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McCann, Chipper help Braves batter Brewers

ATLANTA (AP) -- It's difficult to remain in contention for a
National League playoff spot while carrying the league's worst home
record.

The Atlanta Braves hope more success at home will push them
closer to the top spot in the wild-card race.

Brian McCann homered and drove in four runs to help the Braves
beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-4 Sunday for their first home series
win in more than a month.

"Maybe we can get on that streak we keep talking about,"
manager Bobby Cox said.

"We want to get back in this thing. That's what we're here for.
We're going to battle down to the end."

The Braves, who improved to 25-31 at home, are six games behind
Cincinnati in the wild-card race. The Reds beat the Phillies 7-5 in
11 innings Sunday.

By winning two of three from the Brewers, the Braves won their
first home series since winning three of four from the Reds July
6-9 at Turner Field. Still, the Braves were only 3-3 in the
homestand.

"We know that playing .500 baseball from here on out is not
gonna cut it," McCann said.

"We have to win every series. We have to win or go home. We all
know that. I just see the fight in our leaders. We have the team;
we're capable of doing it."

One of the Braves' leaders, Chipper Jones, returned from the
disabled list to hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Jeff Francoeur hit his 22nd homer for Atlanta.

Tony Graffanino hit a two-run double in the top of the seventh
to help the Brewers rally from a 4-1 deficit to tie it, but his
error in the bottom half helped the Braves take the lead with three
unearned runs.

Marcus Giles led off the seventh with a single. Edgar Renteria
followed with a sacrifice bunt attempt that first baseman Prince
Fielder handled cleanly. Graffanino dropped Fielder's throw for the
error, allowing Giles to advance to third.

"I kind of lost it a little bit," Graffanino said of Fielder's
throw. "It was low, and I was trying to get it. I expected it
high. ... Bottom line, I should have caught it."

Jones then flied out to the wall in left against Matt Wise
(5-6), giving the Braves a 5-4 lead. One out later, McCann's 15th
homer drove in Renteria for a 7-4 lead.

"That play set up a three-run inning," Brewers manager Ned
Yost said of Graffanino's error. "If we made that play, they
probably wouldn't have scored anything in the inning."

Matt Diaz had four hits for Atlanta and Chad Paronto (1-0)
recorded one out in the seventh to earn his second major league win
and first since April 22, 2001, for Baltimore against Tampa Bay.

Bob Wickman pitched the ninth for his seventh save in seven
chances with Atlanta, and his 22nd in 25 opportunities overall.

Braves starter Tim Hudson, who pitched seven shutout innings in
a 3-1 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday, was not as sharp Sunday. He
allowed two or more baserunners in five of seven innings but
Atlanta still led 4-1 after six.

Hudson was charged with three runs and nine hits in 6 2/3
innings.

"It was a little bit of a bend but don't break philosophy out
there today," Hudson said.

Reliever Tyler Yates did not record an out, giving up two walks
and a two-run double to Graffanino.

Milwaukee starter Tomo Ohka was hurt by sudden control problems
with two outs in the third. Diaz led off the inning with a single
to right and moved to second on Hudson's sacrifice bunt.

After Giles hit a flyout to right, Ohka walked Renteria and
Chipper Jones to load the bases and then issued a third straight
walk to Andruw Jones on a 3-2 pitch to force in a run.

McCann's two-run single to right gave Atlanta a 3-0 lead.

The Brewers settled for one run after having runners on second
and third with no outs in the sixth. Bill Hall led off with a
single and moved to third on Graffanino's single. Graffanino
advanced to second on right fielder Francoeur's throw to third.

Hudson struck out Corey Hart and allowed one run on Mike
Rivera's grounder to Renteria at shortstop, cutting the lead to
3-1. Hudson ended the inning with a groundout from pinch-hitter
Geoff Jenkins.

Ohka gave up five hits and three runs in five innings. He walked
three and struck out one.

Game notes
Andruw Jones' bases-loaded walk gave him 100 RBI for the
fifth time in his career. He needs one homer for his seventh
30-homer season. ... The Brewers, who swept three games from the
Braves in Milwaukee in April, finished 4-2 for their first season
series win over Atlanta. ... LF Gabe Gross threw Andruw Jones out
at second in the fifth inning as Jones tried for a double on a ball
that hit the left-field wall.