I’m on record as saying that it probably doesn’t matter if you use your best reliever as a setup man or a closer. I’m not sure that using him as an auxiliary backup closer to come in and get the closer out of jams is really the way to go, however.
Derek Lowe had another good start, again in the rain. It always rains when he pitches. I think he may be a rain god. He had trouble in the third, giving up a walk and a single and then a one-out double to put the Jays up 2-0, but after that pretty much shut them down, going 7 1/3, striking out two and walking two; outside the third, he allowed only three other hits.
Lowe himself was the motor for the offense. In the bottom of the inning, he singled with one out, went to second on a KJ single, and then came home on a double to deepest center by Casey “The Stands Are Not In Play” Kotchman. In the fourth, Francoeur (who was three for four, but still sucks) doubled! I know! It looked like the Braves wouldn’t get him home, but Lowe came through with a single to make it 3-2.
In the seventh, KJ homered, his first since mid-April. (He’s tied for the team lead with four; the other leaders, Chipper and Yunel, missed the game with various injuries, so he might want to watch out.) Lowe hit for himself and started the eighth, but faced only one batter, successfully, before Bobby brought in Moylan. I don’t get it either. Moylan walked a guy but got out of it with a double play; Soriano was getting ready to bail him out, as this is apparently his job.
In the ninth, Gonzalez got the first man, then allowed a one-out double. The umpires frankly screwed him on the next batter, who was obviously out on a checked swing 2-2, and took a couple of pitches that looked like strikes to me but were called balls. He then gave up a single to make it 4-3, runners first and third, and walked the bases loaded all on his own. So Soriano came in, and was brilliant, striking out a pinch-hitter and getting the last out on a high pop to ACHE.
The Braves had eleven hits, but drew only one walk; they stranded seven.