A more than satisfactory end to the ROAD TRIP OF DEATH. The Braves’ lead over the Phillies actually grew by a half-game over the past eleven days; the Mets have crept to a game and a half out by beating up on the worst teams the majors offer and really aren’t that serious a threat.
The Braves jumped on top with four runs in the first. Heyward doubled in Conrad; McCann walked, then Glaus singled to score Heyward to make it 2-0. Hinske doubled (on a rocket that hit off the facade in right and would have been a homer anywhere else), scoring McCann, with Glaus scoring on a throwing error on the relay man. All the Braves’ other runs came via solo homers, one by Prado in the second, two by Glaus in the fifth and seventh. They did leave ten men on base, hit into a double play, and have a strikeout-throwout DP as well; with a little better timing, they could easily have scored ten runs.
They didn’t need that many, as Kris Medlen was generally outstanding except for one hiccup in the seventh. He allowed only four hits (the first of them not until the fifth) and struck out five, with just one walk. He was ahead of the hitters all day (with the exception of Mauer). His one problem was a three-run homer in the seventh that made the Twins a little hopeful, but he came back and shut them down in the eighth. Venters allowed a leadoff single walk in the ninth, but that was it. Now, a precious, precious off day in Atlanta.