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Updated: Friday, August 19, 2005 12:56 AM EDT



  R H E  
Dodgers 7 11 1 WP: Weaver (11-8)
LP: Thomson (3-3)
S: Sanchez (2)  
Braves 4 10 0
Bradley, Weaver continue mastery of Thomson, Braves

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Milton Bradley enjoys facing John Thomson . Jeff Weaver relishes pitching against the Atlanta Braves .

Bradley highlighted a five-run fourth inning with a three-run homer off Thomson and Weaver remained unbeaten against the Braves as the Los Angeles Dodgers posted a 7-4 victory in the rubber game of a three-game series.

Entering with a .333 (4-for-12) career average against Thomson, Bradley walked and scored on Olmedo Saenz 's two-run double in the first inning. After the Dodgers built a 4-1 lead in the fourth, Bradley launched his 13th homer of the season with two outs, increasing the advantage and ending Thomson's evening.

"(It was a) changeup," said Bradley, who went 2-for-12 in the series. "That's the only pitch I hit this series. I can't hit fastballs anymore. My timing is all messed up."

"I don't think it was the pitch, it was the location (that was bad)," Thomson said. "If it was down (instead of) up, I don't think he hits it for a home run."

Thomson (3-3) fell to 0-4 lifetime against the Dodgers. Making just his second start since returning from a finger injury, the righthander was tagged for seven runs, eight hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings.

"(I was) terrible," said Thomson, who has surrendered 12 runs since being activated from the disabled list on August 13. "(I was) behind every hitter and threw the ball over the middle of the plate. I pretty much settled with my fastball. My finger has nothing to do with it. I can feel the ball."

"His control was not good," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "He didn't locate real good at all. He's a control guy and he didn't control the ball tonight."

Conversely, Weaver (11-8) continued his success against the Braves, holding the National League East Division leaders to one run before Andruw Jones and Adam LaRoche belted back-to-back homers in the sixth.

Weaver, who has a career mark of 4-0 vs. Atlanta, including three wins at Turner Field, yielded four runs - three earned - and 10 hits in six innings, striking out six without a walk. The lanky righthander has not lost since July 10, going 4-0 in his last seven starts.

"There's no real explanation," Weaver said, referring to his success against the Braves. "We had seven runs to work with today. I know today I wasn't as sharp as I was in the past. ... (The big lead) was huge. Obviously, it takes the pressure off your shoulders."

Jones' blast, a two-run shot, was his major league-leading 39th of the season.

"(Weaver's) tough for me," admitted Jones, who was 0-for-15 lifetime against the righthander before the homer.

Elmer Dessens and Giovanni Carrara each tossed a perfect inning before Duaner Sanchez retired the side in order in the ninth for his second save.

"Dessens and Carrara, they were the bridge we needed to get to the guy we used in the ninth inning," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. "It was a big win and a big series win in a ballpark where (Atlanta) doesn't lose many games."

Rookies Dioner Navarro and Oscar Robles also drove in runs for Los Angeles, which climbed within four games of first-place San Diego in the NL West Division.

"It's the dog days right now," Bradley said. "It's August. We can see the finish line. We know we're capable of taking this division. We're just doing whatever it takes to get the win."

Following a 3-for-4 performance on Thursday, rookie Brian McCann went 2-for-2 with an RBI for the Braves, who fell to 5-4 on their season-high 12-game homestand.

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