ATLANTA (AP) -- Jason Davis rooted for the Braves while growing
up in Chattanooga, Tenn. -- about two hours from Atlanta.
In the Cleveland Indians media guide, Davis listed the Braves as
his favorite team as a kid. Now, he has a new favorite memory in
the Braves' home park.
Davis threw seven solid innings to win for the first time in
almost seven weeks and also hit his first major league home run,
leading the Indians over the slumping Braves 5-2 on Sunday.
Davis, who lives in Cleveland, Tenn., in the offseason, said
there are still a lot of Braves fans in his hometown who were
closely watching the game.
"I had almost 100 people here, so I didn't want to strike
out," Davis said. "I didn't want them to have anything on me when
I go back home."
Davis said his late grandfather "was the biggest Braves fan
ever," so he planned to give the ball he hit for his first home
run to his grandmother.
While Davis celebrated his day to remember, the reeling Braves
suffered a day like far too many in recent weeks.
The Braves have lost eight of 12 games and four straight series,
including four straight against American League opponents. With
Sunday's loss, they again matched their low point of the season at
four games below .500.
"We're capable of hitting a lot better than this team is
hitting right now," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "Five and four
hits a game aren't going to cut it."
Davis (2-5) gave up four hits and two runs in seven innings
while winning for the first time since May 4.
Before Sunday, he had only two wins in his last 25 starts since
July 1, 2002. Against the Braves, however, Davis was dominant while
retiring the side in order in three of the first four innings.
The Braves' only runs came on back-to-back home runs by J.D.
Drew and Chipper Jones in the sixth.
For most of the game, however, the 6-foot-6 Davis looked even
bigger as he kept the Braves guessing.
"You see a guy 6-foot-8, you read the scouting report that says
he throws 95 miles an hour, you've got to respect 95 miles an
hour," Jones said. "He came out and threw a lot of splitters. ...
We just didn't do a good enough job of laying off the off-speed
stuff to get him into hitters' counts."
Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said Davis has a tendency to
overthrow but "had command of his body" against the Braves.
"He's come a long way," Wedge said.
Jose Jimenez pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save in 10
Coco Crisp reached base in his first four plate appearances for
the Indians, going 3-for-4 with a walk, three stolen bases and
three runs scored.
"I'm battling for a job," said Crisp, who has seen more
consistent playing time in center field since Alex Escobar was
demoted to Buffalo on June 12.
"I wanted to get in there and show them what I could do in the
limited time I had," Crisp said.
Crisp is hitting .370 (20 of 54) in June and has a nine-game
Davis had been hitless in four career at-bats before drilling a
first-pitch fastball from Russ Ortiz (6-6) over the left-field wall
in his first at-bat in the second inning.
"I think it was a mistake; it was a little up," Davis said.
"I had to act like a professional, like I had done it before."
Davis' homer in the second made it 3-0. The Indians got another
run in the third when Crisp doubled to left and scored on a single
by Travis Hafner.
Before the sixth-inning homers by Drew and Jones, Eli Marrero
had the Braves' only two hits -- singles in the third and fifth
Facing the Indians for the first time in his career, Ortiz gave
up nine hits and five runs in 6 1-3 innings.
Ortiz was pulled after giving up a one-out single to Crisp in
the seventh. After Crisp stole second base, Cox ordered an
intentional walk to Martinez for the second time in the game. Blake
followed with an RBI single to center for a 5-2 lead.
Ortiz, 4-1 with a 2.41 ERA in May, is 0-2 with a 5.33 ERA in
four June starts.
Davis' homer was the first for a Cleveland pitcher since
Dwight Gooden's against Cincinnati on June 11, 1999. ...
Cleveland's Matt Lawton had his 16-game hitting streak snapped. ...
While attempting to field a slow grounder hit by Crisp that
dribbled down the first-base line in the third, Braves first
baseman Julio Franco was accidentally spiked by Ortiz when the
pitcher stepped on his foot. Franco stayed in the game. ... With
his three stolen bases, Crisp pushed his season total to 10. ...
The Braves have hit back-to-back homers three times this year, and
Drew has hit one of the two each time.