Cubs 3, Braves 0

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ATLANTA (AP) - Rich Hill allowed four hits in eight scoreless innings, and Michael Barrett and Aramis Ramirez backed him with solo homers tonight as the Chicago Cubs defeated the Atlanta Braves 3-to-nothing.

Chicago, which had lost two straight and seven of nine, had a third straight masterful start from Hill, who improved to 3-and-Oh. The right-hander struck out seven and walked three, lowering his ERA to 0.41, best in the majors.

Ryan Dempster earned his third save with a perfect ninth.

The Braves fell into second place in the National League East by a half game, swapping places with the Mets. New York defeated Florida 11-to-3.

Atlanta starts a three-game series in New York tomorrow night.

With one out in the eighth, Hill stumbled on the front end of his delivery, sailing the ball far over Kelly Johnson's head.

Johnson walked on the next pitch, but Hill struck out Edgar Renteria and retired Chipper Jones on a hard grounder to end the inning.

Barrett's second homer gave the Cubs a 1-nothing lead in the fourth off Mark Redman, who fell to Oh-and-3.

Ramirez made it 2-nothing with his second homer in the sixth. Chicago took a 3-nothing lead in the eighth on Mark DeRosa's RBI double.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)