Suppan helps Brewers blank Braves to halt 5-game slide

ATLANTA (AP) -- The Brewers' antidote for a humbling sweep in Milwaukee by the Cubs: another road win.

Jeff Suppan pitched seven scoreless innings, Mike Cameron and Prince Fielder hit third-inning home runs and Milwaukee beat the Atlanta Braves 9-0 on Friday night to snap a five-game skid.

The Brewers opened a six-game trip with their eighth straight road victory after losing five consecutive games at home, including four in a row to Chicago.

"When you are beat down and then have the opportunity to come out and come back, it's a good feeling," Cameron said.

The road winning streak, which began with seven straight wins after the All-Star break, is one shy of the club-record nine straight road wins in 1973.

With the Cubs' 3-0 loss to Pittsburgh on Friday, the Brewers moved four games behind Chicago in the division.

The Brewers played like they had recovered, but their words after the win proved they haven't completely moved past being swept by the Cubs.

"We had a rough series," Fielder said, "so it was good to get this one."

Suppan (6-7) gave up only five hits with the three walks and one strikeout. Brian Shouse and Guillermo Mota each pitched an inning to complete the Brewers' fifth shutout.

It was Suppan's second dominant effort in three starts against Atlanta this season. He gave up four hits and overcame five walks in eight scoreless innings in a 1-0 win over the Braves on May 28 in Milwaukee. He allowed four runs in a 4-2 loss in Atlanta on June 25.

Suppan loaded the bases with three walks in the fourth but escaped the jam when pinch-hitter Greg Norton hit an easy fly ball to left field.

"It was one of those situations where you miss and miss and miss again and try to get ahead," Suppan said, adding catcher Jason Kendall helped restore his focus with a visit to the mound.

Suppan wouldn't share Kendall's message.

"I can't say," Suppan said. "It was one of those pitcher-catcher things."

It was the only time the suddenly punchless Braves threatened. The Braves, who have lost six of seven, again were without catcher Brian McCann, who missed his fifth straight game while recovering from a slight concussion but was given medical clearance before the game for use as a pinch-hitter.

The Braves, who also have Chipper Jones on the disabled list and may be on the verge of losing right-hander Tim Hudson to season-ending shoulder surgery, have been shut out 11 times this season.

"Injuries are just killing them," Brewers manager Ned Yost said of the Braves. "A great team has been decimated."

Suppan won in his second start after returning from two weeks on the disabled list with irritation in his right elbow.

"He was sinking and cutting," Braves catcher Clint Sammons said of Suppan. "He was putting balls in spots you couldn't do a whole lot with it. He was just very efficient."

The Brewers scored six runs in the first three innings to knock left-hander Chuck James out of the game. James (2-4), recalled from Triple-A Richmond for the start, gave up six runs on six hits and four walks in 2 2/3 innings.

"It all starts with pitching and we just didn't do it," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "Chuck had some of the best velocity I've seen him have, but he didn't have control. ... You can throw as hard as you want, if you can't control it you can't win."

Rickie Weeks led off the game with an infield single, moved to second on J.J. Hardy's walk and scored on Ryan Braun's double to center. Corey Hart's fly ball to right drove in Hardy for a 2-0 lead.

Weeks drove in Kendall with a triple in the second. Fielder hit a homer into the second section of seats in right field with one out in the third.

"I was lucky," Fielder said. "I ran into it."

After Bill Hall walked, Cameron added a two-run homer for a 6-0 lead.

James was pulled after walking Kendall and Suppan, but reliever Buddy Carlyle struck out Weeks.

Hall led off the eighth with a double off Royce Ring and scored on pinch-hitter Gabe Kapler's single to left. With the bases loaded, Hardy hit a high bouncer to third that drove in Kendall, and Kapler also scored on Omar Infante's wild throw to first for an error.

Game notes
First-base umpire Jerry Crawford left the game at the top of the third inning with a sore back. The game continued without delay with a three-man crew. ... Casey Kotchman ended an 0-for-9 start in Atlanta with a second-inning single, his only hit. Kotchman was acquired from the Angels on Tuesday for Mark Teixeira. ... Cameron was hit by pitches from Julian Tavarez in the fifth and Ring in the eighth.