Before Thursday night Kris Medlen had won every start when the Braves scored at least three runs while he was in the game and he also had won six consecutive starts — home or road — when he got that much support. Brian McCann got three for him with one swing in the third inning against Cleveland a three-run homer that powered the Braves and Medlen to a 3-1 win for a three-game series sweep of the Indians at Turner Field. Medlen (11-12) held the Indians to six hits and no walks with six strikeouts in seven scoreless innings and the Braves trimmed their magic number to clinch the National League East division to 17 while improving their majors-best records to 81-52 overall and 47-18 at home. Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth inning for his majors-leading 43rd save and 33rd in a row without a blown save. “We’ve been getting pitching all season long” said McCann whose 19th homer came on a slider from Ubaldo Jimenez. “That’s the reason we’re in the position we’re in. We’ve got five guys going out every night and giving us quality starts. That’s all you need to do. You hand it over to our bullpen and let them do their thing that’s been the recipe for success over the past couple of weeks.” Any combination of Braves wins and Nationals losses totaling 17 will give the Braves their first division title since 2005. They’ve won four in a row and have six games left against the Marlins and Mets on a nine-game homestand with Miami up next beginning Friday night. “Medlen was terrific he really was” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “Three-run homer by McCann and we held on played good defense and we pitched good. Kimbrel I don’t think he gave up a baserunner in this series. That’s a good combination.” The Braves’ 12 series sweeps this season include eight at Turner Field this latest against a Cleveland team that was four games out in the American League wild-card race before Thursday and in second place in the AL Central 5-1/2 games behind Detroit. “It was huge” Medlen said of the win and sweep. “I mean they were pretty close games so it’s not like we blew them out of the water. But B-Mac today capitalizes on a mistake pitch and we had to take advantage of that I had to take advantage of that and keep putting zeroes up. The defense played great behind me.” Justin Upton left the game after being hit in the back of his left hand by a 92-mph Jimenez fastball with two out in the fifth inning. X-rays were negative and Upton was diagnosed with a bruise and listed as day-to-day.
McCann’s 3-run HR lifts Medlen, Braves to 3-1 win and sweep of Indians
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Aug 30