Another day, another complete game for the Braves.
Derek Lowe was solid on the mound today and would've gone much longer than 6 innings if it wasn't for a bad 6th inning. Lowe, for the first time in a while, kept his pitches down and had good movement on both the sinker and the slider. He was working on a 2-hit shutout through 5 innings, but the top and middle of the Brewers order got to Derek for 2 runs. He's been a bit Jekyll and Hyde this season, but the Braves will be in good shape if Lowe can continue pitching like he did Wednesday afternoon.
The Braves offense, which had both Jason Heyward and Eric Hinske in for the 2nd straight night, put up 9 runs, most of which came late in the ball game. The afore mentioned Hinske drove in the first run of the game with a RBI double in the 4th that just nearly missed going over the wall. The Braves added on to their lead again in the 6th when red-hot Troy Glaus drove in Jason Heyward from 2nd. Heyward truly created this run by stealing 2nd just a pitch before Glaus delivered the single up the middle.
The Brew Crew battled back in the 6th. Rickie Weeks and Jody Gerut led off the inning with back-to-back singles up the middle. Weeks then scored after veteran CF Jim Edmonds drove him in. After Prince Fielder juust missed a 3-run HR by a foot, he popped out to Nate McLouth in center. Jody Gerut then attempted to steal 3rd, but Brian McCann gunned him down for out #2 in the inning. This was huge play as Casey McGehee ripped a double to the right-center field gap which scored Edmonds from 1st. Derek Lowe was able to get out of the inning after Gregg Zaun popped out to Omar Infante at SS. Tie game 2-2.
The Braves' bats wouldn't be held down for long. After a leadoff double from Matt Diaz, Jason Heyward smashed a ball down the 1B line that was deflected by Prince Fielder. Brian McCann, rocking the glasses in a day game, hit a seeing-eye single up the middle to score Heyward from 2nd. The Braves led 4-2 after the 7th.
More offense came for the Bravos in the 8th. After an Omar Infante single, the suddenly scorching Brooks Conrad hit his 2nd HR of the series to RF off righty Carlos Villanueva. Braves lead 6-2 after the 8th.
The Braves weren't done though. Chipper Jones, making his first appearance since tweaking his groin Monday, drove in Jason Heyward with a PH RBI-double down the right field line. Chipper was batting from the left side and looked great. Brooks Conrad struck again in the 9th with a 2-RBI double that scored Brian McCann and Brandon Hicks, who was running for Chipper.
Braves win 9-2.
Brooks Conrad - 2-for-5, HR(2) 4RBI
Derek Lowe - 6IP 6H 2ER 2BB/2K
Eric Hinske - 2-for-4, RBI; not a great stat line, but he continues to spark the Braves.
Jason Heyward - 1-for-3, 2BB 1RBI 3R
The Braves have tomorrow off (a much needed day, IMO.) and then kick off a 7-game home stand with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Kelly Johnson, Adam LaRoche and Blain Boyer will all make their debuts at Turner Field as non-Braves players. The DBacks came into Wednesday losing 5 straight and their pitching, especially the bullpen, has been awful in 2010. Let's hope the Braves can continue their hot hitting at The Ted.
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