ATLANTA (AP) – Kyle Davies outpitched Kerry Wood, and Adam LaRoche homered twice to lead the Atlanta Braves over the Chicago Cubs 4-0 Monday night.

Davies (4-2) pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning, helping Atlanta pull within 4 games of first-place Washington in the NL East. He walked four but held an opponent scoreless for the fourth time in nine major league starts, lowering his ERA to 4.05.

A Turner Field regular-season record crowd of 52,274 saw the Braves win for the 14th time in 20 games.

LaRoche’s two-run shot off Wood (1-2) highlighted Atlanta’s three-run first inning. He added his 11th homer in the eighth inning for his second career two-homer game.

With one out in the sixth, Davies walked Jeromy Burnitz and gave up a sharp single to Aramis Ramirez. He pitched out of the jam by retiring Todd Hollandsworth and Neifi Perez, but was lifted after issuing a walk with two outs in the seventh.

Making his second start since coming off the disabled list, Wood gave up six hits and three runs in five innings. He walked three and struck out six.

Wood ran into first-inning trouble with one-out walks to Kelly Johnson and Marcus Giles. Andruw Jones’ single drove in Johnson, but Giles was thrown out at third by Jerry Hairston.

LaRoche followed with his two-run homer to center for a 3-0 lead.

The Cubs wasted a scoring opportunity in the eighth. Burnitz walked with one out but was thrown out by Jones in center after taking a big turn at second and then trying to return to the bag on Hollandsworth’s single.

LaRoche led off the eighth with his second homer, another shot to center, off Will Ohman.

Notes: Cubs reliever Mike Remlinger plunked Johnny Estrada with a pitch in the sixth inning. The pitch hit Estrada’s shoulder and then his helmet. Estrada, who suffered a concussion in a home-plate collision on June 6, stayed in the game. … LaRoche’s other two-homer game was Aug. 11, 2004, against Milwaukee. … Davies began his major league career by winning his first two starts, pitching a combined 10 1-3 innings in wins over Boston and the New York Mets.

AP-ES-07-04-05 2152EDT


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