Sanchez HR propels Pirates, send Braves on first skid
One streak started and another ended Saturday night and neither was good news for the Atlanta Braves.
Gaby Sanchez’s two-run home run capped the inning and propelled the Pirates to a 3-1 victory, which put Atlanta on its first losing streak of the season.
The Braves (13-4), who have the best record in the major leagues, had not lost consecutive games all year. Atlanta also suffered its first loss of the season in a game in which it scored.
“I never really thought about the streak because I knew I was going to give up some runs at some point,” Maholm said. “I’m not upset about that. I’m just disappointed that I made two bad pitches, one to (Andrew) McCutchen and one to Gaby that cost us the game.”
Staten Island pitcher Anthony Varvaro off to flawless start with Atlanta Braves
Here’s another tip of the baseball cap to Atlanta Braves right-hander Anthony Varvaro, who has an earned run average pitchers dream about:
The 28-year-old West Brighton native and Curtis High School product has spent the first three weeks of the National League season solidifying his spot in Atlanta’s bullpen.
Varvaro posted his first victory Thursday night with two perfect innings of relief in a 6-4 win over Pittsburgh. He has worked 9 one-third scoreless innings in six appearances, giving up five hits and two walks while striking out eight.
Freeman goes 5-for-5 in rehab start, as G-Braves blank Charlotte
Freddie Freeman is ready to return to the big leagues, but he will have one more game with the Gwinnett Braves just to make sure.
The former International League Rookie of the Year, playing his second game on a minor league injury rehab stint, went 5-for-5 with three singles, two doubles and two RBI to lead the Gwinnett Braves (8-9) to a 6-0 win over the Charlotte Knights (5-12) on Saturday night at Knights Stadium.
Freeman’s big night backed a G-Braves’ pitching staff that turned in a shutout performance for the second-straight game in Charlotte. Starter Daniel Rodriguez struck out 10 batters over 6.0 two-hit innings to earn his first victory in the United States, and relievers Ryan Buchter, Wirfin Obispo and Cory Rasmus all turned in scoreless innings.
New Braves Keying Offense
Atlanta Braves position players who were added to the roster before the 2013 season have keyed the offense. Returning Braves players…not so much.
The new Braves include left fielder Justin Upton (.328 average, 9 home runs, 13 runs batted in) third baseman / first baseman Chris Johnson (MLB leading .438 average, 2 home runs, 7 runs batted in) catcher Evan Gattis (.279 average, 5 home runs, 12 runs batted in) catcher Gerald Laird (.308 average) utility infielder Ramiro Pena (.364 average, 1 home run, 6 runs batted in plus great defense and game winning homer against Washington) pinch-hitter Blake Dewitt (1 of 2) and outfielder Jordan Schafer (4 of 8).
B.J. Upton is the only newly acquired Braves position player who hasn’t been hot. Upton is hitting only .167 with 2 home runs and 3 runs batted in but he has swung the bat better the past few games.