The Atlanta Braves have turned back the clock and are winning like the days of old: with dominant starting pitching.
Kris Medlen made his first start in over two years and allowed four hits, one run and one walk with three strikeouts in five innings. "He gave us everything we wanted him to," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He was trying to talk us into going one more inning, but no chance. He goes back (to start) on Sunday, and we'll add another 20-25 pitches to his outing and hopefully get us deeper in the ballgame." Atlanta is now 15-4 in games where Medlen starts.
The game was delayed for an hour and 53 minutes before the start of the sixth inning, and the Braves pulled Medlen. Braves skipper Fredi Gonzalez said, "He was trying to talk us into going one more inning but no chance." Medlen will get another chance on Sunday and the Braves hope to add 20-25 more pitches to his count.
McCann continued his hot streak by belting his 18th home run to give the Braves a 4-1 lead early in the third inning, and the Braves catcher has nine home runs and 20 RBI's in his last 19 games.
The offense is keeping up it's torrid pace as Tyler Pastornicky also collected his first ever pinch-hit home run and his second of his career off of Dan Jennings to make it 5-1 in the fifth, and Jason Heyward added a RBI single. The Braves tacked on a late run with a Freeman single and an error from Marlins left fielder Greg Dobbs to make it 7-1.
The bullpen continued to do great work as Cory Gearrin, Chad Durbin, Eric O'Flaherty and Jair Jurrjens allowed three hits and two strikeouts over the last four innings. In the previous 24 games, Atlanta's bullpen has a 1.92 ERA. If the Braves are going to continue to put pressure on the Washington Nationals (they enter Wednesday only 2.5 games back) then they are going to do so with a strong bullpen and a rebuilt rotation that features Ben Sheets, Kris Medlin and Paul Maholm.
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