<
>

Drew homers for third straight day

5/15/2004

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- J.D. Drew is in quite a groove.

Drew homered for the third straight game and Chipper Jones
followed with a solo shot in the eighth inning Friday night,
sending the Atlanta Braves to a 2-0 victory over the Milwaukee
Brewers.

"I'm seeing the ball well and trying to put decent swings on
it," said Drew, who went 1-for-4. "I didn't have anything other
than a home run to show for it tonight. I felt like I saw the ball
good and took some good swings. That last at-bat I just tried to
stay on top of it. It worked out well."

The homers gave Horacio Ramirez (1-3) his first win of the
season after he lost a career-worst three straight decisions.

He allowed just five hits in eight innings while striking out
five and walking three in an impressive outing.

"He's a quality, young, left-handed pitcher," said Brewers
manager Ned Yost, a longtime Braves coach before coming to
Milwaukee last season. "He has tremendous command of the outside
part of the plate with his fastball. He's like Tommy Glavine, but
he's got just a little harder fastball."

Ramirez appreciated Drew's excellent defensive play in right
field as much as the home run.

In the seventh inning, Drew chased down a ball that Bill Hall
hit to the warning track with two on and two outs.

"He got good wood on it," Ramirez said. "Thank goodness J.D.
is out there to make a great catch."

John Smoltz worked a perfect ninth for his sixth save in seven
tries.

Drew and Jones connected off Luis Vizcaino (0-2), who started
the eighth in relief of Victor Santos. Vizcaino retired the first
two batters before Drew hit his seventh home run of the season and
Jones his fourth.

"He threw a splitter to Drew and hung a slider to Chipper and
you can't really do that," Yost said.

Santos, making just his third major league start, struck out six
and walked two while giving up five hits and no runs in a
career-high seven innings. He was lifted for pinch-hitter Trent
Durrington in the seventh.

"That kid changed speeds like crazy," Atlanta manager Bobby
Cox said.

The Brewers loaded the bases in the second inning with one out
but failed to score when Ramirez struck out Chad Moeller and
Santos.

Milwaukee's Lyle Overbay extended his career-best hitting streak
to 15 games with a single in the second. He is one shy of the
club's National League record set by Mark Loretta in 2001.

Game notes
The Brewers honored Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn, the
first inductee into the Milwaukee Braves Honor Roll at Miller Park.
... The Brewers wore retro Braves uniforms, which made it hard to
tell the teams apart. But Cox liked them. "Maybe the uniforms
brought out the best in us," he said. ... It was the first time
this season the Braves hit consecutive home runs. ... The Braves
placed infielder Jesse Garcia on bereavement leave after his
grandmother died. To fill his roster spot, they called up infielder
Nick Green from Triple-A Richmond.