For the third time this season, the Braves returned to .500 with a 6-2 win over the Brewers in the opening game of a four-game set.
Both starters cruised through the first two innings, but the game changed in the third and fourth innings. David Ross put the Braves on the board in the third with a solo homer, worth .119 WPA.
Ryan Braun singled to lead off the fourth and moved to third after a stolen base and groundout. But he was caught breaking to home plate on a ground ball by Casey McGehee, worth -.091 WPA. Corey Hart singled to move McGehee to second, and Yuniesky Betancourt followed with a deep shot to center that Nate McLouth dropped, resulting in a two-run triple and 2-1 Brewers lead, worth .255 WPA.
Milwaukee remained ahead until the sixth when the Braves jumped ahead for good. Chipper Jones walked to lead off the inning and Dan Uggla moved to him to second on a single. Freddie Freeman followed with a walk to load the bases with no outs. Alex Gonzalez came through with a bases-clearing double to put the Braves ahead by two, worth .219 WPA. McLouth followed with an RBI single to score Gonzalez, worth .040 WPA.
Atlanta added an insurance run in the seventh when Jason Heyward walked and moved to third on a Chipper double. Freddie Freeman drove in Heyward on a sac fly for a four-run lead.
Stat of the Day:
David Ross has three home runs and eight RBIs in 22 at bats. Brian McCann has two home runs and 14 RBIs in 97 at bats.
The Game Changer:
Yuniesky Betancourt tripled in two runs in the fourth to take a 2-1 Brewers lead, worth .255 WPA.
(MIL) Yuniesky Betancourt: .254
(ATL) David Ross: .151
(ATL) Alex Gonzalez: .126
(MIL) Yovani Gallardo: -.383
(MIL) Casey McGehee: -.135
(MIL) Prince Fielder: -.095
Alex Gonzalez has now hit safely in six of his last seven games, including a home run and five RBIs in his last two games. But even bigger than that has been his WPA numbers over the last two games, combining for .478 WPA. Gonzalez's clutch hitting, along with his outstanding defensive plays, have made him very valuable over the past couple days.
Jair Jurrjens has combined for four runs over his last 16.2 innings. A big reason for this is his efficiency and command. He has walked just two over that stretch, including none in his 7.2 inning outing against the Brewers. He has entered the late innings of his last two games with good pitch counts, which has resulted in deep outings. Also, he has induced 30 ground balls to 20 fly balls over that stretch, which is great to see. Efficiency is key for Jurrjens.