Arizona (64-57) at Atlanta (79-42)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Atlanta, GA
Temp: 62° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Sat Aug 16, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Rookie Horacio Ramirez looks to continue regaining his first-half form as the Atlanta Braves resume a four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Turner Field.

On Sunday, Ramirez gave up two earned runs and five hits in 7 2-3 innings, but did not receive a decision in the Braves’ 3-2 loss to St. Louis. That increased his winless streak to six starts, stretching to July 12.

During that span, Ramirez is 0-2 with a 5.97 ERA.

However, in his last two starts, Ramirez has given up four earned runs in 13 2-3 innings, but has not received a decision in either.

“That’s probably the best game I’ve pitched all year,” Ramirez said of Sunday’s effort. “I felt like I was in control all night long.”

Before his winless streak, Ramirez won seven straight decisions from April 16 - July 7, establishing himself as one of the Braves’ most consistent starters.

On July 7, he gave up just one unearned run and four hits in his first career complete game, a 7-3 win over the New York Mets that lowered his ERA to 3.49. It has since ballooned to 4.15.

The Braves beat the Diamondbacks 10-4 on Friday—their third straight win after a season high-tying three-game losing streak.

Vinny Castilla, Marcus Giles and Andruw Jones all homered for the Braves, who own the best record in baseball.

“This is a great lineup,” Castilla said. “I’ve got no complaints about hitting eighth. I’m just glad to go out there every day.”

Junior Spivey went 2-for-2 with a homer and Alex Cintron went 3-for-5 for the Diamondbacks, who have lost two straight since a four-game winning streak.

STANDINGS: Diamondbacks - 2nd place, 9 1/2 GB, NL West. Braves - 1st place, NL East.

DIAMONDBACKS PROBABLE STARTER: Elmer Dessens 6-7, 4.75 ERA). Dessens gave up one earned run and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings, but did not receive a decision in Diamondbacks’ 2-1 loss to the Mets on Saturday. He is 1-3 with a 4.79 ERA in eight career appearances, including six starts, against the Braves.

BRAVES PROBABLE STARTER: Ramirez (8-4, 4.15 ERA). In his only career start against Arizona on May 2, Ramirez gave up one earned run and seven hits in six innings, but did not receive a decision in Atlanta’s 3-2 win.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Diamondbacks - Luis Gonzalez, .308 avg., 21 HRs, 80 RBIs and 76 runs; Steve Finley, 9 SBs. Braves - Gary Sheffield, .334 avg. and 97 RBIs; Javy Lopez, 33 HRs; Sheffield and Rafael Furcal, 98 runs; Furcal, 21 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Braves, 3-1.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Diamondbacks - 2B Spivey is batting .547 (29-for-53) in his career against the Braves. … C Rod Barajas took a foul tip off the right hand Friday. X-rays were negative and he listed himself as day-to-day. … RHP Dessens is 1-4 with a 5.02 ERA in 13 road appearances this season, including 11 starts. Braves - CF Andruw Jones became the third Atlanta player, along with C Lopez and RF Sheffield, to reach 30 homers this season. The Braves had not had three players with 30 homers since 1998. … 3B Castilla became the fifth Brave to reach 20 homers this season. 2B Giles has 15 homers, giving the Braves a good chance to match the 1965 team, which had six players with at least 20 homers during the franchise’s final season in Milwaukee. … RF Sheffield extended his hitting streak to a career-high 19 games.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Diamondbacks - 29-34 on the road; Braves - 43-18 at home.

INJURIES: Diamondbacks - 1B Mark Grace (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Mike Koplove (shoulder), 15-day DL; C Barajas (hand), day-to-day. Braves - RHP Paul Byrd (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Roberto Hernandez (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Darren Holmes (shoulder), 15-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

E. Dessens NYM vs. H. Ramirez ChC
8-8 Record 12-4
5.07 ERA 4.00
113 K 100
57 BB 72
1.53 WHIP 1.39