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Myers survives rough first inning

ATLANTA (AP) -- Good things happen when Brett Myers pitches seven
innings.

Ricky Ledee drove in three runs and Myers overcame a rough first
inning to win for the first time in three starts, leading the
Philadelphia Phillies over the Atlanta Braves 5-3 Saturday.

"Any time a pitcher can get runs early, it's good," Myers
said. "After that, I try to go out and relax."

The Braves, losing two straight for the first time in 17 games,
fell to 27-28, their worst record this late in the season since
having an identical record on June 6, 1992.

After allowing two runs and three hits in the first, Myers (4-3)
gave up just three more hits in his seven innings. He walked four
and struck out five.

When pitching at least seven innings, Myers has won seven
straight starts and is now 10-3 in his career.

"I was throwing sinkers away and curveballs -- anything that
will get a groundball," Myers said. "I learned a lot about
myself. The last three starts, I've found my rhythm and kept my
body under control."

Tim Worrell struck out the side in the ninth for his eighth
save.

Ledee started for just the third time since May 16, when he had
three RBI at Colorado. The Phillies took a 4-0 lead in the first
on Ledee's two-run single, and RBI singles by Chase Utley and Todd
Pratt.

Ledee, playing left field to give Pat Burrell a day off, added
an RBI single for a 5-2 lead in the second.

Once Myers settled down, Ledee knew the right-hander would make
the most of his run support.

"After the first inning, he was good," Ledee said. "We had to
take advantage of that."

Myers held the Braves scoreless for his last six innings,
stranding runners in scoring position to end the first, third,
fifth and seventh. Atlanta finished 3-for-12 with runners in
scoring position.

Russ Ortiz (6-5) lost for the first time in three starts,
allowing nine hits, five runs and three walks in six innings. The
right-hander struck out eight.

Ortiz, who turned 30 Saturday, was 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA in his
previous three starts.

"After I came out from that inning, all I could really do or
think was to go out there and keep making my pitches," Ortiz said.
"Even after they got that next run, still it's the same thing. Go
out and make my pitches and believe that these guys are going to
make an effort to catch up."

Rheal Cormier allowed Andruw Jones' RBI double to make it 5-3 in
the eighth. Chipper Jones, pinch-hitting for Nick Green, reached on
third baseman Tomas Perez's fielding error, but Cormier escaped
further damage when Mark DeRosa grounded into a fielder's choice.

"We got right back in it at 4-2," Braves manager Bobby Cox
said. "Two runs over the eight innings is nothing. You would think
we would score three or four anyway. We needed to hold them and we
did, basically."

Game notes
Bowa also gave catcher Mike Lieberthal the day off. With
David Bell nursing a sore hip, Perez was in the lineup for the
second straight day at third. ... Chipper Jones, who has tightness
in his right hamstring, appeared for the first time since Tuesday.
He has been out of the starting lineup four straight games with
tightness in his right hamstring. ... With one out in the first,
Braves third base coach Fredi Gonzalez sent Johnny Estrada was
running from first on Franco's double. Estrada, a slow runner, was
thrown out 8-4-2, and then Andruw Jones grounded out to end the
inning. ... Utley appeared to snag his right cleats before sliding
into second and getting caught stealing 2-4 in the fifth.