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Braves rout Phillies behind Jurrjens' gem

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ATLANTA (AP)

Jair Jurrjens was given an ovation after the right-hander gave up his only hit with two outs in the seventh inning. In the Atlanta Braves dugout, manager Bobby Cox cheered privately - for the hitter who saved him from having to make a difficult decision about leaving Jurrjens in the game. The Braves finally provided some run support for Jurrjens, who combined with two relievers on a two-hitter and Atlanta beat the reeling Philadelphia Phillies 11-1 on Wednesday night. The Braves had a 9-1 lead after five innings, but Cox began to worry as Jurrjens' pitch count rose with his hitless innings. Jurrjens threw 97 pitches over seven innings. "It would have been interesting, what I was going to do after the seventh," said Cox, who estimated Jurrjens' pitch count would have been in the "high 120s, probably" if he completed the game. "It would have been interesting if I'd had to make that decision," Cox said of his concern about removing Jurrjens with a no-hitter intact. Jurrjens' bid ended with Paul Bako's single with two outs in the seventh. Cox turned to his bullpen for the final two innings. "The player's arm comes first," Cox said. "Bako helped me out." The Phillies' other hit was an infield single by Shane Victorino off Kris Medlen in the eighth. "They took it to us," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "They beat us. They hit well, their pitcher did a good job. ... We got beat bad." Jurrjens said he remained cool in the tunnel behind the dugout while "trying to keep my concentration" between innings. Jurrjens (6-6) began the night with the seventh-lowest run support in the majors, including only five runs in his last four losses. That lack of support ended as the Braves scored seven runs off Cole Hamels (4-5), who left the game after giving up three hits and a walk in the fifth. Matt Diaz had a two-run homer and Diory Hernandez hit his first major league home run, both off Tyler Walker in the six-run fifth inning. "He was unbelievable," Diaz, who had three hits, said of Jurrjens. "He should be an All-Star as is and if we could score him any runs he'd be a leading Cy Young candidate at the halfway point." Jurrjens walked four and gave up an unearned run in seven innings. He struck out six while combining with relievers Medlen and Manny Acosta on a two-hitter. The Braves have won three straight but are 37-40 and trail the first-place Phillies by three games in the NL East. Philadelphia has lost 11 of 14, including the first two games at Atlanta, where the Phillies were 9-0 last season. The Phillies lead Florida by one-half game. Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins was 0 for 3 with a walk. He is 0 for his last 27, the longest hitless streak of his career, and is hitting .205. Jurrjens, who was 0-4 in June despite posting a 3.68 ERA in five starts, won for the first time since May 29. The Braves scored 41 runs for Jurrjens in his first 16 starts before jumping on Hamels. Martin Prado hit a two-run double in the Braves' three-run third. Chipper Jones drove in Prado with a single and had three RBIs and two hits. The Phillies scored in the fourth. With one out, Jayson Werth walked, moved to third on Jurrjens' throwing error and scored on Greg Dobbs' sacrifice fly. Jones had a two-run double and Brian McCann added a run-scoring single in the fifth, ending Hamels' night. Hamels has failed to complete the fifth inning in two straight losses and has a 7.02 ERA in three straight losses. Hamels gave up nine hits and seven runs in four innings. His ERA rose from 4.44 to 4.98. He was 14-10 with a 3.09 ERA in 2008. "Even when I made good pitches, they got hits," Hamels said. "That's the frustrating part of the game right now. "I feel healthy. My body feels good. I'm just not hitting my location. I can't seem to stop the bleeding." The Braves added two runs in the eighth off Jack Taschner.

Notes

Braves RHP Tim Hudson's first injury rehab assignment has been set for July 19 at Class A Myrtle Beach. Hudson is recovering from elbow ligament-replacement surgery on July 27, 2008. ... RHP Rodrigo Lopez will be recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to pitch for the Phillies against the Mets on Friday night. The 33-year-old hasn't pitched in the majors since 2007, when he was 5-4 with Colorado.
Tagged: Braves, Phillies

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