Final

Series: Game 3 of 3

Atlanta won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, July 3
St. Louis3Final
Atlanta6
Game 2: Tuesday, July 4
St. Louis6Final
Atlanta3
Game 3: Wednesday, July 5
St. Louis4Final
Atlanta14

Cardinals 4

(45-38, 19-21 away)

Braves 14

(37-48, 18-22 home)

    7:35 PM ET, July 5, 2006

    Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia 

    123456789 R H E
    STL 000121000 4 10 1
    ATL 50062100 - 14 16 0

    W: C. James (3-0)

    L: J. Suppan (6-5)

    Suppan tagged for 10 runs in Cards' 14-4 loss to Braves

    ATLANTA (AP) -- Chuck James says he isn't a student of baseball history, so he hadn't heard of Rick Behenna before Wednesday night.

    Elias Says
    Chuck James
    James
    Chuck James recorded his third win in three major-league starts in the Braves' 14-4 victory over the Cardinals. Only five other pitchers in Braves history won each of their first three MLB starts, and of those five, only Rick Behenna did it during the live-ball era (1983). Among the others was Hall of Famer Vic Willis (1898).

    • For more Elias Says, Click here.

    And the more James heard about Behenna, the less he wanted to know.

    James won his third straight start, the first Braves rookie to do that since Behenna 26 years ago, and Atlanta matched its season high for runs in beating St. Louis 14-4 on Wednesday night.

    James, a left-hander who joined the rotation on June 25, wasn't too excited to hear that 1983 was Behenna's only season in Atlanta and that he finished with a 3-10 career record, including two winless years with Cleveland.

    "That ain't good," James said.

    James (3-0) gave up four runs and eight hits, including home runs to Scott Rolen and Hector Luna, in six innings.

    "I think my goal in the next outing is to try to keep the ball in the park and we'll be all right," said James, who has allowed five homers in the three starts.

    The Braves won consecutive series for the first time since May while extending the Cardinals' road woes.

    The Braves scored 10 runs off Jeff Suppan, knocking him out of the game in the fourth inning, to win for the second time in the three-game series.

    The Braves are 4-2 in a 10-game homestand as they try to recover from a 6-21 June, the worst month in franchise history.

    "We need to sweep some series, but if we can win every series the rest of the way we'll be all right," Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur said.

    Third baseman Chipper Jones returned to the Atlanta lineup after missing three starts with a sore foot. He drove in three runs with two hits, including a two-run double in the fifth inning.

    "It felt pretty good," Jones said. "I was fine. I was happy to still be on some pitches. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be."

    Atlanta shortstop Edgar Renteria was 3-for-6 with two RBI.

    The Cardinals, who broke a seven-game road losing streak with Tuesday night's 6-3 win, fell to 19-21 away from St. Louis. The Cardinals haven't had a losing road record since 2003, the last year the team didn't make the playoffs.

    Overall, the Cardinals have lost 11 of 14 but have maintained their NL Central lead over slumping Cincinnati.

    Suppan (6-5) gave up a career-high 10 runs, nine earned, nine hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings. Suppan's ERA rose from 5.17 to 5.93.

    "He had a rough night," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.

    La Russa refused to speculate on the role awaiting pitcher Jeff Weaver, who was acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night. La Russa said he had heard Weaver is to join the team Friday in Houston.

    Suppan has enjoyed the most run support of any NL pitcher, as the Cardinals have averaged 7.41 runs per nine innings in his starts.

    This time the Cardinals' bats couldn't keep pace as Suppan gave up five runs in the first inning and six in the fourth, when the Braves sent 12 batters to the plate.

    "I'm falling behind in the count, I'm missing locations early and having to come with a little better of a pitch later in the count which they took good swings and put the ball in play for hits," Suppan said. "That's the only thing I can think of now."

    Suppan set up the Braves' big first inning by walking two of the first three batters. Renteria's RBI triple to right drove in Marcus Giles. Andruw Jones, Francoeur and Adam LaRoche added RBI singles as the Braves took a 5-0 lead. Francoeur's single skipped past Juan Encarnacion in right field for an error, allowing Andruw Jones to score.

    Seven of the first 10 Cardinals were retired on fly balls to the outfield. Finally, with one out in the fourth, Rolen hit a fly ball that cleared the wall in left for his 13th homer, cutting the lead to 5-1.

    A run-scoring double by Giles helped spark the six-run fourth. Renteria and Chipper Jones added run-scoring singles, pushing the lead to 8-1 and knocking Suppan out of the game.

    Brian McCann hit a two-run double against reliever Tyler Johnson, who walked Ryan Langerhans with the bases loaded to force in another run for an 11-1 lead.

    Luna hit a two-run homer, his fourth, in the fifth. After Chipper Jones' two-run double made it 13-3, Rolen led off the sixth with a double and scored on Jim Edmonds' sacrifice fly.

    Atlanta rookie Scott Thorman hit his first major-league homer, as a pinch-hitter off Josh Hancock in the sixth.

    Game notes


    Encarnacion's error was his fourth in 79 games, matching his 2005 total in 141 games with Florida. ... Rain threatened the start of the game, but the first pitch was only five minutes late after the grounds crew removed the tarp. ... The Braves beat San Francisco 14-6 on April 7.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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