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Yanks' offense stalls in loss to struggling Braves

NEW YORK (AP) -- Horacio Ramirez was pumped up for his first
career appearance against the New York Yankees and the Atlanta
Braves couldn't have been more pleased.

"Before the game, there was a little more nervous energy than
usual," said Ramirez, who gave up eight hits in eight innings in
the Braves' 5-2 victory Tuesday night. "But once the game started,
it was about making pitches."

Ramirez won for the first time in three weeks, equaling his
season-high in innings. He threw 111 pitches with three strikeouts
and one walk.

"I thought he was outstanding," Braves manager Bobby Cox said
of the left-hander. "He had the good sink going, off-speed stuff
was good."

Ramirez (3-2) gave up one run, walked one and struck out two.

It was only the second start for Ramirez since he was struck on
the side of the head by a line drive hit by Lance Berkman on June
11 at Houston.

"Ramirez was really good," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
"He was throwing the fastball in and then he threw the two-seamer
away. We never got a good swing on him away."

Atlanta had a 1-0 lead after six innings, with Ramirez hooked up
in a pitchers' duel with Yankees starter Jaret Wright.

"The first six innings was one of those old-fashioned battles,
1-0, and then it got ugly," Torre said.

Jeff Francoeur drove in runs with singles in the second and
eighth innings and Adam LaRoche had a solo homer in the seventh for
the Braves, who are 5-20 in June.

Wright (4-5) allowed five hits over six innings, walked two and
struck out four. He gave up the run in the second when the Braves
got two of the five hits.

Andruw Jones doubled down the left field line to start the
Atlanta second, moved to third on an infield out and scored when
Francoeur punched an opposite-field single to right through a
drawn-in infield.

Leading off the seventh, LaRoche greeted reliever Ron Villone
with a first-pitch homer, his 11th of the season, into the right
field seats to make it 2-0.

Francoeur's single in the eighth off reliever T.J. Beam scored
Edgar Renteria, who had opened the inning with a single off Villone
and stole second.

New York scored in the seventh when Jorge Posada singled, took
second and third on infield outs and scored on Melky Cabrera's
infield single that was bobbled by third baseman Chipper Jones.

The Braves added two runs in the ninth on an RBI single by
pinch-hitter Wilson Betemit and an RBI double by Chipper Jones,
both off Kyle Farnsworth.

Carbera hit his second homer of the season in the ninth off
Jorge Sosa.

Ramirez escaped a one-out jam in the third when Cabrera led off
with a single, advanced to second on an infield out and held there
while Johnny Damon beat out an infield hit. Ramirez then balked
both runners up but got Derek Jeter on a comebacker and Jason
Giambi on a fly to right.

Game notes
Francoeur turned Jeter's line drive toward the right field
corner into a double play with a fine running catch in the first.
... 2B Miguel Cairo went 1-for-4 in his second start in place of
the injured Robinson Cano, who was placed on the DL with a strained
left hamstring. ... LaRoche was eventually called out on a swinging
third strike to end the fourth inning after a lengthy umpires
conference that determined he missed the pitch that went back to
the screen. He was thrown out at first.