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Ramirez tosses Braves' first complete game of year

7/8/2003

NEW YORK (AP) -- For Chipper Jones, it's all so simple.

"I'm seeing the ball really good right now. I'm just making
contact," Jones said after homering twice for the second straight
day to help the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 7-3 Monday
night.

Jones hit a three-run homer in the first inning and added a solo
shot in the eighth for his 28th multihomer game.

He hit two home runs in the Braves' 7-5 win over the Montreal
Expos on Sunday for his first multihomer game this season. It is
the first time in his career that he's hit two or more in
consecutive games.

While Jones provided the offensive spark, rookie Horacio Ramirez
shut down the Mets by throwing his first complete game as a major
leaguer. The left-hander, making his 15th career start, gave up one
earned run and four hits in winning his seventh consecutive
decision since losing to Florida on April 11.

"It was all Ramirez and Chipper Jones tonight," Atlanta
manager Bobby Cox said. "For Ramirez, that was his best game by
far."

Ramirez (8-2) struck out seven and walked two in throwing
Atlanta's first complete game since Kevin Millwood last Sept. 6
against Montreal. The Braves were last team in the major leagues to
throw a complete game.

"It was probably the best game I've thrown this year," said
Ramirez, who said he'd never thrown as complete game at any
professional level.

The game was interrupted momentarily in the ninth inning when a
boy came out of the stands and ran toward center field. He didn't
go near any players and was quickly surrounded by security and led
off the field through the visitors' bullpen. The Mets have not
decided whether charges will be filed.

The only trouble Ramirez ran into came thanks to some shoddy
defense in the sixth. With runners on first and third with one out,
Jeromy Burnitz hit a potential double-play grounder to Marcus
Giles. The ball got past the second baseman for an error and went
into right field, allowing Roger Cedeno to score and putting
runners at first and third.

Ty Wigginton then hit a popup that first baseman Robert Fick
dropped for another error. Giles picked up the ball and, in an
attempt to get a force at second, threw the ball into left for his
second error of the inning, allowing Raul Gonzalez to score.

Jason Phillips hit a sacrifice fly to make it 6-3.

"Offensively we didn't mount much," Mets manager Art Howe
said. "They gave us the runs we did get. You won't see the Braves
have an inning like that very often."

Atlanta was in control from the start, getting three runs in the
first off Jae Seo (5-5). Giles and Gary Sheffield both had one-out
singles before Jones drove a 1-0 pitch over the right-field wall
for his 16th homer, giving Atlanta a 3-0 lead.

Ramirez took over from there. He pitched out of a jam in the
fourth, when the Mets put runners at second and third with one out.
Ramirez got Phillips to pop out to second and Vance Wilson to
ground out.

"That kid pitched good," Wilson said. "I'd imagine we're
going to see him again."

Fick padded the Braves' lead when he hit a three-run homer in
the sixth for a 6-0 lead.

Seo allowed six runs and eight hits in six innings, struck out
six and walked none.

Sheffield finished 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.

Game notes
Edwin Almonte, called up from Triple-A Norfolk, entered in
the sixth. He gave up one run and one hit in two innings. ...
Ramirez is 7-0 in 12 starts since losing to Florida 7-4. ... The
public address announcer mistakenly announced injured Mets SS Jose
Reyes was starting and batting eighth. When he corrected himself
and said Rey Sanchez would be in Reyes' place, there was a
smattering of boos from fans. ... The cast of the Tony
Award-winning play "Take Me Out," about a gay baseball player,
sang the national anthem.