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Kawakami pitches Braves past Cubs

BRAVES pitcher Kenshin Kawakami wasn't completely satisfied with one of his best major league outings on Wednesday because of an old teammate, Kosuke Fukudome.

Kawakami, the 34-year-old rookie, allowed only four hits over six innings in helping Atlanta to a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

It was just the second time this season Kawakami (5-6) gave up one run or fewer while pitching at least six innings. The run came on a sixth-inning homer by Fukudome, whom he played with for nine years with the Chunichi Dragons of Japan's Central League.

"He might have taken half of my happiness today," a laughing Kawakami said.

Elsewhere in the National League, it was: Astros 5, Pirates 0; Rockies 10, Nationals 4; Diamondbacks 6, Padres 2; Marlins 7, Giants 0; Phillies 3, Reds 2; Mets 5, Dodgers 4; and Brewers 5, Cardinals 4.

In the American League, it was: Rangers 8, Angels 1; Orioles 5, Mariners 3; Tigers 3, Royals 1; Rays 10, Blue Jays 9; Red Sox 5, Athletics 4; Yankees 4, Twins 3; and White Sox 5, Indians 1.

In Chicago, Kawakami left after six innings with shoulder woes.

"I don't think it was something bad because he was throwing the ball so well," manager Bobby Cox said. "It's something he was battling a little bit. But there weren't many balls squared up on him."

Shortstop Yunel Escobar made a run-saving defensive play in the eighth inning, and Casey Kotchman homered for Atlanta, which win a road series for the first time in nearly two months. After going 0-6 against the Cubs in 2008, the Braves won this season's series 4-2.

Kevin Hart (0-1), making his first big league start as a fill-in for injured Ryan Dempster, allowed only one run on four hits over five innings.

In Anaheim, California, Andruw Jones homered in his first three at-bats as the Texas Rangers routed the Los Angeles Angels 8-1 to take the outright lead in their AL West division race.

Jones hit home runs in the first and third, the latter giving Texas a 4-0 lead. He added a solo shot in the fifth. With a chance to tie the major league record for home runs in a game, Jones popped out in the sixth and struck out in the ninth.

The Rangers hit five homers in all, matching their season high.


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