Derek Lowe picked up his first win since May 6 in a return to his early-season form, and Freddie Freeman churned out three hits as the Atlanta Braves concluded their road trip with a winning record by sweeping the Seattle Mariners.
Though Brooks Conrad drove in the game's first run in the top of the fourth, it was set up by Freeman's first hit of the game, followed by a Dan Uggla infield hit. The next inning is when the Braves broke the game open.
Nate McLouth led off the inning with a walk from 2010 American League Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Alex Gonzalez flew out to right field, McLouth tagged up and went to third. McLouth then scored on yet another wild pitch by King Felix.
After the wild pitch, Schafer singled up the middle and stole his ninth bag of the year. Jason Heyward then drew a walk, and after Brian McCann moved the runners up on a grounder to the right side, Freeman shot a single up the middle to score both runners.
Freeman went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run. He is hitting .333 in his last 10 games.
Though McCann only had one hit after seven in the past two games, he made the one had count in the top of the seventh when he drove in Alex Gonzalez on a single.
Derek Lowe also finally returned to his form from April. Lowe gave up only one run in his six innings. Though he walked three, he struck out five and Seatlle went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
Eric O'Flaherty did his usual perfect seventh inning, but Jonny Venters ran into trouble in the eighth yet again as he gave up two runs on a homer to Dustin Ackley, a possible indicator that the potential All-Star needs a breather.
Craig Kimbrel then polished off the 5-3 game with two more strikeouts in his 23rd save.
Atlanta turned out back-to-back games of at least five runs for just the second time this month, though their batting average is still good for 14th in the league at .237.
The Braves finish June with a 17-9 record, tied with the Philadelphia Phillies for the second best June record in the majors. The Phillies' win over the Boston Red Sox leaves Atlanta 4.5 games back.
Atlanta enjoys a day off Thursday for the trip back across the country before a home series against the Baltimore Orioles.Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Craig Kimbrel, Derek Lowe, Felix Hernandez, Freddie Freeman, MLB, Seattle Mariners