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Braves vs. Rays: Matt Joyce's Grand Slam Leads Tampa Bay To 5-2 Victory

The Atlanta Braves got off to a strong start against Alex Cobb, scoring two runs in the second inning and seemingly having some kind of scoring threat through the first four frames.

Then, almost suddenly, Randall Delgado fell apart. In the bottom of the third inning, he walked two and allowed a single to load the bases. After falling behind in the count, Delgado guided a fastball down the middle of the plate to Matt Joyce, who belted a grand slam to center field. Tampa went up 4-2 at that point and added another run in the seventh on a solo homer from Sean Rodriguez.

Delgado's knack for having one really bad inning is becoming a bit concerning. This is the third time this year that he has lost complete control in an inning, failing to locate his fastball with any regularity. Seldom does a pitcher get away with walking more than a batter per-inning, and Delgado is learning this the hard way.

Tyler Pastornicky singled with two outs in the fourth inning. The Braves would not have another base runner reach for the rest of the game. For an offense that has been so good lately, their showing on Saturday was pretty awful. Chipper Jones did not play due to a badly bruised ankle that he suffered in the first game of the series.

Cobb was fantastic for Tampa Bay, working seven innings of two-run ball. He allowed just six hits and two walks, striking out six in the process. Delgado only last four innings before exiting for Cristhian Martinez and the Braves bullpen.

Tim Hudson will square off with David Price on Sunday afternoon as Atlanta looks to win the rubber match of the series.

For more on the Braves, check out Talking Chop.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.