Cairo Native Willie Harris Leads Braves with 6 Hits

ATLANTA (AP) -- Willie Harris earned himself a special place in Braves history.

Harris became the second player in Atlanta history with six hits in a game, going 6-for-6 with two triples and six RBIs to help the Atlanta Braves beat the St. Louis Cardinals 14-6 on Saturday night.

"You know, days like this don't come around often, so you just try to enjoy it,'' he said. "Tomorrow, you just want to come back out and forget about what happened and try to get on base again for that day.''

Felix Millan, in 1970, was the last Braves player with a six-hit game. Harris is the franchise's seventh player to reach the mark.

"They just told me the last time I was involved in the game that had a player with six hits was 1997 when Cal Ripken came in here,'' Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "I can't remember that at all, but this will stick me for a while.''

Chipper Jones hit his 16th homer and had four RBIs for Atlanta, which set a single-game franchise record with a crowd of 53,953 at Turner Field. The Braves won for the ninth time in 15 games.

Atlanta's top three hitters combined to go 12-for-13. The Braves, who moved 2 1/2 games behind the NL East-leading New York Mets, have averaged 10.2 runs in their last seven games with St.Louis.

"When you have a guy like Willie doing things like in front of you, it's a perfect chance to put some runs up,'' Jones said. "That was pretty impressive.''

Buddy Carlyle (5-2) allowed seven hits, three runs, one walk and two strikeouts in six innings. The right-hander gave up Chris Duncan's 19th homer in the fourth, which cut the lead to 7-3, but the Braves scored seven runs in their half of the inning.

Harris was the catalyst with an RBI single in the second, a two-run triple in the third and a bases-loaded triple in the fourth. Through four innings, Harris had four of the Braves' 17 hits.

"I was just trying to be aggressive and put the ball in play,'' Harris said. "I was just fortunate enough to get a couple of hits in those situations.''

His two-run triple chased Braden Looper (7-8), who allowed 10 hits, seven runs and one walk in 3 2/3 innings before Troy Cate gave up four hits, four runs and three walks in a third of an inning.

"Basically, I pretty much stunk,'' Looper said. "I never made adjustments to get the ball down. Every time I didn't, they made me pay. I was trying to grind it out the best I could, but basically I was just terrible.''

St. Louis manager Tony La Russa watched as the right-hander raised his ERA 49 points to 5.09.

"Loop had a terrible time making pitches,'' La Russa said. "If he had been himself, it would have been a good matchup. He just wasn't himself today.''

Jones had a two-run single in the second to make it 4-0.

Carlyle, who won his third straight start and improved to 4-1 since Boston beat him 11-0 on June 20, drove in the first run of the fourth with a bases-loaded single off Cate to make it 8-3.

Troy Percival relieved Cate, giving up three hits and three runs in two innings.

Carlyle, who left for a pinch-hitter, was replaced by Wilfredo Ledezma in the seventh. St. Louis scored three runs off Ledezma on an error by third baseman Chris Woodward and an RB1 single by Skip Schumaker and Duncan's RBI groundout.

Dropping to 4-5 on their current road trip, the Cardinals have allowed 10 or more runs four of the losses.

Game notes
The crowd was 10 more than the previous record, which filled the ballpark last July 28 against the New York Mets. ... St. Louis infielder Pete Kozma, the 18th overall draft pick, agreed to contract terms and will report to minor-league camp next week. ... The Braves are now 36-15 when scoring four or more runs.


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