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Franco leads Braves to victory against Padres

From Wire Reports

SAN DIEGO? Julio Franco's two-run triple highlighted an eight-run fifth inning and the Atlanta Braves routed the San Diego Padres 15-6 on Thursday.

There was a scary moment when Padres slugger Ryan Klesko ? a former Braves star ? was beaned by Atlanta rookie left-hander Horacio Ramirez leading off the fifth. Klesko, a left-hander, was knocked to the ground after getting hit near the right ear flap on his batting helmet.

Trainer Todd Hutcheson held a compress to Klesko's head, then helped the woozy player off the field. The Braves were leading 10-3 at the time and the beaning appeared to be unintentional. Ramirez put his glove over his head after hitting Klesko.

He was replaced by pinch-runner Xavier Nady, and two batters later, Sean Burroughs hit a two-run homer.

Padres pitcher Jaret Wright hit Chipper Jones in the back, right between the numbers, on his first pitch of the sixth inning. Plate umpire Jim Reynolds warned Wright and both dugouts.

Atlanta improved to 28-13, the best record in the majors.

The Padres (13-28) lost for the 15th time in 18 games and are tied with Milwaukee for the NL's worst record. The Padres and Brewers came into the day just 21/2 games ahead of Detroit for the worst record in the majors.

San Diego's bullpen is so taxed that Wiki Gonzalez moved from catcher to pitcher in the ninth. He retired the first two batters, walked Jones and then got Andruw Jones to fly out on an 87 mph fastball, earning a standing ovation from what was left of the crowd of 15,818.

Marcus Giles had four hits, including a two-run homer, and three RBIs. Andruw Jones also had a two-run homer and three RBIs. Chipper Jones reached base six straight times, including four walks. Trailing 3-2 going into the fifth, the Braves sent 12 batters to the plate and scored eight runs on seven hits, two walks and a sacrifice fly. Even Ramirez (3-2) got into the action, hitting a one-out RBI single and scoring on Rafael Furcal's sacrifice fly.

Franco's one-out triple over the head of center fielder Shane Victorino gave the Braves a 6-3 lead and chased Padres rookie Roger Deago (0-1), making just his second start. Giles hit an RBI double, Gary Sheffield and Mark DeRosa had RBI singles and Andruw Jones an RBI grounder.

Giles hit a two-run homer in the seventh, his sixth.

Ramirez pitched five innings, allowing five runs, three earned, on five hits. Deago allowed seven runs and six hits in 4 1-3 innings, struck out six and walked five.

The Padres took a 3-0 lead through two innings, when they had just two hits but benefited from two Braves errors, three walks and a passed ball.

Burroughs drove in three runs.

Notes: Ramirez walked four and struck out three. ... The Padres have gone 13 straight games without a starter pitching into the seventh inning. They haven't had a starter reach the eighth since the sixth game, on April 5, when Brian Lawrence pitched eight to beat the Dodgers 3-0.