This time it was the other team celebrating a walk off win. Over the last week or so it has been the Braves that have seemed to pull out win after win in their last at bat. Finally it happened to them instead of for them.
Pittsburgh Catcher Ryan Doumit hit a walk off homer off of Takashi Saito in the bottom of the tenth inning to salvage one game in the series for the Pirates. The Braves rested several players on Sunday including hot hitting Eric Hinske who tied the game in the eighth inning with a pinch hit home run. Chipper Jones and Brian McCann were the others that received the routine day off. Jason Heyward was out of the lineup due to an apparent thumb injury.
Kris Medlen got the start for the Braves and pitched 5.2 innings allowing seven hits and 2 runs. He left the game with the Braves trailing 2-1. The patchwork Braves lineup wasn’t able to do much damage against Pirate lefty Zach Duke. Duke pitched 7 innings allowing only one unearned run while striking out five Braves hitters.
The Braves are off on Monday while traveling to Florida to open a three game set against the Marlins. The day of rest will do Jason Heyward well as he missed Sunday’s game due to a swollen left thumb. Heyward says that he injured the thumb in the opening game of the Braves last home stand and had been dealing with varying degrees of soreness ever since. The swelling is something new however. He thought that was the result of being jammed on an inside pitch early in Saturday’s game. Heyward did make an appearance as a pinch hitter and walked in his only at bat.
Righty Kenshin Kawakami coming off arguably his best start of the season will be on the mound when the Braves begin their series in Florida on Tuesday. The Braves enter the series a half game up on the Marlins for second place in the NL Eastern Division. The Braves are three and a half games behind the division leading Phillies.