Brian McCann hit two home runs Thursday afternoon in Chicago as the Braves defeated the Cubs 8-3, sending the Braves to their third victory over the Cubs in 4 games.
The Braves jumped on starter Matt Garza early. Michael Bourn led off with a single, Martin Prado reached on an error, then McCann hit a towering shot to the right field bleachers to make the score 3-0. Unfortunately, the Cubs jumped on our starter, Brandon Beachy, also. Castro led off with a “hit” (I’m sure Dan Uggla would say he should have caught the ball–a pop over his shoulder that bounced out of his glove), then stole second and went to third on an errant throw by McCann to Alex Gonzalez(although they gave the error to Gonzalez). He scored on a groundout. In the second, Beachy gave up a homer to Marlon Byrd followed by a Tyler Colvin triple who scored on another groundout to make it 3-3.
After that, Beachy settled down and pitched really well. He went 6 innings and gave up 6 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), no walks, and 8 Ks. He’s now 7-2 with a 3.31 ERA. The relief was awesome as always; this time Arodys Vizcaino, Eric O’Flaherty, and Cristhian Martinez handled the final three innings with no problem.
In the third, Uggla picked up an RBI (his 67th) on a bases loaded walk. Freddie Freeman followed that with a RBI single (64th). In the fifth, Jason Heyward picked up a RBI (his 36th) sac fly. In the seventh, McCann hit his second homer, an opposite field solo shot (22 HR, 62 RBIs) off of reliever Grabow. The Braves scored their final run when Bourn(43 RBIs) singled in Jose Constanza to make it 8-3.
On Wednesday night at Wrigley Field, the Braves lost 3-2 to the Cubs due to one bad inning from starter Derek Lowe and mostly lackluster offense.
In the second inning, Lowe issued two walks and a balk and Dan Uggla made a costly error on a ground ball. By the end of the inning, it was 3-0 Cubs. Unfortunately, that was enough. The Braves scored on a solo homer from Chipper Jones (13 HR, 58 RBIs) in the seventh and another solo shot from Alex Gonzalez (12 HR, 44 RBIs) in the eighth to make it 3-2. That was it for our offense besides a lone hit by Martin Prado.
Outside of the second inning, Lowe pitched well. He went 7 innings giving up only 4 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 4 costly walks, and 6 Ks. He’s now 8-12 with a 4.63 ERA. I haven’t given up on him yet; his last two outings have been pretty good.
Tonight’s Game: RH Tim Hudson (13-7, 3.01 ERA) vs Mets LH Chris Capuano at 7:10 on SportSouth.
Note: Saturday’s game has been moved from 4:10 to 1:10 due to anticipated weather. It was scheduled to be the Fox game but I’m not sure what they’ll do now. Sunday’s game has been canceled for now.
Injury Update: Tommy Hanson was scheduled to have another MRI on his ailing right shoulder on Thursday. The Braves still think it’s just tendinitis but I’m not so sure anymore. We’ll just have to cross our fingers on that one.
AAA Gwinnett: We’re planning on going to the G-Braves game tonight. I hope we’ll get to see Peter Moylan pitch (well!). He pitched an inning and allowed a walk and had one reach on an error, but no one scored on Thursday night. Wes Helms had two RBI singles.