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Owings single-handedly shuts down Braves

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Posted: August 18, 2007 10:30 p.m.
Updated: September 2, 2007 5:00 a.m.
    ATLANTA — Rookie right-hander Micah Owings went 4-for-4, including a pair of mammoth homers, drove in six runs and scored four times while pitching three-hit ball through seven innings as the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Atlanta Braves 12-6 on Saturday night.
    It was the fourth straight win and 21st in 26 games for the NL West-leading Diamondbacks, who pounded out 15 hits in handing the Braves their third straight loss.
    All three hits against Owings (6-6) were solo home runs. Chipper Jones hit his 20th in the first, Jeff Francoeur hit his 15th and Andruw Jones his 22nd in the seventh. Owings struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter to win for the first time in two months.
    Francoeur added a two-run shot in the ninth.
    Owings was 0-5 with a 5.70 ERA in his previous nine starts and one inning of relief. His last win was on June 20, a 7-4 victory against Tampa Bay.
    Owings, who lives in Gainesville, Ga., and played two seasons at Georgia Tech, lifted his batting average to .279 with the four hits. He has three homers and 11 RBIs this season.
    He hit a two-run double in Arizona’s four-run second inning, a solo 415-foot home run to left in the fourth, a two-run 446-foot homer to center in a three-run sixth and a broken-bat RBI single to center in a four-run seventh.
    The record for RBIs by a pitcher in one game is nine set by Tony Cloninger of Atlanta, who had two grand slams against San Francisco on July 3, 1966. The most recent batting outburst by a pitcher was by Robert Person, who had two home runs and seven RBIs on June 2, 2002, for Philadelphia against Montreal.
    Stephen Drew had a solo home run — his ninth — in the seventh. Orlando Hudson went 4-for-5 and drove in two runs and Jeff Salazar went 2-for-5, drove in one run and scored three.
    Atlanta starter Buddy Carlyle (7-5) went five innings. He gave up 10 hits, eight runs — five earned — with two walks while striking out four.
    Owings, a third-round draft pick in 2005, hit his first home run this season against Florida on July 26.
    He was a combined .382 (21-for-55) with a home run and 13 RBIs with Triple-A Tucson and Double-A Tennessee last season. In 2002, his senior season in high school, Owings hit a single-season state record 25 home runs. He hit 69 in his high school career, one shy of the national record.

Notes: Owings is 4-0 in six starts against NL East teams. ... The game was delayed 27 minutes by rain with Arizona coming to bat in the third inning. ... Braves pitchers have given up nine home runs in the last three games. ... In the series opener Friday night, the Diamondbacks’ Brandon Webb pitched a two-hit shutout in a 4-0 win, giving him 42 consecutive scoreless innings, including three straight shutouts. Orel Hershiser holds the record of 59 straight scoreless innings set in 1988.

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