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Byrd drives in two for Braves' win

ATLANTA (AP) -- With his parents in the stands for the first time
this season along with a son anxious to ask about his hitting, Paul
Byrd put on a show.

Byrd allowed one run in six innings and hit a pair of
run-scoring singles off Jason Schmidt, leading the Atlanta Braves
past the San Francisco Giants 9-3 Saturday.

"It gives me a little bragging rights," Byrd said.

Rafael Furcal had four hits and four RBI for the Braves, who
have won six straight. They moved a season-high 22 games over .500
and improved to 15-1-3 in their past 19 series.

The two hits and two RBI were career highs for Byrd, who
entered 19-for-129 (.147) in his career. His 8-year-old son,
Grayson, always wants to know how he did at the plate and, after
this game, Byrd has plenty to talk about.

"No matter how I pitch, good or bad, that's the first
question," Byrd said. "Did I get a hit?"

Byrd got around on a chest-high fastball in the second, then
lined a down-and-away slider into right field in the fourth. And he
was well aware that he was in uncharted territory.

"It's the first multihit game of my career," he said. "It's
so bad that I would even know that."

Barry Bonds went 1-for-3 with an infield single, a day after
hitting his 694th homer. He originally was scheduled for a day off
Saturday, since he often skips day games that follow night games,
but told manager Felipe Alou after Friday's 5-3 loss that he wanted
to play.

San Francisco remained one game behind the Chicago Cubs in the
NL wild-card race.

Schmidt (15-5) left his previous start Aug. 17 against Montreal
with a strained right groin, an injury that forced him to skip a
turn in the rotation. He gave up six runs and a season-high 10 hits
in only 3 2-3 innings, yet had good enough stuff to finish with
eight strikeouts.

"I probably should have used my fastball more," Schmidt said.
"I tried to finesse too much. The positive thing is I got through
this start. I felt pretty good. I didn't feel that far off."

Still, he was outclassed by Byrd (5-4), who pitched out of his
only real trouble in the third by getting Bonds on a routine flyout
to center and J.T. Snow on a grounder to second. The Giants managed
only four hits against Byrd, three singles and a double by Ray
Durham.

"It's not how hard you throw the ball, it's where you throw
it," San Francisco first baseman J.T. Snow said. "Sometimes,
those pitchers are tougher to hit than one that throws 95 miles per
hour."

Atlanta chased Schmidt in the fourth. A walk and four straight
hits -- including Byrd's second RBI single -- loaded the bases with
no outs before Schmidt struck out J.D. Drew and Chipper Jones with
overpowering fastballs.

But Johnny Estrada grounded a single through a diving Durham at
second, bringing in Byrd and Furcal to make it 6-1. Wayne Franklin
relieved Schmidt and struck out Adam LaRoche to end the inning.

"After J.D. and Chip struck out, I was just trying to put the
ball in play," Estrada said. "But I think the two biggest ABs in
the game were from Byrd. It's kind of discouraging as a pitcher,
when you can shut down the rest of the lineup, but you can't get
the pitcher out."

Game notes
Schmidt last gave up 10 hits against the Arizona
Diamondbacks on July 4, 2002. ... Atlanta CF Andruw Jones was given
the day off. Drew started in his place, with Eli Marrero filling
Drew's spot in right. ... Giants CF Michael Tucker is now 0-for-25
in his past eight games, and his ego was further bruised in the
first inning when a strike was called as he was hit by a pitch
while trying to bunt.