began waving emphatically as soon as he saw where
's shot was going. Lowe's gestures to
were meaningless, but the center fielder made the play all the same.
hit a three-run homer and McLouth made a pair of great catches in the sixth when Lowe began to tire, lifting the surging
to a 10-2 win over the
''I was waving him over there, I had the perfect angle of it,'' Lowe said.
''Maybe that's why I got there,'' joked McLouth, who won his first Gold Glove last season. ''It was a good series. Coming
in, all these games are big the rest of then season, but when there are teams that are right there in the wild card (race)
with us and you have a chance to move ahead of team or separate from teams, it makes them that much more important.''
Atlanta and Milwaukee are certainly headed in opposite directions.
The Braves have won eight of 11 since the All-Star break and even though they remain 6 1/2 games behind Philadelphia in the
, who hit a two-run homer in the ninth in his first start since coming off the disabled list Thursday, said he can feel a
difference over the time he was gone rehabbing his ailing right wrist.
''Confidence. I think everybody's really stepped up their confidence level, everybody's been playing so good,'' Johnson said.
''It's also like a swagger, it's just a feeling being in the clubhouse. Everybody's a little louder, having a little more
fun. Things like that. You can really tell.''
It's no fun for Milwaukee, which fell to 7-14 in July and is fourth in the NL Central after starting the month with a two-game
lead in the division.
''We're not pleasing a lot of people so we've got to figure out a way to get it going,'' said
, who hit a two-run homer in the sixth for the only runs off Lowe.
Kotchman's deep drive to right off
in the sixth gave Atlanta a 5-0 lead and the Braves scored five times off Milwaukee's bullpen, starting with
's solo homer in the seventh.
Lowe (10-7) has been a main beneficiary of the added offense. In the veteran right-hander's last four starts, he's 3-0 with
a 2.63 ERA and has allowed only two homers. He struck out three and forced 10 groundball outs before running into trouble
in the sixth and needing McLouth to bail him out.
''I went from the most part getting groundballs to what amounts to about 1,000 feet of two outs and a home run,'' Lowe said.
''The play of the game is clearly the Kendall ball. The inning really could've unraveled, but he makes a great play, we come
back and a great win. Our offense has been phenomenal the whole second half.''
Looper (9-5) had been the only Brewers starter succeeding, going 4-0 in his previous six appearances, but he gave up a first
inning run on McCann's two-out double and fell apart in the sixth.
McCann walked with one out,
singled to put runners on the corners and
's RBI single made it 2-0. Kotchman followed with his homer off Looper, who has allowed a major-league high 24 this season
and left after the inning.
''I was able to limit the damage most of the time until that last inning. Unfortunately, that three-run homer really hurt,''
McLouth, acquired from Pittsburgh for three players on June 3, made sure Milwaukee didn't rally in the bottom of the inning.
singled with one out and McLouth made a leaping catch near the wall to save a run off a long drive by
With two outs, Hart homered off Lowe, cutting it to 5-2, and J.J. Hardy and
hit consecutive singles, but McLouth saved two more runs when he tracked down Kendall's deep drive to left-center field. McLouth
had been playing shallow and shaded to right, needing a full sprint to make the grab.
''Unbelievable,'' McCann said. ''They're game-saving catches. Getting him on our team is just such a big acquisition. He's
a Gold Glove center fielder. He's got five tools. He can hurt in so many different ways.''
NOTES: San Diego's
has also allowed 24 homers this season. ... Braves LHP
pitched a clean seventh in his first appearance since taking a line drive off his forearm in Thursday's game. ... Braves RF
(elbow) was out, but hopes to return for the Florida series starting Tuesday after hurting himself swinging Saturday night.
... Braves RHP
(ligament replacement) is scheduled to make his third rehab start at Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday.