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LaRoche gets two hits in return as Braves win

ATLANTA - Derek Lowe called it just another average performance. For Dodgers manager Joe Torre, it was a reminder of the right-hander's attacking style.

Lowe pitched six innings in his first game against Los Angeles since he signed with Atlanta in the offseason, leading the Braves to a 4-3 victory Saturday.

Chipper Jones, Nate McLouth and Adam LaRoche each had two hits for Atlanta. McLouth scored twice and Jones had two RBIs.

LaRoche scored the tying run in the sixth in his return to Atlanta following Friday's trade with Boston. The first baseman's arrival was delayed by a crew change on his plane and a bomb scare at LaGuardia Airport in New York. He made it to Turner Field about an hour before the game.

'I was a little tired out there but coming back home gave me a spark of energy,' said LaRoche, who played for Atlanta from 2004-06. 'It felt good.'

LaRoche was with the Pittsburgh Pirates when he was dealt to the Red Sox on July 22.

'This turned out great,' he said. 'I'm not going to lie and say Boston wasn't fun. I did not see this coming at all. But if I was going to go anywhere from Boston, this is where I would want to be. I couldn't have drawn it up any better.'

Lowe (11-7) allowed three runs and five hits to win his fourth straight decision. The right-hander went 54-48 over four seasons with the Dodgers before agreeing to a $60 million, four-year contract with the Braves in January.

'That's the guy I know,' Torre said. 'That's the guy that helped us get to the playoffs last year.

'He goes after you. I'm not saying that in a negative way. He's going to continue to be aggressive.'

Lowe wasn't impressed with the outing, upset with two walks that helped set up Casey Blake's sacrifice fly and James Loney's RBI single in the fourth.

'Against a lineup like that, walks are going to hurt you,' Lowe said.

Andre Ethier's 22nd homer gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead in the sixth. Ethier also homered and drove in four runs in Los Angeles' 5-0 win over the Braves on Friday night.

Ethier said facing Lowe was 'a little different.'

'I guess the advantage is that you've seen the way he goes after different hitters,' Ethier said.

The Braves went ahead to stay in the bottom half of the sixth. LaRoche singled, moved up on catcher Russell Martin's errant pickoff throw with two out and scored on Diory Hernandez's base hit. Pinch-hitter Greg Norton singled in Hernandez to give Atlanta the lead.

Norton is hitting .182 (8 for 45) as a pinch hitter and .151 overall.

'It has been frustrating. I'm not going to lie about it,' Norton said. 'You just want to pull your own weight. When you come into the clubhouse and you feel like you haven't done anything all year, it's frustrating.'

Randy Wolf (5-6) gave up four runs, three earned, and nine hits in six innings for the Dodgers. He struck out seven and walked two.

'It just comes down to I have to do a better job,' Wolf said. 'It was as simple as that.'

Braves second baseman Martin Prado had one hit in his return to the lineup after he was limited by a bruised left ankle to one at-bat as a pinch hitter on Friday night. Outfielder Ryan Church (sore elbow) and shortstop Yunel Escobar (bruised right wrist) did not play.

Ethier went 2-for-4 and nearly had a third hit. First base umpire Scott Barry said his liner down the right-field line in the first landed in foul territory. TV replays indicated the ball was fair.

Ethier said Barry acknowledged later in the game he missed the call.

'He said he had to make a quick call and sometimes you make mistakes,' Ethier said. 'He apologized for that. It took a lot of class for him to do that. I said 'I understand.'