Kris Medlen put his recent struggles behind him, Jason Heyward knocked in a pair of runs, and the Atlanta Braves beat the St.Louis Cardinals 5-2 Sunday night completing a three game sweep.
Medlen had lost his previous three starts, while compiling an ERA of 8.59 during that stretch. Medlen scattered eight hits over six innings of work, striking out four and walking only one. The Cardinals were able to get to Medlen in the fifth inning, when opposing pitcher Shelby Miller smoked a one out double to the right center field gap cutting the Braves’ lead to 2-1. Carlos Beltran would then hit a high pop up to left field that fell between Evan Gattis and Andrelton Simmons, tying the game at two.
The Braves’ early lead came via a Simmons two out RBI single in the second inning, that followed a triple by Chris Johnson. Heyward would launch a solo home run in the third inning, doubling the lead.
The Braves would regain the lead in the sixth inning when Joey Terdoslavich, pinch hitting for Kris Medlen, hit a two out, opposite field single with runners on the corners. Heyward would follow with a single to center, pushing the lead back to two runs.
The Braves also turned in some nice defensive plays, beginning with Simmons in the second inning who went to the ground to snag a ground ball by David Freese, popped up to throw to second for one out, and Dan Uggla turned it for a double play. Freddie Freeman than made an inning ending grab in the eighth inning, as he reached over the railing in the Braves’ dugout to snag a Matt Holliday foul ball, almost toppling over the railing.
Luis Avilan and Jordan Walden pitched perfect innings in the seventh and eighth, setting it up for Craig Kimbrel, who collected this third save in as many days.
The Braves begin a four game set Monday against the Colorado Rockies. Brandon Beachy is set to make his much anticipated return from Tommy John surgery in Monday night’s opener. He will be faced by Jorge De La Rosa (10-5, 2.97 ERA).