The Braves Report: Horacio Dazzling Against Mets

<B><U>Braves 7, Mets 3</B></U> <BR> Chipper Jones continued his hot hitting, jacking 2 more homeruns off of Jae Seo and Horacio Ramirez pitching a complete game 3 hitter as Atlanta beat the Mets 7 to 3 Tuesday night. <BR> <BR> <B><U>Down on the farm:</B></U> <BR> Zach Miner pitches 7 strong for Myrtle Beach; Matt Wright's unlucky spell continues as Charleston downs Rome; Paul Bacot picks up first professional win in Orlando.

Chipper Jones and Robert Fick provided the offense, while Horacio Ramirez did something no other Braves pitcher has done this year - toss a complete game - as the Braves defeat the Mets in Shea, 7-3.

Jones hit 2 homers for the second time in as many games - a 3-run homer in the first off of Mets starter Jae Seo, and a solo shot off of newly acquired Edwin Almonte in the 8th. Sandwiched in between those blasts was a 3-run home run by Robert Fick in 6th, his 8th of the season.

Marcus Giles and Gary Sheffield did a nice job of getting on base for the mashers. Giles was 2-for-5 with a run scored, while Sheffield went 3-for-4 and scored twice. Andruw Jones and Vinny Castilla were the only Braves starters to go hitless on the night.

As great as the power surge was by the Braves offense, the pitching by rookie Horacio Ramirez was even better. It was the first time since September of last season that a Braves pitcher threw a complete game, and the first of Ramirez's career. Ramirez gave up just 4 hits in 9 innings, allowing 3 runs - only 1 earned - with 7 strikeouts and 2 walks. He was still hitting 90+ MPH on the radar in the ninth, as he struck out the final two batters he faced on the night. The win improves his record to 8-2.

The only blemish for Ramirez came in the 6th inning, but it was hardly all his fault. The Braves infield all of a sudden became Tanner Boyle and Co. from the Bad News Bears, committing three errors in that inning alone. All-Star 2B Marcus Giles had two of the errors, one as a sure double play ground ball got past him, and another when he flipped a ball past a dazed Rafael Furcal (error has to go to Furcal on that one, right?). Those two errors were bookends to Robert Fick's misplayed pop-up at first. When all was said and done, the Mets put three runs on the board in the inning, but that's all they would get off Ramirez on the night.

The victory marked the 4th straight win for the Braves. That, combined with 4 consecutive losses by the Phillies, puts the Braves up by 8 1/2 games over the Phils in the N.L. East.

Atlanta goes for 5 straight tonight, as much maligned Shane Reynolds (5-4) takes on Jason Roach (0-1), another Mets rookie. Roach has made only one start this year, giving up 7 runs in three innings against Anaheim on June 14th. This has all the makings of a close game.

Down on the farm

Durham Bulls (TB) 2, Richmond Braves 5 -- Sam McConnell improved to 2-1, giving up one run in 5 innings, as the R-Braves beat the Bulls, 5-2. He allowed 7 hits and fanned 4 in the start. 2B Nick Green was 2-for-2, and SS Jesse Garcia and DH Bo Porter each had a triple and an RBI in the win. Joe Dawley picked up his 12th save.

Greenville Braves -- Scheduled off day.

Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC) 2, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 1 -- Zach Miner turned in a solid performance, but the Pelicans fell one run short, losing to the Blue Rocks, 2-1. Miner gave up 2 runs on 4 hits in 7 innings, striking out 7 and walking 3. 3B Andy Marte was 1-for-3, as was C Jose Salas, who knocked in the only Pelicans run.

Rome Braves 1, Charleston-SC RiverDogs (TB) 3 -- Another solid start goes to waste, as 2 errors cost the Braves a loss to the RiverDogs, 3-1. Matt Wright went 6 innings in the start, allowing 3 runs - all unearned - on 5 hits, with 6 strikeouts and a walk. The loss drops him to 2-1. RF Onil Joseph was 3-for-4, and C Brian McCann was 1-for-3 with an RBI.

Bluefield Orioles 4, Danville Braves 5 -- RF Jamie Hemmingway was 2-for-5 with 1 RBI, 1 run, and a steal, and 2B Mike Hanson drove in 2 on a 1-for-4 day, as the Braves squeak by the Orioles, 5-4. Brad Nelson (4-0) picked up the win in relief, allowing no runs on 3 hits and 3 K's in 3.0 IP.

Jupiter Expos 0, Orlando Braves 6 -- The Orlando pitching staff was in full effect on Monday, giving up only 4 hits to the Expos and taking the win, 6-0. Paul Bacot (1-0) picked up his first professional win, allowing no runs on 1 hit, with 5 strikeout and no walks, in 5 innings of work. 2B Martin Prado was 3-for-4 with an RBI from the leadoff spot, and CF Keith Eichas hit his first homer of the year on a 1-for-3, 2 RBI day.

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