Ramirez brilliant, Braves hold on in ninth
ATLANTA -- A great outing from their starting pitcher, a clutch hit and another key contribution from a rookie kept the
pitched eight outstanding innings,
delivered a big hit and rookie
rescued the bullpen as the Braves posted their fourth consecutive one-run victory, a 2-1 triumph over the
Atlanta won three straight one-run games from Washington earlier in the week to take over first place in the National League East Division. Atlanta played its seventh straight one-run contest in this one, winning for the fifth time.
Ramirez (9-6) was on top of his game, allowing one run and six hits in going at least seven-plus innings for his fifth straight start.
"I think we took the
' horseshoe," said Ramirez, referring to Washington's recent 0-10 record in one-run games. "Things are going our way. You need breaks and we got it."
The Braves helped Ramirez reach the win column, erasing a 1-0 deficit in the seventh against Pirates starter
(8-8), who had allowed five hits in the first six frames.
led off with a single and
followed with a double that moved Furcal to third. Jones then singled to left-center field on a 2-2 pitch, giving the Braves the lead.
"I'm just trying to get my timing back," said Jones, who had just seven hits since coming off the disabled list on July 18 before collecting two in this one. "I swung the bat good tonight."
Jones barely stayed alive after it appeared as though he was struck out on a 1-2 pitch.
"I wish you guys (in the media) had been behind the plate," Williams said. "In this place you're not going to get the borderline calls. But I'm not going to blame someone else. I had more pitches to get Chipper out."
"That ball was inside, way inside," Jones said with a smile. "It was a half of foot inside."
given a night off after pitching in all three games of the series against Washington, Atlanta manager
to close out the Pirates, but the righthander injured his arm on his second pitch to pinch hitter
"It's too bad," Cox said. "He worked hard all year to get back and this happened."
Powell, who had "
" surgery on his right elbow last July 8, was diagnosed with a severe right elbow injury and was taken to a hospital for further tests.
Powell was replaced by
, who walked Mackowiak.
came on and
greeted him with a double, moving Mackowiak to third. Brower struck out
to load the bases before being replaced by McBride.
The 22-year-old lefthander struck out pinch hitter
to ground out to second base for his first major league save.
"You've got to go in and challenge them," said McBride, who had just two saves in his minor league career. "You can't pitch around anybody. It worked out for the good today."
One of nine rookies on the Braves' roster, McBride, a first-round pick in 2001, has been used primarily as a starter in the minor leagues. On Thursday, rookie and 2002 first-round pick
hit two homers in the Braves' 5-4 triumph over Washington.
Williams allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings.
The Pirates opened the scoring in the sixth.
led off with a single and eventually scored on
's sacrifice fly.