For the second time in four games, the Atlanta Braves won a game 1-0 with excellent pitching and a clutch solo-home run. Today's heroes: Alex Gonzalez, Tim Hudson, Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel.
Hudson was brilliant once again and improved to 6-0 in his past eight starts. The veteran worked seven innings and allowed just three hits and three walks, most of those runners either cut down on a stellar defensive play or caught stealing. The veteran struck out seven on the afternoon and even contributed offensively with a nine-pitch walk.
Josh Collmenter was nearly as good as Hudson, though his lone mistake -- a hanging changeup to Alex Gonzalez -- would prove to cost him and his team the game. The right-handed rookie also tossed seven innings while allowing four hits and three walks, though he only struck out four.
The afore mentioned Gonzalez delivered what would end up being the deciding run with a solo-homer in the third inning. Atlanta had multiple chances to push more runs across the board, including a failed squeeze bunt in the eighth inning with Michael Bourn on third and Martin Prado at the plate. Fortunately for the Braves it would not come back to bite them in the end.
Craig Kimbrel recorded his 39th save of the season, but it was not easy. Willie Bloomquist struck out to start the inning, but Chris Young drew a walk and moved to third on a single from Miguel Montero. Kimbrel struck out Paul Goldschmidt on a high 99-mph fastball and closed the door on Sean Burroughs with a filthy slider at his shins. The crowd of 34, 846 erupted as the home team completed the sweep.
Seven games against the two best teams in the NL West, six victories. That's a good week.
The Braves will travel to Chicago to kick off a four-game series that will begin Monday. The Cubs, who took the series last weekend in Atlanta, have won seven out of ten and are playing their best baseball of the year. It will be Jair Jurrjens vs. Ryan Dempster in game one.