Good game. Atlanta won. Braves are back at .500 at 42-42, four games behind first place Washington, one behind the Mets.
Manny Banuelos earned his first major league win. Manny Bananas was not as sharp as in his debut, and he surrendered a first inning solo home run to Jonathan Lucroy. He only went 5.1 innings. In addition to Lucroy’s homer, he gave up a double, two singles and walked three; but thanks to an outstanding relief effort by Arodys Vizcaino in the sixth, he only allowed the one run.
A.J. Pierzynski tied the game with a home run of his own, then drove in the go-ahead run with his second of three hits in the game. Cameron Maybin continued to make his case for being the now and future Braves centerfielder by tripling in Atlanta’s third run.
After getting the first out in the sixth, Manny gave up a double and a walk, and Fredi Gonzalez hit the pen. Good decision, Fredi.
Fresh from his 80 day suspension for cheating and a brief stay in AAA, Arodys Vizcaino relieved Banuelos. Vizcaino popped 97 mph and got out of a one out, runners on first and second jam by getting Aramis Ramirez to ground sharply into a 5-4-3 double play.
Fredi pinch hit for Arodys to lead off our seventh, another good decision although I would quibble that Jonny Gomes should never face a right handed pitcher. In Gonzalez’s defense, who else did he have to choose?
The move paid off. Gomes doubled and eventually scored on a Nick Markakis broken bat bloop to give the Braves a 4-1 lead.
Fredi then made a third good decision. He brought in Mike Foltynewicz to start the bottom of the seventh. Folty was bringing it, hitting 98 consistently; and the Brewers were hitting it. Between the two outs Folty got, Khris Davis singled and scored on a double by Shane Peterson. When Folty walked Lucroy to put runners at first and second, Fredi brought in the new David Carpenter. Carp 2.0 got out of the mess by striking out Ryan Braun.
David Aardsma pitched the eighth, and Fredi made his fourth good decision of the night, making a double switch and bringing in Andrelton Simmons to play short. Aardsma gave up a homer to Adam Lind to cut the lead to 4-3.
Jason Grilli pitched the ninth, his third straight day of work, and struck out the side.
Tomorrow Julio Teheran attempts to win on the road and put the Braves above .500 for the first time in a very long time. Then it’s off to Colorado and the all-star break. The Rockies aren’t playing well at the moment, and the Braves have a chance to gain more ground on the Nats and Mets.
Two words: you never know.