Braves Vs. Cubs: Brian McCann Homers Twice In 8-3 Victory

The Braves lost a series at home the last time these two clubs met. Will they lose the series again in Chicago? We have the breakdown inside.

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Braves vs. Cubs Final: Brian McCann Homers Twice In 8-3 Victory

Brian McCann had struggled since coming off the disabled list a few weeks ago. He rediscovered his swing on Thursday afternoon in an 8-3 victory that saw the Braves take the final game of the four-game series.

McCann hit a three-run homer in the first inning to get Atlanta on the board early and he added another solo-home run in the eighth inning for a much needed insurance run. Michael Bourn was instrumental in the lineup's success today as he recorded four hits, including an RBI-single in the seventh, and both Dan Uggla and Freddie Freeman drove in critical runs as well.

The Cubs scored in the first and second inning, but that was all they would bring across the plate. Darwin Barney drove in a run with a groundout and Marlon Byrd hit his seventh home run. Geovany Soto also plated a run with a weak groundout to Brandon Beachy on the mound.

Speaking of Beachy, he was excellent after setting in. He worked six innings and allowed six hits, though he did not walk a batter. He struck out eight. As for settling in, he allowed just one hit after his early struggles before weaving out of trouble in the sixth.

Arodys Vizcaino, Eric O'Flaherty and Christian Martinez all worked an inning of scoreless relief work. It appeared Craig Kimbrel was going to get a chance to break the rookie saves record early on, but the late rally by Atlanta cancelled any chance of that.

The Braves will now head to New York to face the Mets in a three-game series. A double-header may be schedule on Friday or Saturday with the tropical storms moving into the area. Stay tuned for updates on that situation.

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Braves vs. Cubs Final: Late Home Runs Not Enough In 3-2 Defeat

The Braves only recorded three hits on Wednesday night against the struggling Randy Wells and the Cubs bullpen in a 3-2 defeat.

Chicago scored all three runs in the second inning. Alfonso Soriano hit a deep two-run homer to center field on a changeup at the knee caps. That should have been all the scoring the Cubs would do, but an error by Dan Uggla, stolen base, balk and infield groundout from the pitcher would bring in Tony Campana for the third run of the game.

Derek Lowe struggled early, but worked seven strong innings. As a matter of fact, it was one of his best starts of the year. He allowed four hits and four walks on the night, and did so with six strikeouts. Two of the three runs were earned and it was another step forward to rediscovering his brilliance from last September and October.

Chipper Jones continued his strong play in the seventh and hit a solo-home run to center field to finally get Atlanta on the board. Alex Gonzalez followed in the eighth with a solo shot of his own. Dan Uggla reached on a hit-by-pitch to lead off the ninth, but Freddie Freeman, Chipper Jones and Jason Heyward were unable to do anything at the plate to drive him in.

The winning streak is snapped at six, though the Phillies also lost and the deficit in the NL East remains at 6.5 games.

Atlanta will go for the series victory in a matinee matchup Thursday afternoon. It will be Brandon Beachy against Matt Garza in what figures to be a pitching duel. First pitch is set for 2:20 p.m. EDT.

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Braves vs. Cubs Final: Jason Heyward's Grand Slam Leads To 5-4 Victory

Jason Heyward has not played much in the last few weeks. He single-handedly won the game tonight for the Atlanta Braves. Heyward, who recorded three hits, hit his first career grand slam and even went the other way with a single to left field. We can only hope this is a sign of things to come for our star right fielder and he should get yet another start on Wednesday.

Mike Minor pitched well, though his pitch count forced him to exit after five innings. He struck out six and did not walk a batter, and the only big blow was a two-run double from Aramis Ramirez in fourth. All-in-all, it was another strong effort from the young lefty.

Casey Coleman pitched extremely well and his only downfall was a two-out rally in the fourth from the Braves. He, like Minor, finished after five innings and allowed five runs on five hits and two walks. Coleman struck out two. He deserved a better outcome and his lone mistake was a decent fastball down in the zone to Heyward, which essentially cost him the game. 

A bullpen battle ensued from four innings once the starters left. Atlanta held their 5-4 lead in each inning and Craig Kimbrel recorded his 40th save of the year, which ties the rookie record for saves in a season. 

Atlanta now has earned at least a split of the series and will go for the win Wednesday night. Derek Lowe will face Randy Wells in a matchup that is scheduled to start at 8:05 p.m. 

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Braves Announce Lineup For Tuesday's Game

With the team as healthy as it has been all season, Fredi Gonzalez has had the luxury of not having to do too much mixing and matching with his lineup the last few games. While no one is severely injured for Tuesday's game against the Cubs, Gonzalez has changed up the lineup a bit to get an extra night of rest for a few players.

Here is the lineup:

Michael Bourn - CF

Martin Prado - LF

Brian McCann - C

Dan Uggla - 2B

Chipper Jones - 3B

Eric Hinske - 1B

Alex Gonzalez - SS

Jason Heyward - RF

Mike Minor - P

Batting Heyward eighth and behind Alex Gonzalez is stupid, but I guess we should just be happy he's actually playing. Jose Constanza's sprained ankle will need a few more days to recover, though a trip to the disabled list will probably not be needed. Freeman is just getting a night off as well. Fans need to remember this is his first full-season and the grind can become taxing on both the body and mind.

The Braves will face Casey Coleman and the Cubbies with first pitch coming at 8:05 p.m. tonight. Rain is in the forecast, though it appears it will not hit until later in the evening.

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Braves vs. Cubs Final Score: Dan Uggla Hits 30th Homer In 3-0 Victory

The Braves probably should not have won on Monday night. The Cubs left 15 runners on base and went 2-for-14 with runners-in-scoring-position. While part of that credit goes to the Atlanta pitching staff for working out of jams all night, it's definitely something the staff does not want to make a habit of doing.

Jair Jurrjens struggled to consistently throw strikes and allowed 13 base runners in 6.1 innings, though he somehow escaped without allowing a runner to score. There was a brief scare in the sixth inning when Jair appeared to tweak his injured knee while fielding a baseball, but he continued pitching. It did not appear to be a serious injury, though fans always have to worry whenever the young pitcher damages a knee that has been surgically repaired twice.

Freddie Freeman got Atlanta on the board with a solo-home run in the second inning. After both Martin Prado and Brian McCann nearly missed homers of their own in the first inning, it was fitting Freeman would finally knock one into the Wrigley Field bleachers. Prado did knock in a run of his own in the third inning, though it was on a force out.

With the score still 2-0 in Atlanta's favor, Dan Uggla hit one of his biggest home runs to give him thirty on the season. Uggla took a high fastball and hit a monster shot into the Chicago night that landed in streets behind the stadium. With the homer, the second baseman becomes the first Brave to hit 30 in a season since 2006. It may be hard to believe, but it's true.

Arodys Vizcaino came in and recorded two outs in the seventh before handing the reigns over to Eric O'Flaherty who worked a scoreless inning. Craig Kimbrel got a night off and was replaced by Jonny Venters. The lefty walked the first two batters of the inning, but promptly struck out Carlos Pena and Marlon Byrd before getting the final groundout of the game. 

It wasn't pretty, but Atlanta squeaked out the 3-0 victory. It was their fifth win in a row.

Mike Minor will look to continue his good work on the mound Tuesday night as the series continues. He will be opposed by Casey Coleman, who has struggled mightily this year. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05EDT.

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Braves Vs. Cubs Series Preview: Jair Jurrjens Looks To Rebound In The Windy City

The Braves lost a series at home the last time these two clubs met. Will they lose the series again in Chicago? We have the breakdown inside.

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