The Braves completed their sweep of Toronto Wednesday afternoon by defeating them 5-1. The game featured the return of Brandon Beachy from the DL(and a limited rehab stint at Gwinnett) and he did not disappoint. Beachy dominated the Jays–at the end of 5 innings, he had struck out 11 0f 15 batters. His only misstep was allowing a 3rd inning homerun to Jose Bautista(his 22nd). Beachy finished with 6 innings of work,96 pitches, allowing 4 hits, 1 run, 2 walks and the 11 Ks.
The Braves struck first in this one with a–wait for it–2 run homer by Uggla in the 2nd! Let me be the last to say it: Maybe this will get his bat going. I’m not holding my breath, he also had 2 strikeouts. McCann followed with a 2 run homer of his own in the 3rd. Brooks Conrad completed our scoring with a pinch hit homerun in the 7th. To me, it was clearly a homer as it hit the yellow line then bounced off of the back green padding back on to the playing field. However the umpires allowed play to continue and Brooks was thrown out at third. The umpires then convened, reviewed the replay, and correctly ruled that it was a homerun. Schafer then followed Conrad with a ball hit to right in almost the exact same place but this time Bautista made a leaping grab to rob Jordan of another Braves homer. All runs in this game were scored via the homerun(Uggla’s 10th,23rd RBI;McCann’s 13th,43rd RBI;and Conrad’s 3rd,8th RBI). The bullpen of Linebrink, Venters, and Kimbrel finished the last 3 innings with shutout ball. Former Braves Yunel Escobar went 1-4 with a stolen base and J0-Jo Reyes was the losing starting pitcher bringing his record to 3-6 with an ERA of 4.34.
Wednesday’s game: Mike Minor started this game and pitched well. He allowed a run in the first but after that he settled down, pitching 7 innings, allowing 5 hits, the 1st inning run,1 walk and 8 Ks. He looked impressive. So did our offense collecting a massive 11 hits and 5 runs. Heyward, McCann, and Gonzalez each had 2 hits(with their 18th, 41st, and 23rd RBIs respectively). Every starter had a hit, except Uggla, with Minor stroking a double. Chipper added a sac fly RBI, his 41st. McCann hit his 12th homerun. O’Flaherty and Venters pitched a shutout 8th and 9th. Former Brave Yunel Escobar went 1-4 with a double;he’s hitting .279. Braves win 5-1.
Tuesday’s game: This one was all Tim Hudson in every aspect. He pitched an awesome game, going 8+ innings allowing 2 hits, no runs, 1 walk, with 8 Ks. Unfortunately we did nothing on offense so Tim took matters into his own hands in the 7th. David Ross led off the inning with an infield hit to shortstop that Yunel Escobar threw into our dugout allowing Ross to take 2nd. Ross moved to 3rd on McClouth’s groundout to 1st. Diory Hernandez followed with a grounder to short that Yunel threw home on to get Ross out. Then up stepped Hudson and he proceeded to smash a 2 out 2 run homer to left. It’s just that easy. He needs to work on his slow homerun trot however. It took him 29 seconds to round the bases–I think he stopped at 2nd and posed for a few candid pictures. Kimbrel was impressive in the ninth gaining the save after Hudson put 2 on with no outs. He struck out the side including Bautista and Lind. Braves win 2-0.
News and Notes: After Wednesday’s game, Minor was sent back to Gwinnett to make room for Beachy. Like the terminator, he’ll be back.
The Braves also called up Julio Lugo as a backup at short. They sent Diory Hernandez to AAA. Hmmm, I wonder if Lugo will get any starts at second?
Tommy Hanson is close to coming off the DL with shoulder tendinitis. He should make his next scheduled start which will be against Seattle.
The Braves claimed a left-handed reliever off waivers from the Marlins-Dustin Richardson. He’ll be at Gwinnett.
The Braves had 2 pitchers named to the futures all star game (for minor league prospects): Julio Teheran and Arodys Vizcaino.
Washington Nationals manager Jim Riggleman abruptly resigned after the Nats GM refused to discuss picking up Riggleman’s contract option for next year. Be curious to see how it affects the team’s play. Right now, they are playing well and stand alone in 3rd place, 4 1/2 games behind Braves.
Also curious to see how Pujols’ injury affects the Cardinals. He suffered a non displaced fracture of his left forearm–supposed to be out 4-6 weeks.
Right now the Braves are 4 games behind the Phillies and stand alone as the wild card leader with the D-Backs,Giants,Brewers, and Cardinals all nipping at our heels.
Braves start a series with the Padres tonight at 10:05 on SportSouth with Derek Lowe looking to bounce back from some rough outings. Go Braves!