The Atlanta Braves continued their strong play over the weekend against the Brewers, a club many have projected to make the playoffs next fall. Despite the absence of Chipper Jones in two of the three games, the Braves continued to hit well and received some stellar pitching from two young starters with bright futures.
In game one, which was the home opener at Turner Field, Jair Jurrjens was mediocre as usual before being pulled for the bullpen. Fortunately for Atlanta, their bats woke up in a big way, scoring eight runs in the first five innings. Brian McCann was the hero, going 4-for-5 with a homer and four RBI. The 'pen struggled a bit in the late innings and surrendered the lead in an ugly seventh innings, but a broken bat single from Dan Uggla plated two runs to lead the Braves to a 10-8 victory.
More on games two and three after the jump.
Mike Minor was the star on Saturday evening. The young lefty had displayed moments of brilliance all throughout Spring Training, and he repeated those results against a tough Milwaukee lineup. Minor set down 17 straight batters as he worked 7.1 innings, the best of any Braves starter to date. Atlanta struck for two runs early in the game, and that was enough as Craig Kimbrel recorded his fourth save of the season to secure a 2-1 victory.
Finally, Brandon Beachy took the mound and was in complete control on Sunday afternoon. The righty allowed one unearned run in seven innings, giving up just four hits and two walks. He struck out six and saved the bullpen yet again for manager Fredi Gonzalez.
Chipper Jones and Jason Heyward both homered, and Eric Hinske provided two late insurance runs with a pinch-hit single in the eighth. Atlanta cruised to a 7-4 win despite a rocky ninth inning from Chad Durbin.
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