Sunday, July 26, 2009

Braves rout Brewers 10-2

A game that had the makings of a pitchers' duel through the fifth inning turned into a slugfest by the end of the sixth. Already up 1-0 on a first inning Brian McCann double that drove in Nate McLouth, the Braves put a four-spot on the Brewers in the top of the sixth, fueled by a McCann walk, singles by Garrett Anderson and Matt Diaz, and a two-run homer by Casey Kotchman to cap the rally.

The Brewers answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning off of Derek Lowe, who had a solid but unspectacular outing, walking none while striking out three. Ten out of the 15 outs Lowe induced on balls in play came via the ground ball, so the groundball machine was in peak form today.

Kelly Johnson was impressive in his first start back from the disabled list, going 3-for-4 with a walk, a homerun, 2 doubles, and a stolen base.

Kris Medlen gave up one hit in a scoreless ninth inning. The Braves were already up 8 runs when he came into the game, but one can't help but wonder if Bobby Cox's decision to use him in the 9th was a test to see how well he might do in high-leverage relief situations. Last week, we suggested that such a role would be the ideal short-term use of Mr Medlen.

The win allowed the Braves to keep pace with the Rockies in the NL wild card race. Colorado topped San Francisco 4-2 on Sunday.

The Braves are off on Monday but pick things back up on Tuesday against the Marlins, who are currently tied with the Braves for second place in the NL East.

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