The Braves had the daunting task of facing Felix Hernandez on Wednesday afternoon if they hoped to complete the sweep, but some timely hitting and a little luck brought them their third win in Seattle and 47th win overall.
Derek Lowe started for the Braves and was actually pretty good. He struggled to consistently throw strikes at times, but was able to keep the Mariners off the scoreboard until later in the game. Lowe worked six innings and allowed just four hits and three walks. He gave up a lone run in the fifth inning, but didn't allow anything other than that. He struck out five batters.
"King" Felix Hernandez started for Seattle and it appeared if it was going to be a long day for the Braves. He struck out five of the first ten batters he faced and had the opposition swinging wildly. Despite the strong start, Hernandez proved to be human and gave up ten hits and three walks in route of five Atlanta runs. He struck out six.
The Braves worked a little 2-out magic in the fourth inning to take the lead. Freddie Freeman singled, Dan Uggla singled and Brooks Conrad squeaked a grounder up the middle to make the score 1-0. They added on in the fifth courtesy of a few wild pitches; Nate McLouth walked, moved to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a deep fly ball from Alex Gonzalez and came in to score when Hernandez threw a slider in the dirt that got away from catcher Josh Bard.
With the score 2-0, Jordan Schafer singled up the middle and Jason Heyward walked. Brian McCann grounded out to the pitcher to put two runners in scoring position when Freddie Freeman continued his big series with a 2-run line drive single up the middle. Atlanta led 4-0 through five and a half.
The Mariners got on the board in the bottom half of the fifth on three singles from Franklin Gutierrez, Josh Bard and Ichiro Suzuki. Derek Lowe battled back, though, and got out the inning after allowing the one run.
Brian McCann continued his incredible series with an RBI-single in the seventh to give the Braves a comfortable 5-1 lead. Top-prospect Dustin Ackley hit a 2-run homer off Jonny Venters to cut the lead to 5-3, but Venters ended the inning with a strikeout of Jack Cust. The homer was the first one Venters has allowed this season.
Craig Kimbrel, working for the third straight day, closed out the game in the ninth and struck out two of the three batters he faced. He now has 23 saves this season.
Braves win 5-3 and complete the sweep. The club has an off-day on Thursday before returning home for a 3-game series against the Baltimore Orioles. Jair Jurrjens and his 10 wins will be on the mound for the 7:35 start.