After watching Atlanta starter Kris Medlen walk the first batter he faced, Chipper Jones decided to offer the rookie some friendly advice.
"He told me I had to get ahead of hitters and it clicked," Medlen said. "I have to go throw strikes."
Medlen retired 14 of the next 15 batters he faced en route to his first career victory, 9-1 over the host Arizona Diamondbacks yesterday.
"I got the sense his first couple starts that he was pitching away from contact," Jones said. "He's got to get ahead in the count and use his entire repertoire to be effective."
Medlen allowed one run on four hits over six innings and struck out eight.
Jones also helped the rookie at the plate, homering and driving in four runs in spite of the painful bunions on his right foot.
Garrett Anderson hit his first Atlanta home run, and Reed Johnson and Yunel Escobar each had three doubles for the Braves, who won for the second time on their seven-game road trip.
In other games:
* At Los Angeles, Eric Milton (2-0) pitched into the sixth inning for his second straight win and Mark Loretta's two-run double highlighted a five-run first inning as the Dodgers salvaged a four-game split with an 8-2 victory over the Cubs.
* At San Francisco, Rich Aurilia hit his first home run of the season to give San Francisco the lead in the seventh, Aaron Rowand doubled and scored twice and the Giants took the rubber game from the St. Louis Cardinals, 5-3.
* At Denver, Adrian Gonzalez hit his major league-leading 20th home run, Chad Gaudin(2-3) struck out a season-high nine and the San Diego Padres beat the Colorado Rockies, 5-2.
* At Milwaukee, Mike Cameron homered and Yovani Gallardo (5-2) won his fifth game as the Brewers swept a three-game series from the Cincinnati Reds with a 5-2 win.
* At Pittsburgh, Mike Hampton continued his mastery over the Pirates, allowing only one run in seven innings in Houston's 2-1 win. Hampton became only the second pitcher to win eight in a row against the Pirates since 1954. He improved to 12-3 lifetime against Pittsburgh and has won eight straight since May 9, 2000.
Miguel Tejada and Humberto Quintero each went 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Astros, who took two of three from Pittsburgh.
* At New York, John Maine shut down Florida before becoming the latest Mets player sidelined by sickness or injury, and the hosts held off the Marlins, 3-2.
Maine (5-3) got sick during the game and left after striking out five in six innings.
Missing injured regulars Jose Reyes (right calf), Carlos Delgado (right hip), Carlos Beltran (stomach virus) and Ryan Church (hamstring), New York got RBI doubles from Omir Santos, Fernando Martinez and Angel Pagan.
* San Diego righthander Jake Peavy (5-5) will make his scheduled start tomorrow against the Phillies despite being bothered by right ankle tendinitis.
* The Cincinnati Reds will activate righthander Edinson Volquez (4-2) from the disabled list and start him tonight in the opener of a four-game series against St. Louis. Volquez left a game against San Diego on May 16 with back spasms.
* The Pittsburgh Pirates have placed rookie lefthanded reliever Donnie Veal on the 15-day disabled list due to a right groin strain.
* The Los Angeles Dodgers placed lefthander Eric Stults on the 15-day disabled list because of a sprained thumb on his pitching hand, clearing a spot in the rotation for opening day starter Hiroki Kuroda.
Kuroda is expected to be activated before today's start against Arizona after being sidelined nearly 2 months with a strained left oblique. He has not pitched since the opener on April 6. *