For a team trying to find its footing after losing Jason Heyward to a broken jaw playing at home at Turner Field was a good place to start. The Braves opened a nine-game homestand Tuesday night with a 2-0 win over the Indians and re-established a little order with their second win in five games post-Heyward. The Braves have averaged only 2.4 runs per game since Heyward was hit in the face by a Jonathon Niese pitch and they were outhit 6-3 by the Indians on Tuesday night but the way rookie Alex Wood is pitching he doesn’t need much run support. The Braves won for the fourth time in five starts this month behind Wood who outlasted and outpitched the Indians’ up-and-comer Danny Salazar who is on a short leash and was out of the game after four innings and 77 pitches. Wood pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings and combined with Luis Ayala Scott Downs Luis Avilan and Craig Kimbrel for the Braves’ 11th shutout of the season. The save was Kimbrel’s 42nd. The Braves maintained a 13-game lead in the National League East with 31 games to play. Their magic number is 19. Some of the names have changed since early in the season — newly acquired Elliot Johnson supplied a two-run triple. So have the opponents — the Cleveland Indians dropped in for one last interleague series this season. But if the Braves have been consistent with anything this season it’s winning at home. They moved to 45-18 at Turner Field this season a majors’-best .714 winning percentage. The Indians are playing their first games at Turner Field since 2004 and Johnson played his first game there as a Brave on Tuesday night. Johnson promptly tripled in his first at-bat over right fielder Drew Stubbs’ head to drive in two runs and give the Braves a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Johnson was 2-for-his-previous-60 while with the Kansas City Royals. He has five hits as a Brave including his first for extra bases one game into his second series with the team. That 2-0 lead proved good enough for Wood who battled some command problems with a season-high four walks but worked through it as he has everything else this month. Wood is 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA (three earned runs in 30 innings) in five starts in August allowing one or no runs in each of them.
Braves open homestand with 2-0 win over Indians
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Aug 28