ATLANTA, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- On the 10th anniversary of their first division title, the Atlanta Braves scored 10 times in the first inning Friday night and cruised to an unprecedented 10th consecutive division title with a 20-3 rout of the Florida Marlins.
After falling behind by three runs in the top half of the first, the Braves rebounded with their biggest inning of the season and cruised to their most lopsided victory of the year. They tied a franchise high in runs set in Colorado on April 18, 1999.
The Braves captured their first three pennants in the NL West and have topped the East the last seven seasons. During that stretch, they have appeared in five World Series, winning the title in 1997.
Second-place Philadelphia began the night three games behind Atlanta and the Phillies were unable to put any pressure on the Braves when their game with Cincinnati was rained out. The Phillies had already been eliminated from the wild card chase and thus will miss out on the playoffs after a better-than-expected season.
Chipper Jones tripled, hit a grand slam, drove in five runs and scored three times. He became the first third baseman in major league history to collect 100 RBI in six straight seasons.
Rookie Marcus Giles belted a two-run homer and drove in four runs and Rey Sanchez had two hits and three RBI. Atlanta had not scored more than 14 runs in a game this season and had plated only 21 runs in its previous four games combined.
After allowing thee runs in the first, starter Kevin Millwood (7-7) tossed five scoreless frames and won at Turner Field for the first time since Sept. 2.
Despite giving up just one hit, Florida starter Ryan Dempster (15-12) surrendered seven runs. He did walk six and managed to record only two outs -- the shortest outing of his career.
Benito Baez was tagged for eight runs and seven hits in 1 2/3 innings. John Mabry, the Marlins' utility outfielder, got the chance to pitch in the ninth and allowed five runs, three hits, three walks while retiring just one batter.