Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Braves on Short End of Sweep; Ninth-Inning Rally Falls Short as Atlanta Ends Dismal Road Trip

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Braves on Short End of Sweep; Ninth-Inning Rally Falls Short as Atlanta Ends Dismal Road Trip

Article excerpt

Byline: R. TRAVIS HANEY

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Brewers made history Wednesday with a 5-4 victory that gave then their first-ever sweep of the Atlanta Braves.

"They've been in the class of the league for the past 14 years. It's pretty big," said Ned Yost, a longtime Braves assistant until he took over in 2003 as Milwaukee's manager. "We've never even won a series at home against them, let alone a sweep."

Yes, the Braves have made their mark on baseball history by stringing together 14 consecutive division titles. In recent years, however, getting to October has had virtually nothing to do with their play in April.

From 2001 to date, Atlanta is 75-70 (.517) in the season's first month. The Braves (9-11) will have to get something going at home to avoid their third losing April in that span, the first since 2001. And they'll have to do it against the NL East-leading New York Mets and West-leading Colorado Rockies.

Atlanta took two of three from the Mets to start this trip -- although it hardly seems memorable after the journey's last stop.

"I wouldn't have even known that if you didn't just tell me," first baseman Adam LaRoche, a distant stare draped over his face after finishing the team's 3-5 trip. "It feels like we really won one game on this road trip."

Atlanta, now five games behind the Mets (14-7) entering the weekend, gladly would have accepted one win in Milwaukee, a series that continued the team's early-season penchant to involve itself in tight games. And, more often than not, lose them.

The Braves lost by one Monday, two Tuesday and one Wednesday. They're now 4-7 in one-run games.

Production has been a central issue. They scored two runs in each of the series' first two games, and had a pair of runs again Wednesday until an improbable two-run rally in the ninth put a scare into Brewers closer Derrick Turnbow, who hadn't previously given up a single run.

Jeff Francoeur ripped a triple to score Andruw Jones, who had walked. Francoeur scored to cut the lead to one when Brian McCann powered a ball to right field that was fielded by Milwaukee's Geoff Jenkins on the warning track. …

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