The Braves went into Thursday night game trying to avoid their first losing streak of the 2013 season. Getting started early off the bat of B.J. Upton, the Braves got on board with a blast by the leadoff hitter in the first inning. B.J. added a double and a walk to increase his batting average to .167. After the game Fredi Gonzalez said of B.J. “He’s getting better, you see him now from the beginning of the year and he’s not swinging at those balls in the dirt, he’s swing at strikes. You see his at bats getting better and better so we’re progressing well with him.”
Chris Johnson came up in the 3rd inning with Justin Upton on and hit a ball over the center field fence to make the game 3-2 Braves. Johnson included two additional hits and a walk as he moved his batting average up to .438 for the season. Gonzalez said of Johnson after the game “He keeps hitting, he’s getting an opportunity to play everyday and he’s showing that he can do it. He got three hits tonight so we’ll keep playing him.”
With the Braves tied 4-4 heading into the 8th inning Gonzalez made the difficult call of pinch hitting his backup catcher Evan Gattis. Usually managers, especially Gonzalez, wouldn’t make this move but it turned out to be a terrific call. Gattis would belt a ball low and inside over the left field wall. The Braves went up 6-4 and never looked back. Gonzalez would say after the game about the decision “When you bring in your backup catcher it’s always in the back of your mind. It makes it a little easier when (Blake) DeWitt is a guy who could do something if something bad happened to Laird but that same situation in the 5th or 6th (inning) you may not do it but in the 8th inning of the game the way it was, you take a shot at it.”
Justin Upton had another home run in the 5th inning making it his ninth home run in 15 games.
Julio Teheran went five innings for the Braves giving up seven hits and four runs. Another solid performance by the Braves bullpen as they threw four innings and did not give up a run. Anthony Varvaro threw two scoreless innings, Erik O’Flaherty the 8th inning and than Craig Kimbrel to pick up his seventh save.
Tim Hudson looks to go out on the mound on Friday against Pittsburg. The weather is supposed to get ugly for this game, getting colder and rain for most of the day.