The Braves survived another less than stellar pitching performance, this time from Jair Jurrjens, and pulled out a 6-4 victory in Cincinnati Friday night.
Once again a Braves starter allowed a first inning home run, this time to Reds’ rookie shortstop Zack Cozart to make it 1-0 early. The Braves picked up back to back solo homers in the 4th from Jason Heyward(11 HR, 27 RBIs) and Brian McCann(17 HR, 54 RBIs) to make it 2-1. In the sixth, Alex Gonzalez hit a pop fly to the outfield that dropped in, scoring McCann from 3rd. Eric Hinske attempted to score from second on the play but was thrown out at home.
Unfortunately in the Reds sixth, Jurrjens allowed a 2 run homer to Fred Lewis followed by a Drew Stubbs homer on back to back pitches to make it 4-3 Reds. Then with 2 outs in the Braves 7th, Martin Prado(10 HR, 37 RBIs) hit a ball to center that Drew Stubbs could have caught but instead it deflected off of his glove for a home run to tie the score. In the top of the 9th, Dan Uggla(18 HR, 40 RBIs) came on as a pinch hitter and stroked a 2 run homer to right center to extend his hitting streak to a career high 13 games and make the score 6-4. Craig Kimbrel picked up 2 strikeouts in the 9th while gaining his 31st save.
Jair Jurrjens finished with 6 innings and 4 runs, 4 hits, 3 BB, and 9 Ks bringing his ERA to 2.44. Linebrink and Venters pitched a scoreless 7th and 8th. Prado was 3-5, Gonzalez and Hinske went 2-4.
News & Notes: The Braves sent Cory Gearrin back to AAA Gwinnett and called up Cristhian Martinez to fill his spot. Martinez was previously just used in long relief but now will probably get single inning work. Gearrin has really been struggling especially vs lefties.
Speaking of struggling, Scott Proctor has a 10.45 ERA over his past 12 appearances. In 10.1 IP, he’s allowed 16 hits, 12 earned runs, 4 HR, 6 walks and a .356 opponents’ avg. That’s pretty bad.
The Orioles traded former Brave Nick Green to the Rangers. The Royals traded former Brave Wilson Betemit to the Tigers.
Rumor Mill: The Braves have been mentioned as having interest in acquiring the Mets’ Carlos Beltran. I’d be really surprised if that happened.
Injury Update: Uggla thinks he might be ready today/Schafer thinks he might be ready today or tomorrow.
Chipper Update: Surprise! Just as I’ve been saying, the 2 week healing time was a little too optimistic–it now looks like it will be more like 3 weeks. After taking some grounders & batting practice, Chipper felt alot of soreness and was unable to DH in Rome. He’s going to continue clinical rehab over the weekend and reassess on Monday. They’d like for him to get in 1 or 2 rehab games which probably means Tuesday in AA Mississippi.
Standings: The Braves remain 4 games behind the Phillies. We are the Wild Card leader over Arizona by 6 games, over Pittsburgh/St. Louis by 6 1/2 games and over New York by 8 1/2 games.
Today’s Game: RH Derek Lowe (6-7) vs Reds RH Homer Bailey (4-4) at 4:10 on Fox. You never know, this could be Lowe’s last start as a Brave as his name is being tossed about in trade rumors.