It's indeed all-smiles in Atlanta today, as a solo home run by Evan Gattis in the bottom of the 4th inning ended up being the winning run for the Braves on a lovely Mother's Day at Turner Field. With the help of yet another strong outing from Aaron Harang (6 IP, 6 Hs, 2 ER, 9 Ks), the Braves were able to beat the Cubs for the 3rd night in a row, this time by the score of 5-2.
The scoring for the Braves started in the 2nd inning, and the rally was sparked with a walk from Evan Gattis, of all people. After Chris Johnson got a single to move Gattis into scoring position, a single by Ryan Doumit and a double from Andrelton Simmons gave the Braves their first lead of the day, and an early lead at that.
Atlanta's lead lasted until the 4th inning, which is when Harang started off the top of the 4th by walking Anthony Rizzo. The next batter, Starlin Castro, hit a double that put both men into scoring position for Nate Schierholtz, who promptly delivered a liner to right field to bring both Rizzo and Castro home to tie the game.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, this turned out to be the only runs that they'd score for the day. Fortunately for the Braves, the scoring didn't end there, as they immediately took the lead back in the bottom of the fourth as Evan Gattis absolutely smacked a ball into the left field seats to give the Braves a 3-2 lead, and it was a lead that Atlanta would not relinquish.
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After Edwin Jackson left the game (with 6 IP, 6 Hs, 3 Ks, and 3 ERs), it was lefty James Russell's turn to try to hold down the fort for the Cubs. And just like they did in the previous two games, the Braves pounced on the Cubs bullpen late in the game, as Jason Heyward played wallball with the home team's bullpen for a 2-run homer to extend the Braves' lead to 3.
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In the 9th inning, David Carpenter came in and continued his excellent string of appearances by sitting down the Cubs 1-2-3 (including a sliding catch from B.J. Upton to rob Kalish to get the 27th out of the day) to end the game and complete the sweep of the Cubs for the Braves.
Atlanta is now 21-15 with the victory, and the sweep has propelled the Braves back into 1st place in the NL East, after that appalling run of form from the past 2 weeks saw them dip into 3rd place. Now, the Braves will head across the continent to San Francisco to face off with the NL West-leading Giants to begin a six-game road trip. But until then, this was a very nice way to bounce back from what could have been a potentially disastrous homestand for the boys with the tomahawks on their chests.
<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=904487&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2014-05-11&team=Braves&dh=0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width = "450" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/livewins.aspx?date=2014-05-11&team=Braves&dh=0&season=2014">FanGraphs</a></span>