Braves keep Padres' Latos winless

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SAN DIEGO --- Chipper Jones hit a two-run triple and finished with three RBI as the Atlanta Braves beat San Diego 7-0 today, leaving Padres ace Mat Latos winless since September.

Braves starter Tommy Hanson (3-3) struck out 10 and walked only one in seven innings and combined with two relievers on a four-hitter. The Padres were shut out for the major league-leading seventh time in 25 games, and for the third time on a seven-game homestand. San Diego scored only 10 runs in the seven games.

Jones moved out of a tie with Mickey Mantle and into sole possession of second place among switch-hitters with 1,512 RBIs. Hall of Famer Eddie Murray tops the list at 1,917.

Latos (0-4) has lost nine consecutive starts dating to last season, matching the longest streak in club history. Only one of the six runs he allowed was earned. A fielding error by first baseman Brad Hawpe with two outs in the second inning led to the Braves scoring five unearned runs.

Jones' groundout in the first brought in Martin Prado, who doubled to left on Latos' first pitch of the game and advanced on Jason Heyward's fly out.

Latos almost got out of the second inning unscathed even though he allowed Freddie Freeman's leadoff double down the right-field line and Nate McLouth's one-out single to center, which wasn't deep enough to bring in Freeman.

After Latos struck out Hanson, Prado hit a grounder down the first-base line. Hawpe tried to backhand it but it went under his glove for an error, allowing Freeman and McLouth to score. Heyward beat out an infield single and Jones tripled over the head of center field Cameron Maybin, who was retreating and turned the wrong way. Jones scored on Brian McCann's double to right, making it 6-0.

Hawpe was signed to replace Adrian Gonzalez, a three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner who was traded to Boston in December. Hawpe, who played only a handful of games at first in his major league career before this season, has had a rough year in the field and at the plate.

Latos went five innings, with five strikeouts and one walk. Andy Benes (Sept. 6, 1993-April 19, 1994) and Dennis Rasmussen (June 26-Aug. 9, 1991) also lost nine straight starts.<


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