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Chicago at Atlanta

Chi. Cubs
W: J. Foster (2-1) L: R. Novoa (2-2)
HR: CHC - A. Ramirez (19)   ATL - R. Furcal (6), A. Jones (27), J. Francoeur (1)

Jones hits big league-best 27th HR as Braves sweep Cubs

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

ATLANTA -- Andruw Jones will never forget Game 1 of the 1996 World Series. Only 19, he became the first National League player to homer in his first two Series at-bats.

The stage Thursday night was hardly Yankee Stadium in October, but Jones was impressed when 21-year-old Jeff Francoeur homered in his major league debut.

"That's what you do at this level if you want to make a good first impression," Jones said. "He's got a lot of talent. So do a lot of other guys in this clubhouse."

Jones hit his major league-leading 27th homer and Francoeur, considered the organization's top prospect, added a three-run shot in a six-run eighth inning as the Atlanta Braves beat Chicago 9-4 on Thursday night to sweep a doubleheader and extend the Cubs' longest losing streak in three years.

Chicago's eight-game slide is its worst since dropping nine in a row from May 8-18, 2002.

The Cubs blew a 4-3 lead when Jones' two-run shot chased reliever Roberto Novoa (2-2). Francoeur, an outfielder, was called up from Double-A Mississippi earlier in the day and he homered off Glendon Rusch for his first career hit.

A tip from hitting coach Terry Pendleton clued Francoeur into Rusch's repertoire.

"T.P. pulled me aside and said, 'He's got a real slow curve and he tails his fastball,"' Francoeur said. "So it was neat."

John Foster (2-1) pitched a scoreless eighth to earn the win as the Braves batted around in the bottom half of the inning. Marcus Giles, who went 5-for-9 in the doubleheader, ended the scoring with an RBI single.

Horacio Ramirez (8-5) won the opener 6-0 with his first career shutout. The Braves, who have won 16 of 21, chased Chicago starter Mark Prior (5-3) in the fifth when Julio Franco hit a three-run homer.

Aramis Ramirez put the Cubs ahead 1-0 in the fourth inning of the second game with an RBI single that ended the team's streak of 19 consecutive scoreless innings. He added his 19th homer in the sixth, a two-run shot that made it 4-3.

The Braves had taken a 3-2 lead in the fifth on Rafael Furcal's sixth homer, a two-run shot.

Jerome Williams started for the Cubs and allowed eight hits and three runs in six innings.

John Smoltz, who sought his first win as a starter over the Cubs since April 5, 1997, went seven innings for the seventh time in eight starts. He allowed six hits and four runs. He entered with a 15-4 career record, a 2.83 ERA and eight saves against Chicago.

The Cubs, playing their third straight game without All-Star first baseman Derrek Lee, were outscored 24-5 in the four-game series.

"It wasn't pleasant in a lot of ways," Chicago manager Dusty Baker said. "It was a tough day, a tough trip."

Lee leads the majors with a .377 average, but he felt a twinge in his left shoulder as he struck out Tuesday. He is listed as day-to-day.

Fucal had a run-scoring double in the big fifth inning and Jones hit an RBI single before the 46-year-old Franco's seventh homer of the season.

Ramirez threw his third career complete game and first since May 20, 2004, against Arizona. The left-hander allowed three singles and one walk.

Prior gave up seven hits, six runs, four walks and struck out five before being replaced by Sergio Mitre with two outs in the fifth.

"They did some things with some good pitches and just kind of waited for a big break, which they got," Prior said. "I had a tough time throwing my curveball for strikes. In fact, I didn't have a curveball at all, so I think going out there throwing pretty much two pitches, it's tough against this lineup."

Ramirez went 3-4 with a 5.65 ERA in nine starts during the first two months of the season, but he recovered to go 4-0 with a 3.55 ERA in six starts in June. He lasted 4 2/3 innings in his previous outing, a 6-3 loss at Philadelphia last Saturday.

"I was throwing more first-pitch strikes than usual," Ramirez said. "If I got behind in the count, I could throw a two-seamer. I'd been throwing cutters that didn't cut. I was able to minimize those today."

Prior, facing the Braves for the third time and first since 2003, dropped to 0-3 with a career ERA of 7.88 in 15 innings against Atlanta.

After returning June 26 from a non-displaced fracture in his right elbow, Prior pitched six shutout innings to beat the White Sox 2-0, but has lost two straight starts.


  • Francoeur, an Atlanta native and a first-round draft pick in 2002, received a standing ovation in the third as he made his first career at-bat. He grounded out to third.
  • The Cubs lost seven straight from April 30-May 7.
  • Braves starters Tim Hudson and Mike Hampton said they will pitch another simulated game Saturday instead of making a rehab start in Class A.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Andruw Jones' power swing gives him his league-leading 27th homer. (AP)
Andruw Jones' power swing gives him his league-leading 27th homer. (AP)

Players of the Game

A. Jones
AB 5
R 1
H 1
HR 1

A. Ramirez
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Chicago Cubs
Neifi Perez, SS4000001 .262
Jose Macias, 2B4120010 .273
Todd Walker, 1B4210001 .290
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4123000 .302
Todd Hollandsworth, LF3001000 .279
    Ryan Dempster, P0000000 .077
Jeromy Burnitz, RF2000211 .275
Michael Barrett, C3000101 .255
Corey Patterson, CF4010012 .232
Jerome Williams, P1000010 .000
   a- Ronny Cedeno, PH1000000 .222
    Will Ohman, P0000000 .000
    Roberto Novoa, P0000000 .000
    Glendon Rusch, P0000000 .143
    Jerry Hairston Jr., LF0000000 .267
a-flied out for Williams in the 7th
2B - Todd Walker (11, Smoltz)
HR - Aramis Ramirez (19, Smoltz)
SF - Todd Hollandsworth (2)
SH - Jerome Williams (2)
RBI - Aramis Ramirez 3 (55), Todd Hollandsworth (29)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Williams-Perez-Walker, Perez-Macias-Walker
Chicago Cubs
Jerome Williams 6833231 4.89
Will Ohman (H,5) 1000110 2.18
Roberto Novoa (BS,2; L,2-2)0333001 4.50
Glendon Rusch0233001 3.68
Ryan Dempster 1100110 4.08
Pitches-Strikes - Jerome Williams 102-0, Will Ohman 18-0, Roberto Novoa 12-0, Glendon Rusch 12-0, Ryan Dempster 23-0
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jerome Williams 7-5, Will Ohman 1-1, Glendon Rusch 1-0, Ryan Dempster 2-0
Batters Faced - Jerome Williams 25, Will Ohman 4, Roberto Novoa 3, Glendon Rusch 3, Ryan Dempster 5
Atlanta Braves
Rafael Furcal, SS4122112 .241
Kelly Johnson, LF4120122 .261
Marcus Giles, 2B5141000 .302
Andruw Jones, CF5112004 .278
Adam LaRoche, 1B4021000 .269
    Ryan Langerhans, PR-RF0100000 .247
Brian McCann, C2100101 .313
Jeff Francoeur, RF4113022 .250
    Chris Reitsma, P0000000 .000
Pete Orr, 3B3210100 .303
John Smoltz, P1010000 .171
   a- Wilson Betemit, PH1000000 .290
    John Foster, P0000000 .000
   b- Julio Franco, PH-1B1000001 .280
a-flied out for Smoltz in the 7th
b-grounded out for Foster in the 8th
2B - Pete Orr (6, Rusch)
3B - Marcus Giles (1, Novoa)
HR - Rafael Furcal (6, Williams), Andruw Jones (27, Novoa), Jeff Francoeur (1, Rusch)
SH - Brian McCann (1), John Smoltz (6)
RBI - Rafael Furcal 2 (29), Marcus Giles (31), Andruw Jones 2 (65), Adam LaRoche (51), Jeff Francoeur 3 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Marcus Giles (12)
SB - Rafael Furcal (29, 2nd base off Williams/Barrett)
PK - Rafael Furcal (1, Williams)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Giles-Furcal-LaRoche
Atlanta Braves
John Smoltz 7644321 2.81
John Foster (W,2-1) 1000000 2.65
Chris Reitsma 1000020 3.51
Pitches-Strikes - John Smoltz 96-0, John Foster 9-0, Chris Reitsma 11-0
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Smoltz 9-9, John Foster 1-2
Batters Faced - John Smoltz 29, John Foster 3, Chris Reitsma 3
Game Information
Attendance - 34847
Game Time - 2:41
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Lazaro Diaz, First Base - Dana DeMuth, Second Base - Troy Fullwood, Third Base - Casey Moser