Coming off a series win over the Marlins at home, the Braves stayed at Turner Field to open up a series with the Mets starting Monday night on ESPN.
Jair Jurrjens took the mound for the Braves looking to make up for his poor start in his last outing against the Rockies that led to the Braves colossal collapse where they blew a 10-1 lead at Coors Field.
He struggled once again against the Mets. He had to work his way out of a lot of jams on Monday night by walking six batters over 5.2 innings. His final line was:
5.2 IP 6 H 3 R 6 BB 8 SO
The good news for Jurrjens was that the Braves were on their game offensively. They got off to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to RBI from Martin Prado on a groundout and Derrek Lee on a single.
The Mets evened the score in the 2nd inning before Jason Heyward gave the Braves the lead back in the bottom of the 2nd. With two outs, Jair Jurrjens and Omar Infante singled to keep the inning alive. Heyward came to the plate and belted his 16th HR of the season; a three run bomb that gave Atlanta a 5-2 lead.
Jurrjens gritted it out until the sixth inning where he allowed one more run before being taken out in favor of Eric O’Flaherty with the bases chocked full of Mets. O’Flaherty got out of the bases loaded jam to keep the game 5-3 in favor of the Braves.
The Braves put the game away in the 6th with an RBI single by Jason Heyward, his 4th RBI of the game, and a two RBI single by Martin Prado to put the Braves up 8-3. The Braves added one more run with a solo HR from Brian McCann in the 7th inning.
The Braves bullpen closed the door on the Mets with scoreless efforts from Eric O’Flaherty, Kyle Farnsworth, and Billy Wagner to give the Braves a 9-3 victory – their third straight win after dropping four in a row.
With the Phillies dropping their series opener against the Dodgers, the Braves have now extended their NL East lead to three games.
The rosters expanded to forty today and that means that guys like Freddie Freeman, Mike Dunn, and Scott Proctor will all be on their way up to the big league team.
It’s about time Freddie Freeman got the call up. I’ve been calling for the Braves to do this since Glaus started struggling badly in July. Here are Freeman’s numbers in Gwinnett this season:
124 Games .319 BA 18 HR 87 RBI .398 OBP .898 OPS
He is the future at first base for the Braves and should see some playing time when Derrek Lee gets the day off.
Along with some fresh faces, some old ones are making their way back to Atlanta. Nate McLouth is back on the roster and Troy Glaus will be activated from the disabled list on Thursday.
The Braves will take on the Mets in the second game of their series tonight. Rookie left-hander Mike Minor will make his fourth career start against Jonathan Niese of the Mets. Minor is 2-0 with a 4.00 ERA in his three starts this season and he has looked impressive in his first three this season.
Hopefully he keeps it up on Tuesday and the Braves offense does the same allowing them to clinch a series win over the Mets tonight.