Braves crush Cards

Friday, July 20, 2007
Braves outfielder Andruw Jones connected for an RBI single against the St. Louis Cardinals during the fourth inning Thursday in Atlanta. (Gregory Smith ~ Associated Press)

Mike Maroth allowed 10 runs in five innings of work.

ATLANTA -- Andruw Jones' nightmarish season could finally be turning around.

Jones homered and drove in three runs to back seven strong innings by Tim Hudson, and the Atlanta Braves ended a three-game skid with a 10-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday.

"I think June and July are the months I feel good," Jones said. "I play better. Not that I feel good physically. I've got a lot of injuries I wish I didn't have right now."

Matt Diaz, whose solo homer in the second made it 3-0, finished 3-for-4 with 3 RBIs.

Though his average rose four points after going 2-for-3, Jones still is hitting only .220.

St. Louis, which scored its only run on David Eckstein's sacrifice fly in the sixth, has lost four of seven since the All-Star break.

Mike Maroth (0-3) gave up all of Atlanta's runs. The left-hander walked three and gave up 11 hits without a strikeout. The worst stretch was the five-run fourth, when he allowed six straight hits with two outs.

"I just couldn't get that third out," Maroth said. "They kept getting hits. I didn't get it done. I never gave my team a chance to win. I got down from the first inning, and it kept getting worse."

Following a 10-4 loss at Philadelphia on Saturday, Maroth has a 13.09 ERA in his last two starts, allowing 20 hits and five homers in a span of 11 innings.

"He's in a rut," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "He's not himself."

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