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Sheets limits Braves to two runs in seven innings of work

ATLANTA (AP) -- Ben Sheets did not have his strikeout pitch
working. What he had was still plenty good.

Sheets pitched seven strong innings and Brady Clark drove in
three runs as the Milwaukee Brewers beat Atlanta 9-6 Saturday
night, snapping the Braves' season-high six-game winning streak.

Sheets (5-6), who struck out a franchise-record 18 Braves last
season in a 4-1 win, had only four strikeouts, but was nearly as
effective.

"He had his killer breaking ball that day. Tonight it was only
good," Brewers manager Ned Yost said.

The right-hander gave up three hits and two runs in the first,
then held the Braves scoreless over the next six innings. He
allowed eight hits and walked one in helping the Brewers end a
three-game skid.

"My breaking ball hasn't been that good [this season]," Sheets
said. "When I get that pitch going, I'll get more strikeouts. I
feel it coming."

Sheets lowered his ERA to 3.41.

"Last year I was in a way better groove," Sheets said. "I had
A-plus stuff. Nothing seems easy this year, but I can feel it
coming. ... I knew I had good stuff tonight, even though they got
the two runs, they got infield hits and only one ball was hit
hard."

Sheets struck out 31 in his previous two starts against Atlanta,
spanning 17 innings, including the 18 on May 16, 2004. He struck
out 13 last Aug. 12.

"He mixes his curveball with a good fastball. He's got one of
the best curveballs in the league," Atlanta's Rafael Furcal said.

"Tonight we tried to make contact by jumping on his fastball,
but it's tough when you've got a 94-95 mph and he takes 10 mph off
of it. It takes the bat out of your hands."

Clark, who went 2-for-4, had a two-run double in the second and
a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Chad Moeller extended his hitting
streak to eight games with an RBI single in the sixth and added a
sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Bill Hall had a pair of singles, scored twice and drove in two
runs for the Brewers.

Kelly Johnson hit a three-run homer in the ninth for Atlanta,
which lost for the sixth time in 23 games.

Atlanta starter Kyle Davies (4-3) went five innings. He gave up
five hits, four runs, walked four and struck out two.

The Braves' runs in the first came on an RBI groundout by Andruw
Jones and a run-scoring double by Adam LaRoche.

The Brewers, who scored a run in the first on an RBI double by
Lyle Overbay, took a 3-2 lead in the second on Clark's double.

The Brewers added a run in the fifth on a groundout by Carlos
Lee, his league-leading 74th RBI, and two more in the sixth on
Moeller's RBI single and Clark's sacrifice fly.

Milwaukee made it 8-2 in the seventh on Hall's RBI single and a
sacrifice fly by Moeller. Hall had a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

Game notes
With showers falling since the fourth inning, the game was
delayed 25 minutes with Milwaukee batting in the sixth. The grounds
crew poured numerous bags of a drying agent on the home plate area,
pitching mound and entire infield. The official scorer called it a
field repair, not a rain delay. "I've never seen anything like
it," Overbay said. "There was no way we were going to get nine
innings in tonight. It was incredible. The ground crew did a heck
of a job." ...The start of the game was also delayed five minutes.
No reason was given. ... Braves relievers had a streak of 20
scoreless innings broken when the Brewers scored twice in the sixth
off Kevin Gryboski. ... Jones has an RBI in seven straight games.
... Lee ended an 0-for-13 slump with a single the seventh. He also
singled in the ninth.