1. Archive

Braves clinch division ... again

Published Aug. 28, 2005

Marcus Giles' single capped a three-run rally in the eighth for host Atlanta, which clinched its 13th consecutive division title with an 8-7 win over Florida. The Braves' record streak of division championships began with the 1991 West title and excludes the 1994 strike-shortened season.

Giles delivered a two-run single against Marlins closer Armando Benitez, who took over for Guillermo Mota in the eighth. The Braves, who have relied on strong pitching through their run, had to use seven relievers after Russ Ortiz was chased in the third inning.

John Smoltz pitched the ninth for his 41st save in 46 chances. Smoltz got Jeff Conine to ground into a game-ending double play, and Braves players rushed to the mound around Smoltz, the only current Brave to play on each of the 13 division championship teams. Travis Smith earned the win with one inning of relief.

Alex Gonzalez was 3-for-4 with two homers, including a go-ahead shot in the sixth inning, and Paul Lo Duca hit a three-run double for the Marlins.

Marlins starter Ismael Valdez also was pulled in the third inning, but relievers Ben Howard, David Weathers combined for five shutout innings.