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braves-complete-4-game-sweep-2 | May | 2005 Articles

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Braves complete 4 game sweep

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Thursday: Braves 9, Astros 3 John Thomson pitched a complete game 3 hitter as the Braves took the 1st game of the series from the Astros. Thomson (3-2) threw 103 pitches, 74 for strikes. He gave up 3 runs, including 2 in the first inning when the first 2 hitters in the game reached on a single and a double, then scored as the Astros made productive outs to get the runs in. After that, Thomson retired 27 of the last 29 hitters--and one of those hitters reached on an error in the 9th. Thomson didn't walk any and struck out 5. The Braves scored 4 runs in the bottom of the first, capped by an Adam LaRoche 3 run homer (his 3rd of the season). LaRoche added 4 RBI. Rafael Furcal, Marcus Giles, and Brian Jordan added 2 hits to help the cause. Ryan Langerhans played center field in this game, giving Andruw the day off. Friday: Braves 9, Astros 4 Johnny Estrada hit a 3 run homer in the first inning as the Braves again scored 9 runs to beat the Astros. Everyone in the lineup had an RBI except for Raul Mondesi. Mike Lamb and Willy Taveras looked like they had never played outfield before, and several fly balls that could have been caught ended up being extra base hits. This helped the Braves, especially in the 2nd inning when they scored 3 runs with 2 outs. John Smoltz (3-3) pitched well through 5 innings, but he left after the 5th because of a strained back. He only had 46 pitches, and allowed just one run on 2 hits, didn't walk any, and struck out 2, leading to another effective, albeit shortened, outing. (I talked about Smoltz's injury and other tidbits at more length here.) Kevin Gryboski and Adam Bernero contributed scoreless innings out of the bullpen, and Jorge Sosa and Roman Colon allowed runs. Colon has the highest ERA on the team, by far, at 8.00. Saturday: Braves 4, Astros 1 Horacio Ramirez pitched 7 good innings to pick up the victory. Ramirez (2-2) allowed no runs on just 3 hits, 3 walks, although he only only had 2 strikeouts. His ERA was lowered to 3.68. Chris Reitsma gave up a run in the 8th for the first time in 12 appearances, but got out of the inning with no further damage. Dan Kolb picked up his 9th save, but had about the ugliest scoreless inning I've ever seen. He walked 2, allowed a hit, and had a wild pitch. But, he got the job done somehow. His ERA is gradually coming down, it is now at 5.54. To help the offense, Julio Franco snapped out of a slump with a 3-4 night including a home run. Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones also had 2 hits. Sunday: Braves 16, Astros 0 The Astros were completely dominated in the game by the Braves in all facets. Mike Hampton (4-1) only faced one over the minimum, and pitched a complete game 2-hit shutout. The last hit, an infield single, came with 2 outs in the 9th and kept Hampton from facing the minimum. He walked 1 and struck out 3. He also hit a home run. Ryan Langerhans started in right field, and had 6 RBI. He was 3-5 with 2 homers, his 2nd and 3rd of the season. Andruw Jones (2 for 5 with 3 RBI) and Eddie Perez (1-4 with 2 RBI) also homered. It was Jones' 5th homer of the season, tying him with Chipper for the team lead; it was Perez's 2nd home run of the season. Brian Jordan was 3 for 4 with 3 runs scored. Everyone who played today got a hit, including the subs (Orr and Betemit). Suddenly, after hitting .185 about 2 weeks ago, Andruw Jones is now hitting .273/.339/.482, is tied for the team lead in homers with 5, and has 18 RBI. He might have a breakout year yet. The Braves now travel to Colorado, where Tim Hudson will face Jamey Wright tomorrow night; John Thomson against Jason Jennings Tuesday night; and John Smoltz against Joe Kennedy Wednesday afternoon.

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