I remember a time when the Braves couldn’t beat the teams they were supposed to beat. Yet for the latter part of May they have done just that and it continued with a 6-3 win over the Pirates on Saturday night. Kris Medlen pitched six innings allowing three earned runs to earn his second win of the season.
Rookie Phenom Jason Heyward hit his tenth home run of the season to get the scoring started for the Braves in the first inning. The Pirates quickly matched as an Andrew McCutchen third inning home run tied the game. The Pirates jumped ahead in the fourth when pitcher Brian Burres doubled to deep center scoring two runs to give the Pirates a 3-1 lead.
The Braves offense went back to work in the fifth inning as a Troy Glaus double scored Martin Prado and Chipper Jones to tie the game a three apiece. A Martin Prado sacrifice fly gave the Braves back the lead in the sixth. The Braves added some insurance runs in the eighth as Prado came through yet again with a double that knocked in two more runs to give the Braves a commanding 6-3 lead.
Prado went 2-4 on the night with 3 RBI’s, Jason Heyward also had two hits. Troy Glaus drove in RBI’s number 31 and 32 in the fifth inning giving him 23 for the month of May which leads the National League. The Braves Bullpen triumvirate of Peter Moylan, Takashi Saito, and Billy Wagner pitched three innings and didn’t allow anything. Each struck out two batters with Wagner picking up his sixth save of the season.
The Braves will go for a sweep of the Pirates this afternoon with Kenshin Kawakami (0-7, 4.93) facing off against yet another Pirate left hander Paul Maholm (3-4, 3.98). The Braves are now 27-22 on the season and have won four in a row allowing them to close to within a game and a half of the first place Phillies who come to Turner field for a three game set beginning on Monday.
So the Braves need to keep up the momentum and a sweep of the Pirates would be a good spring board heading into that Philly series. After the three game set with the Phillies the Braves will head out on a daunting 11 game road trip that will be sure to test the Braves. So every victory at this point is indeed crucial.