Braves 7, Brewers 1

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ATLANTA (AP)—Marcus Giles just kept doing what he’s been doing, and so did Russ Ortiz.

Giles had three hits and two RBIs, leading Ortiz and the Atlanta Braves over the Milwaukee Brewers 7-1 Sunday.

Facing left-handed starter Glendon Rusch (1-4) and reliever Shane Nance, the right-handed Giles improved to 12-for-20 (.600) against southpaws. He’s hitting .363 overall.

He finished with two singles and a double, and scored two runs. A day earlier, he hit a go-ahead home run off left-handed reliever Valerio De Los Santos.

“I don’t worry about who’s pitching or what they’re doing,” Giles said. “I need to just worry about what I’m doing.”

Javy Lopez, playing his second game since missing five starts with a strained right hamstring, homered for Atlanta, and Chipper Jones had two hits and three RBIs. The Braves have won 11 of their past 13 games.

Ortiz (3-2) gave up five hits and one run, while striking out five and walking six in 8 2-3 innings to win his second straight start. He also helped his cause with two hits. Darren Holmes struck out Richie Sexson for the final out.

The Braves haven’t had a complete game this season, and Ortiz got to 128 pitches trying to do it. Five of his walks were in the first five innings, and he now has 20 in six starts.

“I think mentally I was a lot more focused and a lot better in the late innings,” Ortiz said. “I was feeling so good with the first two hitters in the ninth, but you’ve got to think about what’s best for the team.”

Rusch, who hasn’t won in four starts, gave up four runs on eight hits in 4 1-3 innings, and his ERA jumped to 7.52. He also walked five in his second-shortest outing of the year.

“It was a constant battle to try to get my pitches where I wanted them,” Rusch said. “That was uncharacteristic. I was trying to be aggressive in the strike zone and wasn’t getting there.”

The Brewers have lost five of six, and they haven’t homered in seven of the past eight. In the series opener Friday night, Milwaukee hit five home runs, including three by Sexson, but the Brewers have just nine hits in the final two games.

Sexson was hitless in his final nine at-bats of the series. The Brewers are off Monday before a six-game homestand.

“The off day comes at the right time for us,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “It’ll be nice to take it easy, relax a day and regroup.”

The Braves took the lead for good on Lopez’s homer in the second, a 376-foot shot into the left-field seats, then put it away with two runs in the fifth and three in the sixth.

Giles led off the fifth with a double down the left-field line, then came home on a single by Jones. Julio Franco brought home Jones with a single to right.

In the sixth, Ortiz singled and moved to third on a double by Rafael Furcal, then they both scored on a bloop single by Giles. Gary Sheffield moved Giles to second with another single, and Jones drove in Giles again with a base hit to left.

“This was a good series for me,” Giles said. “I’ve just got to keep it going.”

Milwaukee took the lead in the first, after Alex Sanchez hit a leadoff double and scored on a groundout by Sexson. Atlanta tied it in the bottom half when Furcal scored on a fielder’s choice by Jones.

“We managed a run right away, and that was the highlight of our day,” Yostgriped.


Lopez hadn’t homered since April 17. … Rusch has never beaten the Braves in eight appearances (0-4). … Jones, slowed by injuries a good portion of the season, left after his single in the sixth inning. Darren Bragg took his place in left field. … The Brewers return home for a six-game homestand,starting Tuesday night against the Montreal Expos.

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