Sports Network | June 18, 2010
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Derek Lowe dealt 6 1/3 solid innings and helped his own cause with a pair of runs batted in to lead Atlanta past Kansas City, 6-4, in the opener to a three-game interleague series at Turner Field.
Chipper Jones drove in a pair of runs, and Melky Cabrera contributed three hits while scoring twice and knocking in one to lead the Braves to their third straight win.
Lowe (9-5) yielded three runs on six hits while walking two and fanning three to win his 150th career game. Billy Wagner worked a scoreless ninth to record his 13th save.
Brian Bannister (6-5) suffered the loss after surrendering five runs on seven hits over four frames. He walked three, fanned two and wound up on the wrong side of the ledge for a second straight start after five consecutive winning turns.
Billy Butler homered for the visitors, who have evenly split 10 games against the National League this season.
The Braves loaded the bases with one out in the second inning on a pair of singles and a walk before Lowe executed a squeeze bunt to plate Eric Hinske with the game's first run. Bannister then uncorked his second wild pitch of the inning to bring home Yunel Escobar with the second run of the frame.
The Royals responded with a run in the third when Scott Podsednik walked, stole second and scored on a Jason Kendall single. Butler's lead off long ball in the fourth tied the game.
Atlanta grabbed the lead for good in the fourth when Hinske opened the frame with a walk, moved to third base on an Escobar single and scored on Cabrera's double. Lowe followed with a line drive single to left to bring in Escobar to make it a 4-2 game, and Jones stroked a two-out single to right to chase home Cabrera to push the home team's advantage to three.
"I was really gunshy out there tonight," Bannister said about his performance. "I was having some flashbacks to Cincinnati and it just wasn't a fun game. I wasn't ahead, I wasn't locating anything and just really had zero confidence in what I was doing. It's just something I'm going to have to battle through."
A scoring fly ball from Jones in the sixth extended the lead to 6-2 before the Royals pushed back with single tallies in the seventh and eighth to pull within two.
Wilson Betemit delivered a pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh that sliced the lead to three and knocked Lowe out of the game. Eric O'Flaherty took over and got Podsednik to fly out and Kendall to strike out to end the inning and strand two runners.
Jose Guillen's run-scoring hit in the eighth against Peter Moylan closed the gap to 6-4 before the submariner got Alberto Callaspo to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Wagner walked pinch-hitter and ex-Brave Brayan Pena with two outs before retiring Podsednik on a ground ball to end the game.
"He gave us 6-plus innings and our bullpen came in after that and shut the door," said catcher Brian McCann in talking about the combined effort of Lowe and three relievers.
Lowe had his third career multi-RBI game...He is 3-5 in his career against the Royals and last beat them before Friday on June 6, 2004 while pitching for Boston..Lowe has earned six of his wins at home...All four games between the two teams have been played in Atlanta...The Braves are the only National League team to have never played at Kauffman Stadium...Bannister is 7-5 in 15 interleague starts...He gave up 11 runs, nine earned,on 10 hits in only three innings in his prior start against the Reds on Saturday...Guillen has hit safely in 13 straight games, collecting 18 hits...Martin Prado had a pair of hits for Atlanta to push his National League-leading total to 98. He has hit safely in six in a row and totaled 14 hits during the streak...Atlanta is 5-2 in interleague play this season.