These are the nights a fan lives for. The team is playing well, the stadium is full and you have a talented pitcher on the mound. Jair Jurrjens flat-out dominated on Friday night and it was something to behold.
Jurrjens threw all nine innings and gave up just one hit, a weak seeing-eye single up the middle from Adam Jones in the seventh. He only walked one batter and struck out eight, and he did it all on just 112 pitches. The Orioles have a good lineup, folks. This wasn't easy to do. With the win, Jurrjens is now 11-3 with a remarkable 1.89 ERA.
Jair pounded the outside corner all night long and kept the Baltimore lineup off balance with a brilliant mix of his fastball, changeup and slider. Just about every pitch was below the belt and the Orioles made solid contact with a ball two or three times all evening. It was his best start of the season and easily one of the best of his career.
Jeremy Guthrie started for Baltimore and he was plenty good in his own right. He went seven innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks. He deserved a better outcome, but a throwing error from Derrek Lee in the eighth and no run support did him in. He falls to 3-10 this season despite a 3.93 ERA.
There wasn't too much offense on Friday night, but the Braves got a big boost from a Jason Heyward blast in the sixth inning. Jordan Schafer singled to get a runner on and Heyward jacked a high fastball over the center field wall to give Atlanta a 2-0 lead.
The club scored once again in the eighth. With runners on the corners and one out, Chipper Jones singled -- his first hit in fifteen at-bats -- through the left side to bring Schafer in to make the score 3-0. Freddie Freeman chopped one to former-Brave Derrek Lee at first base, but he threw the ball wildly, which then ricocheted off the back of Chipper's helmet and rolled into center field. Heyward scored easily from second to give the Braves a 4-0 lead heading into the ninth.
Jurrjens trotted back to the mound in the ninth and made quick work of Vladimir Guerrero, J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis to close out the game. It's the second complete game of the season for Jair and his first career shutout.
It was a fun night in Atlanta.
The Braves and Orioles will continue their series Saturday night at 7:10. It'll be Tim Hudson against Jake Arrieta.