Giants. He allowed just two runs and five
hits in seven innings as San Francisco posted an 8-5 win in the
Ortiz is 5-1 with a 3.74 ERA in 11 career postseason
appearances, including 10 starts.
"We have full confidence in a rested Russ," Giants manager Dusty
Baker said. "Hopefully Russ will come out of the series 2-0."