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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Braves Back Lowe's Tightrope Act Once More, Beat Rockies


At the end of the day, Braves veteran Derek Lowe became the second National League hurler to win three games, getting the victory in a 9-5 Braves win.

Of course, he got the victory the way he always does: pitching just good enough and getting a lot of offense behind him. The Braves blew the game open in the second inning, chasing Rockies starter Jason Hammel. Seven singles, three walks, a sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly led to seven runs in the frame. The Braves added another run in the third off of Manny Corpas when Eric Hinske singled home Nate McLouth, driving in his third run of the game.

Lowe danced around a first-and-third, none out situation in the first inning by striking out Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki. Ryan Spilborghs was caught trying to steal second base by three feet.

In the fourth, after inducing a double play from Helton, Lowe gave up a single to Tulowitzki and a double to Brad Hawpe, breaking the shutout. The situation became a lot more dicey when Ian Stewart reached on an error by Hinske and Lowe walked Clint Barmes. Pinch-hitter Seth Smith launched a fly ball to deep right field. Jason Heyward, who had two singles on the day, attempted to scale the scoreboard wall and catch the ball, but it landed two rows out of his reach, making the score 8-4.

Chipper Jones was able to answer in the bottom of the frame with a two-out solo home run. His blast came after he looked silly flopping over the plate after fouling off a pitch from reliever Joe Beimel.

Lowe walked Hawpe to start the sixth, but got Chris Iannetta to ground back to him. Cox then removed him in favor of lefty Eric O'Flaherty, who worked Thursday. Lowe finished the day with seven hits and three earned runs allowed, with two walks and five strikeouts.

O'Flaherty stayed in the game, finishing the seventh inning. He allowed a run on a walk and a double, but struck out three batters. Kris Medlen finished off the game for the Braves with two very effective innings. His only hit allowed was a single to Spilborghs, and he struck out three batters.

Odds 'N Ends: Cabrera had his first multiple-hit game with the Braves, garnering two singles. The only other game where Cabrera reached base more than twice this year was the 5-4 loss to the Giants where he reached base with a double and two walks.

Martin Prado has a fourteen game hitting streak over two seasons, batting .458/.529/.644 over that span. His 19 hits in 10 games to start the season matches the club record set by Deion Sanders in 1992. Prado needs one hit to tie Neon Deion's record for 11 games and two hits to set a new one.

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