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GAME OF THE DAY

Braves defeat Red Sox

June 19, 2007|From the Associated Press

ATLANTA — One night after getting some much-needed hitting advice from his dad, Atlanta catcher Brian McCann homered and drove in four runs against Curt Schilling to lead the Braves past the Boston Red Sox, 9-4, on Monday.

Schilling never got up to speed, enduring his first strikeout-free start since 1993 and his second straight poor outing since nearly pitching a no-hitter at Oakland.

McCann was coming off a three-for-22 trip when the Braves returned home Sunday night. He called his father, who runs a batting complex in suburban Atlanta, and went by to get some after-hours pointers.

"Things were snowballing," said McCann, who had been 26 for 116 (.224) since injuring his left ring finger. "I needed to go back to where it all started."

His father had noticed a tiny flaw in McCann's swing. They watched film and talked about what he needed to do to fix it.

"It was the first time in a long time that it was just me and him," McCann said. "I needed it."

McCann doubled in a run in the fourth, putting the Braves ahead to stay, then finished off Schilling with a three-run homer in the fifth.

Schilling (6-4) was rocked for 10 hits and six runs in 4 1/3 innings. More telling, he failed to strike out anyone for the first time since July 1, 1993.

"It's embarrassing," Schilling said. "I never gave us a chance. You want to walk around the room and apologize to everybody. Your manager, your teammates, fans. There's no excuse for a game like that."

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