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Horacio Ramirez pitched the best game of his career, a 3 hit complete game shutout, and the Braves offense pummeled Mark Prior. Things are clicking for the Braves.
Ramirez (8-5) allowed 1 walk and struck out 4.
The Braves scored 5 times in the 5th off of Prior. Betemit lead off with a double, Ramirez sacrificed him to 3rd, and Furcal hit an RBI double. Later in the inning, Andruw hit an RBI single and Julio hit a 3 run homer.
Offensive contributors: Julio Franco was 1-3 with the 3 run homer and a walk. Johnny Estrada was 3-4. Rafael Furcal was 2-5 with a double, an RBI, and scored. Kelly Johnson, Marcus Giles, Ryan Langerhans, and Wilson Betemit each had a hit and a walk.
The Braves are 3.5 games back of the Nationals as the latter lost last night. The Nationals are tied in the 9th inning today. The Braves lead the Wild Card by 3.5 games.
Tonight, John Smoltz will try to propel the Braves to a 4 game sweep of the Cubs against Jerome Williams.
Sportsline box score