Brian McCann had struggled since coming off the disabled list a few weeks ago. He rediscovered his swing on Thursday afternoon in an 8-3 victory that saw the Braves take the final game of the four-game series.
McCann hit a three-run homer in the first inning to get Atlanta on the board early and he added another solo-home run in the eighth inning for a much needed insurance run. Michael Bourn was instrumental in the lineup's success today as he recorded four hits, including an RBI-single in the seventh, and both Dan Uggla and Freddie Freeman drove in critical runs as well.
The Cubs scored in the first and second inning, but that was all they would bring across the plate. Darwin Barney drove in a run with a groundout and Marlon Byrd hit his seventh home run. Geovany Soto also plated a run with a weak groundout to Brandon Beachy on the mound.
Speaking of Beachy, he was excellent after setting in. He worked six innings and allowed six hits, though he did not walk a batter. He struck out eight. As for settling in, he allowed just one hit after his early struggles before weaving out of trouble in the sixth.
Arodys Vizcaino, Eric O'Flaherty and Christian Martinez all worked an inning of scoreless relief work. It appeared Craig Kimbrel was going to get a chance to break the rookie saves record early on, but the late rally by Atlanta cancelled any chance of that.
The Braves will now head to New York to face the Mets in a three-game series. A double-header may be schedule on Friday or Saturday with the tropical storms moving into the area. Stay tuned for updates on that situation.