Ervin Santana delivered another stellar outing, and after a B.J. Upton bunt helped spark a rally in the 7th that led to a Ryan Doumit double to score what turned out to be the winning run, Tyler Pastornicky laid down an excellent squeeze bunt to bring in Andrelton Simmons for the insurance run. Kimbrel came in during the 9th to save it, and give the Braves their first series win since April and their first shot at a sweep in a while.
It was a pretty rough-and-tumble night for Justin Upton. After he got the worst of a run-in with Anthony Rizzo during a bizarre rundown, the younger Upton brother then got hit in the back with a 94 mph fastball from Jeff Samardzija. Upton made it to first base, but couldn't go any further, as he left the game with a mild back contusion. He's listed as day-to-day and will miss today's contest with the Cubs.
Jordan Walden's hamstring issues reared their ugly head again, and this time they've sent him to the 15-day DL (retroactive to May 5th). After experiencing some hamstring woes during the Spring, the issue popped up again this past Monday, and now Walden will have to do time on the DL to heal. Consequently, Ian Thomas has returned to the 25-man roster after a brief stay in Gwinnett, and it looks like he's ready to test out his slider for his latest stint in the Majors.
I'm sure you've noticed, but this week's games have featured a striking lack of Dan Uggla, and judging by this article from Mark Bowman and this one from Dave O'Brien about Tyler Pastornicky spelling Ramiro Pena at 2nd base, it appears as if Uggla's days as the regular everyday starter at 2nd base are officially finished.
Meanwhile on the farm, the Mississippi Braves have won five straight games, and the big highlight from win #5 in a row was a doozy. Elmer Reyes had 3 hits on the night, but the biggest one was a fly ball to left field that hit the wall and rolled along the base of it, giving Elmer Reyes enough time make the round trip across the basepaths to score. Here's the video:
League Wide News
The Baltimore Orioles won their 20th game of the season last night by beating the Houston Astros 5-4 in extras. The Orioles playing well is one thing. The Orioles playing well in the middle of a downpour is another.
Giants 1B Brandon Belt is off to a pretty good start, hitting .264/.317/.504 with 9 HRs, 133 wRC+, and 18 RBI, which makes it even more of a bummer that Belt will have to spend some time on the DL after injuring his thumb. He broke the thumb during Friday night's game with the Dodgers, which is when former Brave Paul Maholm hit him in the thumb with a pitch. Word from Giants camp is that he could miss up to 6 weeks due to the injury.
Yu Darvish pitched a marvelous start on Friday night, going 8 2/3 innings without giving up a hit, and even flirted with a perfect game. Unfortunately for Yu, David Ortiz was there to spoil the party on two occasions. Firstly, the former World Series MVP hit a ball to right that dropped in for a hit but was unusually ruled as an error. This eliminated Yu's attempt at a perfect game, but still kept the no-hitter alive. The no hitter was killed off with one out to go by, you guessed it, David Ortiz. The Rangers still won the game 8-0, but you've gotta believe that Yu is going to eventually finish off all 27 outs without giving up a hit, right?
Former NBA star Tracy McGrady can now say that he officially accomplished his dream of becoming a pro baseball player after he made his debut with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League. Unfortunately, the dream quickly turned into a nightmare, as the 34-year old got shelled after just 1 1/2 innings. Even at 34, there's always room for improvement, right?