The red-hot Giles went 5-for-5 and Ortiz homered off an ailing
as the Braves collected 18 hits in a 6-3 thumping of the
Giles had doubles in his last four at-bats Monday in Montreal. In this one, he had five singles, moving within one of the National League record for consecutive hits.
"All singles tonight," Braves manager
said. "He forgot about doubles, triples and home runs, I guess."
"You can't hit what you can't see," Giles said. "Fortunately, I'm seeing the ball real good right now. I'm starting to use my hands a lot more, instead of my lower back."
The mark is shared by several players, including
of the 1940 Boston Braves. Giles gets a chance to tie or break the record Wednesday against lefthander
"I couldn't care less about the streak, to be honest with you," Giles said. "I'm getting hits and driving runs in. With the great players who have played here, it's flattering. It's not going to be in my head (Wednesday); I'm just going to take the same approach."
Ortiz (15-4) became the first 15-game winner in the National League. He helped himself by leading off the third inning with his second homer of the season, tying the game, 1-1.
"I saw it good and hit it. Obviously I hit it hard enough," said Ortiz, who also homered April 12 against Florida. "I hit the ball in the right spot, but I'm not trying to do that. I just hit it right and got it up in the air."
Oswalt, Houston's ace righthander, immediately left as he aggravated his groin injury on the pitch.
"We don't know. We'll have to wait and see how he feels tomorrow," Astros manager
said. "He just didn't look right. Why jeopardize him when you can get another pitcher in?"
The Braves collected 18 hits off five pitchers, including a homer by
. In its last five games, Atlanta has 84 hits.
"That's a lot of hits, knock on wood," Cox said. "We want to keep it going. They're all hitters. It's not surprising."
"They had tons of hits and have good hitters in their lineup," Williams said. "They're definitely swinging the bats right now."
Despite all the hitting, the Braves did not take the lead for good until the fifth inning. With one out, Giles singled off
(5-4) and Sheffield launched his 26th homer, snapping a 2-2 tie.
"I usually just try to be aggressive in the strike zone," Sheffield said. "When you have guys on base, it makes it easier to hit. You can take your pitch."
"They're a great team," Stone said. "They come out to swing the bats. They're a very aggressive team. They're ready to hit as soon as they step in the box."
In the sixth, Giles singled home
, making it 5-2. He had an infield hit in front of Sheffield's RBI single in the eighth that provided a 6-3 lead.
Ortiz won his eighth straight decision as he surpassed his win total of last season, when he was with San Francisco. He gave up three runs, five hits and four walks in 6 1/3 innings, striking out three.
"My expectations are to win every ballgame, or give us a chance to win every ballgame," Ortiz said. "So far this year, I've felt good about starting every game and feeling like we have a chance to win every ballgame. I feel proud to be able to do my job."
Four relievers finished up, with
pitching a hitless ninth for his 39th save, lowering his ERA to 0.83.
Ortiz allowed an RBI single by
in the first. But after his sixth career homer, the Braves added a run off Peter Munro later in the frame on a double by
The Astros tied it in the fifth on an error by DeRosa at third base and added a run in the seventh as
bounced into a force play.
"I didn't like tonight's game as far as pitching," Ortiz said. "In the first inning, I walked two guys with two outs, then in the last inning, no one on and up three runs, I walked another guy. These walks had an effect on the game."
Sheffield was one of six players with two hits for the Braves (70-36), who became the first team to reach 70 wins.