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Published: Friday, 6/25/2010

Braves top Tigers

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ATLANTA — Billy Wagner earned his 400th career save, Brian McCann gave Atlanta the lead with a fourth-inning homer and the Braves ended a three-game skid by beating the Detroit Tigers 3-1 on Friday night.

McCann's 100th career homer was one of the few mistakes made by Rookie Andy Oliver (0-1) in his major league debut. The left-hander gave up five hits and two runs in six innings.

Brooks Conrad added an eighth-inning homer off Eddie Bonine.

Kris Medlen (5-1), possibly pitching to protect his spot in the Braves' rotation, gave up six hits and one run in 6 2/3 innings.

Wagner struck out the side in the ninth for his 15th save this season. Wagner is fifth on the career list and second among left-handers behind John Franco's 424.

The Braves, who remained one-half game ahead of the Mets in the NL East, recovered after being swept in three games at the Chicago White Sox. The Braves improved to 25-7 at home.

The Tigers, who remained one-half game behind Minnesota in the AL Central, are 14-22 on the road.

Medlen's next scheduled start is Wednesday against Washington, but manager Bobby Cox said right-hander Jair Jurrjens will start Wednesday if he doesn't suffer a setback in his return from a hamstring injury.

If Jurrjens is healthy, Cox may choose between Medlen and winless Kenshin Kawakami for the No. 5 spot in the rotation. “I'll let you know,” Cox said.

Kawakami (0-9) is scheduled to start on Saturday.

Medlen, making his ninth start of the season, has made 20 consecutive appearances since his only loss, in relief on April 9.

Brennan Boesch hit a run-scoring single off Medlen in the first inning. The Braves pulled even in the second when Melky Cabrera's single drove in Yunel Escobar.

Oliver was called up from Double-A Erie on Friday. The left-hander was 6-4 with a 3.61 ERA in 14 starts for Erie. Manager Jim Leyland says Oliver also is expected to start against Minnesota on Wednesday.

NOTES: The Tigers fell to 10-6 in interleague play. ... Conrad's homer was his fourth of the season and second as a pinch-hitter. ... Jurrjens was with the team after making what is expected to be his final minor league rehab start with Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday.



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