Braves 9 Giants 3 (75-53, 6 straight wins, 9.5 games in 1st place) Hits: The Braves nailed Cy Young Award candidate Jason Schmidt for 10 hits and 6 runs in 3 2/3 innings, delivering only his sixth loss of the season in 24 starts. Rafael Furcal led the charge with a 4-for-5 day and 4 RBI, raising his average to .294. Charles Thomas also reached base four times, going 2-for-4 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch, raising his average to .314. Johnny Estrada was 2-for-4 with 2 RBI to raise his average to .329. And Paul Byrd, who allowed only 1 run on 4 hits and 3 walks in 6 innings (lowering his ERA to 3.89), helped himself with a 2-for-2 day, including a sacrifice bunt and two RBI singles. The Braves have also managed four straight games without an error. Misses: Chipper Jones suffered an 0-for-5 day, struck out with the bases loaded twice, and left 8 baserunners. JD Drew and Adam LaRoche were both 1-for-5 and left 5 baserunners each. All three players struck out three times each! Overall, the team left 12 baserunners on base and struck out 12 times. Other: Byrd (3-1) joined Mike Hampton (3-1) and Jaret Wright (4-1) with his third August win, improving the team record in August to 18-7. The Braves' .312 batting average for the month of August leads the majors by several points, and their .274 for the season is second only to the Cardinals. Furthermore, the Braves' 3.69 ERA is significantly better than the next-closest team in that category -- also the Cardinals -- so it's no wonder the Braves are suddenly sporting the second-best record in the National League behind, you guessed it, the St. Louis Cardinals!