In a back and forth battle, the Braves outlasted the Diamondbacks to take the second game of the series and even the four game set 1-1. Kris Medlen had a rough performance on the mound, allowing three solo shots in the game's first two innings and giving up four total runs across five innings. Offensively, Medlen got on base in all of his at bats, but he suffered a posterior left shoulder strain on his non-throwing arm as he slid into home plate with what was then the game tying run. Kris will be further re-evaluated tomorrow.
Predictably, the Braves' bullpen proved to be stronger than the Diamondbacks'. Jonny Venters, Eric O'Flaherty, and Billy Wager were all effective and pitched 3.1 scoreless innings between them. Peter Moylan walked two and allowed an earned run as Bobby Cox questionably took the Aussie out for Jonny Venters against Kelly Johnson. Johnson has a higher OPS this season and in his career against lefties and he subsequently singled off of Venters to tie the game at 5.
Troy Glaus came through for the Braves in a big way in the top of the eighth as he tied the game with a two out double off of the losing pitcher Esmerling Vasquez (0-2). Jonny Venters (1-0) was able to shut down the Diamondbacks in the eighth, and despite allowing the inherited runner to score in the seventh he earned his first Major League win. Melky Cabrera added an insurance run on a wild pitch by Juan Gutierrez in the top half of the ninth, and Billy Wagner was able to close the game down for his tenth save of the season.
The Braves offense was able to keep up with the Diamondbacks due to Omar Infante, Melky Cabrera, and Kris Medlen having big days offensively. Each got on base at least three times and Infante was able to get on four times in place of Martin Prado in the leadoff spot.
Kelly Johnson was pestering the Braves the entire night as he opened the Diamondbacks scoring with a first inning homer and added two more hits along with two more RBI throughout course of the game. Justin Upton hit an absolute bomb off of Medlen in the first and Mark Reynolds added a mammoth shot to center in the second. Outside of the two big homers and Johnson's big day, the Diamondbacks offense struggled as the rest of the team combined for just two hits.
It's good to see the Braves win these types of games. In the past few seasons, these are the kind of games the Braves would have a difficult time coming out on top in. They had solid clutch hits throughout the game, which is expected from a first place team. With the win, the Braves remain two games ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies in the N.L East.
Tomorrow, Kenshin Kawakami (0-8) looks to get his first win of the season against Ian Kennedy (3-3) at 9:40pm at Chase Field.