Newly-minted All Star Chipper Jones had a perfect 5-5 day at the plate, leading Atlanta to a 10-3 thrashing of the Chicago Cubs. Jair Jurrjens had a solid start, but looked like the Braves would be doomed by bad defensive plays again early. Fortunately the middle of the order came through against Chris Volstad in the 5th, leading Atlanta to the win.
Atlanta struck first in the first. Michael Bourn led off the game with a 4 pitch walk and moved to 2nd on a groundout. Chipper Jones, batting cleanup, fisted a 1-2 pitch into center field that bounced inches in front of David DeJesus for a 1-0 Braves lead.
The third inning brought more of what Atlanta fans have dreaded over the past few games: The Bad News Braves. Chris Volstad lead off the inning with a flyout, bringing DeJesus to the plate with one out. DeJesus hit a sharp grounder right at Freddie Freeman that ate him alive. The ball was hit right in front of Freeman, but the official scorer graciously ruled it a single. The next batter up, Starlin Castro, hit a grounder to Dan Uggle that looked like it could potentially be a double play. Uggla backhanded it and turned to throw to second, but airmailed it right over Andrelton Simmons' head. Dejesus came all the way around to score from first and Castro ended up on second. First pitch RBI singles from Bryan LaHair and Steve Clevenger made it 3-1 Cubs and drove Braves fans everywhere crazy.
The Braves seemed punchless until the 5th inning, when they finally broke through against Volstad. Brian McCann led off with a single, Andrelton Simmons followed with a first pitch infield single, and Eric Hinske walked on 5 pitches to load the bases with no outs. That brought Atlanta's All Star candidate Mike Bourn to the plate, and Bourn delivered in thrilling fashion, clearing the bases with an RBI triple to give the Braves a 4-3 lead. A Martin Prado sacrifice fly made it 5-3, and a Jason Heyward homer chased Volstad and made the score 6-3 Braves.
Atlanta would add on the next inning. Rafael Dolis came on for the Cubs, and walked the bases loaded, issuing free passes to Brian McCann, Kris Medlen, and Bourn. That prompted a pitching change, bringing out former Brave Luis Va..., er, Jairo Asencio. Asencio walked Prado to score one run, and after Jason Heyward fouled out, Chipper delivered again with a bases clearing double.
Chipper's double would close the scoring at 10-3. Jair Jurrjens pitched 5 innings and was charged with 9 hits and 0 earned runs, picking up his 2nd win of the year. Given the shoddy defense, Jurrjens pitched quite well and worked out of jams. Kris Medlen pitched 3 perfect innings in relief of JJ, striking out 2. Atlanta will take on the Cubs again tomorrow at 7:10 PM, with Randall Delgado matching up against Paul Maholm