On a night when Mike Minor pitched another great game and Aramis Ramirez went 5-for-5, Jason Heyward stole the show. It was his grand slam in the fourth inning that provided the Braves with just enough cushion to get their sixth straight win by a score of 5-4.
The Braves scored all five runs in the top of the fourth after Casey Coleman earned two Braves outs on just four pitches. The Cubs righty then gave up consecutive singles to Dan Uggla and Chipper Jones before he walked Hinske and Gonzalez to bring home a run and put the Braves up 1-0. Yes, Braves fans, credit Alex Gonzalez with two walks in back-to-back nights. Heyward then stepped to the plate and just got enough of a low breaking ball to notch his first career grand slam. The wind was helping and the ball barely got out, but he hit it to left-centerfield which was encouraging to see. He also hit one to the opposite field in the sixth to show that he could be coming back from the dead pull mentality that likely played a large part in Dan Uggla’s early season struggles.
After an Alfonso Soriano solo shot in the bottom of the fifth, Minor allowed Geovany Soto and Darwin Barney to get into scoring position. Aramis Ramirez then came to the plate with two outs. The Cubs’ third baseman has been absolutely raking, and he capitalized for a two RBI double on a Minor breaking ball over the plate. Minor was then let down a bit by his defense when what looked like a routine groundout to Alex Gonzalez resulted in a short hop throw that Hinske couldn't pick, scoring Ramirez from second. This miscue capped a four run inning for the Cubs who put themselves right back into the game. Minor pitched very well for four innings and then, in my opinion, simply wasn't advised quite seriously enough to pitch around Aramis Ramirez, who is now 8-for-9 in the last two games.
The Braves bullpen provided more reason for excitement followed by utter disappointment for Cubs fans in the seventh inning, when a bases loaded one out jam resulted in no runs. Arodys Vizcaino pitched a perfect eighth and the Braves handed the ball to Craig Kimbrel in the ninth. Kimbrel notched his 40th save to tie the MLB rookie saves record and seal their sixth win in a row.