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Braves extend LA's slide

Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones each homered for the second straight game as the Atlanta Braves beat host Los Angeles, 5-2, yesterday to knock the Dodgers out of first place for the first time since April 28.

The NL East-leading Braves won for the 10th time in 14 games. The Dodgers lost their fourth in five games to fall one game behind the Diamondbacks in the West.

Andruw Jones gave the Braves a 3-2 lead in the seventh by hitting a full-count pitch from Wilson Alvarez (1-1) into the lower seats in the left-field corner for his third homer in two games and ninth of the season.

The Braves had tied it off Scott Erickson in the sixth on a leadoff single by starter Tim Hudson and a two-out, two-run homer by Chipper Jones, his second in as many games and seventh of the year.

The Braves scored twice off Yhency Brazoban in the ninth when Adam LaRoche hit his sixth homer, Andruw Jones doubled, moved to third on a fly ball by Johnny Estrada, and scored on Ryan Langerhans's sacrifice fly.

Hudson (4-2) allowed nine hits and two runs in six innings while walking two, hitting a batter, and striking out five.

The Dodgers scored in the second on a two-out double by Ricky Ledee and a single by Hee-Seop Choi, and made it 2-0 in the fourth when Milton Bradley beat out a grounder to deep short, took second on Rafael Furcal's throwing error, and came home on a single by Ledee.

Astros 9, Giants 0 -- Morgan Ensberg hit three home runs and Brandon Backe (3-2) pitched a four-hitter for his first major league shutout as Houston romped at home.

Ensberg hit a three-run homer in the first off Jeff Fassero (0-1), a solo homer off Jeremy Accardo in the fifth, and another solo shot in the seventh off Jason Christiansen.

Cardinals 4, Mets 2 -- John Mabry homered and drove in three runs for St. Louis in support of Matt Morris (3-0), who held down host New York for 7{dbcomma} innings.

Phillies 4, Reds 3 -- Vicente Padilla pitched six scoreless innings for his first win and was backed by solo homers from Chase Utley and Bobby Abreu in Philadelphia's home win.

Nationals 5, Cubs 4 -- Nick Johnson hit a two-run homer off Greg Maddux in the fifth and Chicago second baseman Neifi Perez made two errors during a rainy sixth that led to the go-ahead run for host Washington.

Padres 12, Marlins 4 -- Dave Roberts hit a three-run homer and Brian Giles added a two-run single in a 10-run seventh for the Padres, who swept Florida for the first time ever in a three-game series in San Diego.

Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 4 -- Craig Counsell's first homer since July gave Arizona a seventh-inning lead and Alex Cintron's double in the eighth drove in the deciding run in Denver.

Pirates 4, Brewers 2 -- Daryle Ward homered and drove in two runs to help host Pittsburgh to its ninth win in 12 games.

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