Marlins sweep Braves to stay atop division.
This week’s series appeared to be a great match up between the two teams atop the NL East. Florida however would easily sweep the Braves out of Atlanta and out of the top spot in the division.
Javier Vazquez had a great start for the Braves but was unfortunately tagged with the loss. Vazquez allowed three runs in six innings while striking out 12. Florida’s starter Chris Volstad pitched seven strong innings of three hit ball to hold Atlanta’s offense to only one run. Atlanta’s one run came on a Kelly Johnson home run in the 4th inning and would fall 5-1 in the opening game of the series.
Game two also offered an intriguing match up when Derek Lowe took on Andrew Miller. Lowe did not fare well as he only lasted five innings while allowing four runs on seven hits. Miller lasted only 4 and 2/3 innings but Florida’s bullpen was excellent. Atlanta reliever Blaine Boyer had a rough night giving up four runs while just recording one out. The Braves’ bullpen was thought to be a strength entering the season but it now appears to be a weakness. Despite the poor pitching Atlanta’s offense was again not able to produce enough runs and lost game two 10-4.
Game three saw the Braves attempt to salvage a three game series and fail with newly acquired Kenshin Kawakami making the start. Kawakami was solid at the plate going 2-2 but allowed five runs in six innings of work on the mound. Marlins starter Anibal Sanchez was very good, allowing just two runs and scattering eight hits in six innings. Braves’ rookie Jordan Schafer has quickly cooled off after a hot start. Schafer went 0-4 with three strikeouts and has been less than impressive in his last few games. Hopefully he can turn things around and continue to produce at the bottom of the batting order.
Friday the Braves travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates. Jair Jurrjens (2-0, 2.45) is set to face Paul Maholm (1-0, 1.32) in game one of the three game series. Jo-Jo Reyes (0-0, -.--) will start in place of the injured Tom Glavine for Atlanta in game two. Ian Snell (0-2, 7.20) will take on the struggling top prospect. Javier Vazquez (0-1, 4.50) will try to avenge his last outing against Zach Duke (2-0, 0.59) in the final game. Duke has been excellent this season and could emerge as the pitcher Pittsburgh had envisioned him being.
By Ben Burrows
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