Since being acquired by Atlanta from Kansas City, many have been aggravated with how Rick Ankiel has performed. He has not hit for much power nor has he gotten many hits, it has been a rough first few weeks in Atlanta for pitcher-turned-outfielder. Today was a much different story, as Ankiel came through with a bases clearing triple in the top of the ninth, with two outs, and two strikes against one of the top strikeout pitchers in all of baseball in Carlos Marmol. Ankiel was waiting on slider and put it into right field to give thmesleves the lead as they won the opener of a three game set in Chicago.
Ankiel had another hit earlier in the game and made a tremendous throw to second when Koyie Hill tried to stretch a single into a double. The throw was incredible and right on target -- Ankiel really had himself a game today.
Derrek Lee went hitless in his Braves debut, although he did have two liners that were hit right at the fielders. He struck out in the ninth after Martin Prado lead off with a walk. After Lee's strikeout, both Brian McCann and Alex Gonzalez walked. Melky Cabrera struck out and then came Ankiel with the big hit. Earlier in the game, Omar Infante hit a home run and Gonzalez had an RBI double.
Jair Jurrjens was definitely not his best today but he lasted seven innings and gave up just three runs. Jair allowed nine hits and a walk while striking out two, and a lot of the outs he recorded were line outs right at the defensive players.
Ryan Dempster pitched a masterful eight innings, striking out seven and allowing just six base runners. He handed it over to a usually dominant Marmol but he was unable to finish the game with a lead in tact. Aramis Ramirez hit his 18th home run and had an RBI double, scoring Marlon Byrd after he hit a triple.
Tomorrow, Tommy Hanson takes the hill against Tom Gorzelanny, a sturdy left-handed starter. Hopefully, the Braves can get Tommy a win and beat up on a left-hander.