MILWAUKEE - Before the announcer at Miller Park delivers the visiting team's lineup, the Milwaukee Brewers play a scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail on the center-field video board.
"Bring out the dead," intones a medieval peasant, pushing a wheelbarrow through a village of thatched huts. "Bring out the dead."
Imagine a similar scene playing at Turner Field, antagonizing the opposing team before the start. Not going to happen.
It took one out for the Atlanta Braves to bring their bats to life Wednesday night.
Marcus Giles slammed a pair of home runs in the first two innings, Andruw Jones also homered twice, and Julio Franco hit a home run as the the Braves cruised to a 10-2 win over the Brewers before a crowd of 30,010 spectators.
"Runs are a beautiful thing," said Greg Maddux, who improved to 11-8 by pitching six shutout innings and allowing six hits. "Runs cover up a lot of mistakes. It's a little different when you've got a 10-0 lead."
Every Atlanta regular, with the exception of Vinny Castilla, had at least one hit, and seven different players scored a run.
Giles, who had not homered since July 28 against Montreal, also doubled and knocked in four runs. Since July 3, the second baseman has batted .423 (44-for-104) with five home runs and 18 RBI.
"With the potential power in our lineup, and hitting in a stadium like this, there's a chance some runs are going to be put up," said Giles, who is batting .318.
Jones, who sat out Saturday and Sunday with a strained muscle in his right side, hit a pair of two-run home runs, boosting his RBI to 83, the league's seventh-best. He was robbed of a third home run by Geoff Jenkins' leaping catch in the sixth, the second consecutive night the Brewers' left fielder has stolen a home run from the Braves.
"We hit the ball good, don't get me wrong," manager Bobby Cox said, "but the ball really jumps here. Everybody in the lineup has a chance to hit the ball out."
Maddux, who has pitched 11 scoreless innings over two starts, has won five consecutive since an 8-1 loss to the Florida Marlins on June 30.
In taking the 284th win of his career, the 37-year-old right-hander is four wins shy of becoming the first pitcher in history to record 16 consecutive seasons of 15 or more wins.
"That guy is a four-time Cy Young winner for a reason," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "You can't give him too big a cushion because if you do, he will chew you up and spit you out at will."
The Braves, who have already matched last season's home run total, produced two more in the first inning against Wayne Franklin (7-9).
Giles hit Franklin's 2-1 delivery 420 feet over the wall in right-center, then Jones, who had a single in four trips in Tuesday night's loss, followed a walk to Gary Sheffield with a blast over the left-field wall, his 27th home run of the season, to make it 3-0.
In the second, Henry Blanco singled, Rafael Furcal walked, and Giles sent a souvenir into the left-field seats, a drive estimated at 390 feet - his 13th home run of the season.
Franco's third home run, his first since taking Tom Glavine deep July 9, came in the third, Franklin's last inning. The 29-year-old left-hander gave way to right-hander Dave Burba, having allowed seven runs on six hits and two walks.
The Braves took a 9-0 lead in the fifth when Chipper Jones sent a single through the left side and Andruw Jones followed with a majestic blast into the left field bleachers.
"(Third base coach) Fredi (Gonzalez) did a heck of a job tonight," Cox deadpanned. "He's in there icing his arm."
Reach Bill Zack at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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