The Braves won the final two games of their series with the Marlins in Miami Tuesday and Wednesday to complete the sweep of Florida.
On Tuesday, the Braves got a much needed great pitching performance from Brandon Beachy along with some clutch hitting from Martin Prado to win 4-3. Beachy was awesome going 6 2/3 strong innings, getting 10 strikeouts along the way. He broke the Braves current trend of allowing the opposition runs early as he held the Marlins scoreless thru six. He deserved a victory. Unfortunately, in the seventh he got 2 outs but also walked two batters. Fredi Gonzalez then brought in Anthony Varvaro to face John Buck and he promptly gave up a three run homer to make the score 3-3 and giving Beachy a no decision. Beachy allowed 3 hits, 2 runs, 3 BB, bringing his ERA to 3.43.
The Braves scored first in the 2nd after Florida pitcher Hensley allowed a 2 out walk to Beachy to load the bases. He then walked Michael Bourn (37 RBIs) to force in a run. In the 5th, Prado picked up a RBI single. In the sixth, Prado hit a solo home run (11 HR) to make the score 3-0. Finally, Prado hit a single to right field in the 11th to knock in another run (43 RBIs) to make it 4-3. Prado finished 4-6 with 3 RBIs and scored a run. Craig Kimbrel came on in the eleventh for his 36th save. He walked a batter but Alex Gonzalez helped him out by turning a game ending double play on a hard hit ball.
On Wednesday, the Braves got another outstanding pitching performance in a 6-2 victory over the Marlins, this time from Tim Hudson who went 7 1/3 strong innings to gain his 12th victory while winning his 3rd consecutive start. He was dominant until the eighth when he allowed 2 runs on a walk and 3 hits (including a solo homer by Logan Morrison). He allowed a total of 6 hits while striking out 7 and lowered his ERA to 3.18.
The Braves were up 6-0 after 3 innings. Dan Uggla picked up two RBIs (58) in the first with a sharp single to extend his hitting streak to 31 games. That ties him for the Atlanta franchise lead with one of my favorites, Rico (Beeg Boy) Carty. Eric Hinske had a 2 run double (27 RBIs) in the second. Jose Constanza went 3-4 with 3 infield hits and scored a run after he stole second(3 SB) and Hudson knocked him in(4 RBIs). Since Constanza was called up, he’s hitting .413. Martin Prado went 2-4 and Uggla went 3-5 to raise his average to .224 (!). Jason Heyward continues to struggle going 0-5 with 3 strikeouts, now hitting .218 (oof).
Arodys Vizcaino, a 20 year old call-up from AAA Gwinnett, came on in the ninth and had a rocky debut. He got 2 outs but he also walked two and hit a batter. Jonny Venters came on to bail him out and got the save(4) with a strikeout to end the game.
Wait a minute, I think I buried the lead! You may ask yourself, “who is Vizcaino, where did he come from?” My god, what have I done? Sorry, I’m just a little giddy because the Braves finally released Scott Proctor! I hate to celebrate when someone loses their job but I am so glad to see him go. There was just no game situation that the Braves could put him in and feel comfortable. I’d much rather see the young guys come in and learn while struggling than have the 34 year old come in and serve up a home run on a platter. Maybe someone will pick him up, but it’s more likely that he’s going to have to start making it in the real world just like the rest of us.