Originally created 07/30/05

Chipper, Ramirez propel Braves to win



ATLANTA - The newcomers might be upstaging the veterans these days at Turner Field, but the members of the old guard still show up for a cameo now and then.

Veterans Chipper Jones, Rafael Furcal and Marcus Giles led a late rally as the Braves defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 on Friday night before a home crowd of 36,767 fans.

Jones, Furcal and Giles each had a hit in the seventh inning, with Jones driving home both to make a winner of pitcher Horacio Ramirez. The victory is the fourth in a row for Atlanta (59-44).

The victory was the first for Ramirez since the All-Star break.

"The difference my last three or four starts is I'm more aggressive in the strike zone," Ramirez said. "I'm making better pitches, keeping the ball down."

Ramirez mowed down the Pirates early, retiring 15 of the first 16 batters. Pittsburgh (44-59) finally put together two hits in the sixth inning and took a 1-0 lead on a Freddy Sanchez sacrifice fly.

While Ramirez dominated, Pirates left-hander Dave Williams wiggled out of tough spots for most of the game.

Atlanta put two runners on base in the first before Andruw Jones hit into an inning-ending double play. The Braves stranded two more runners in the second inning and left the bases loaded in the third.

Atlanta finally put the lead-off man on base to start the seventh inning. Furcal singled, marking the 25th time in the past 30 games he has reached base safely.

Giles followed with a double. Both scored on Jones' single to left field for a 2-1 Atlanta lead.

"I guess you would have to say Chipper came up big right there," manager Bobby Cox said.

Another Brave came up equally big later. Screven County rookie Macay McBride, called up nine days ago, came out of the bullpen with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth.

McBride struck out Daryle Ward and coaxed Tike Redman into a game-ending groundout to earn his first major league save.

McBride was the fourth pitcher of the inning for Atlanta. Jay Powell started the ninth, but hurt his elbow on his second pitch.

X-rays showed a severe elbow injury and Powell, who underwent Tommy John surgery on the elbow a year ago, was taken to the hospital after the game.

Reach Adam Van Brimmer at (404) 589-8424 or adam.vanbrimmer@morris.com.