What a run it was for Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Kris Medlen. He had issues with control early in the final game of the Braves' series with the Philadelphia Phillies, taking the loss in a 2-0 game at Turner Field and snapping a streak of 23 straight games that he had started that the Braves had won and ruining a chance at sweeping the Phils.
It didn't help that Cliff Lee was dominant to the tune of no runs and eight strikeouts over eight innings in wet, windy game.
Medlen walked four batters and threw 92 pitches in five innings, though he fanned two in a perfect nine-pitch fifth inning. That was a complete turnaround from needing 49 pitches to get through the first two innings.
It was the second inning that cost Medlen. After hits to start the inning, Medlen walked Lee to load the bases before Ben Revere grounded into a fielder's choice to drive in the first run. After walking Jimmy Rollins, Medlen gave up a sac fly to Chase Utley.
"It was just one of those times when you lose feel of the ball," Medlen said. "I've had trouble repeating my delivery. I'll make a really good pitch, and then all of a sudden, I will throw three bad pitches in a row."
The loss was the first for the Braves in a game started by Medlen since May 23, 2010, which was over two months before he had Tommy John surgery. He had gone 9-0 with a 0.97 ERA in 12 starts since moving from the bullpen to the rotation last year.
"He competed his ass off today," Gonzalez said. "I thought his last two innings of work might have been the best two innings he has thrown since last year. His delivery got better as the game went on. For him to give up just two runs, he did a very nice job. That game could have easily gotten out of hand."
After the Braves displayed a power barrage of six homers through their first two games, no runner reached second base on Lee. Dan Uggla recorded the first hit in the second inning, and Justin Upton had a knock in the fourth inning, but the Braves wouldn't have another baserunner all game.
The Braves start a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Mike MInor will make his season debut opposite Scott Feldman.
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