Fresh off a thrilling 11-inning comeback victory over the Washington Nationals on Friday night, the Atlanta Braves hoped to carry that momentum into the doubleheader on Saturday.
So far, so good.
Ben Sheets pitched six shutout innings for the second consecutive start, and the Braves defeated the Nationals 4-0 in game one of Saturday's doubleheader.
Sheets wasn't quite as dominant this time as he got himself into trouble in a few innings, but he managed to work his way out of those jams. He gave up five hits and three walks in his six shutout innings, and he also induced a couple of double plays to help his cause. He struck out six batters.
"If you ask me if I'm surprised I haven't given up a run, yeah I am," Sheets said. "But I'm not surprised I'm getting people out. I wouldn't have come back if I didn't think I could get people out."
Brian McCann, Chipper Jones, and Michael Bourn were responsible for the Braves' offensive output. McCann hit a solo home run in the second inning off of Edwin Jackson to give the Braves a rare early lead. Bourn led off the eighth inning with a single, stole two bases, and scored on a wild pitch. Finally, Chipper Jones hit a pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning that drove in a pair of runs and gave the Braves some breathing room.
"Certainly [Friday night's] game you chalk up as a fluke because that doesn't happen very often," Jones said. "But to back it up with a solid performance today, you get some momentum going. I can't think of a better day to have a doubleheader with as nice a roll as we're on right now."
Kris Medlen pitched two shutout innings in the seventh and eighth innings, and Chad Durbin finished the game with a scoreless frame.
"I think the most important thing is that in the last eight games in our division, we've taken care of business," Jones said. "That's the way you make hay, winning games within your division."
The Braves will look to sweep the twin bill when they send Randall Delgado (4-9, 4.52 ERA) against John Lannan (0-0, 0.00 ERA) at 7:05 PM EDT.
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