Archive for Saturday, June 19, 2010

Braves gamble, slip past Royals

June 19, 2010

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— Chipper Jones doesn’t know what’s gotten into Braves manager Bobby Cox.

Two suicide squeeze bunts, and two big runs, in one week for Atlanta?

“I walked up to Bobby and put my hand on his forehead and asked him if he was feeling all right,” Jones said with a laugh. “It’s very uncharacteristic, but it’s a great call.”

Jones and pitcher Derek Lowe each drove in two runs, and Lowe won his third straight start at home in Atlanta’s 6-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.

The Braves, winners of three straight and five of six overall, improved to 22-7 at Turner Field. Atlanta has won 12 of its past 13 at home.

Kansas City has lost two of three.

Lowe (9-5) allowed six hits, three runs and two walks in 6 1-3 innings. He struck out three and drove in a pair of runs with a squeeze bunt in the second and an RBI single in the fourth.

Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his 13th save in 15 chances.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Braves are 29-0 this season, and the major leagues’ only unbeaten team, when scoring at least five runs.

Atlanta stayed one-half game ahead of the second-place New York Mets, who have won eight straight, in the National League East.

Lowe improved to 6-2 with 3.80 ERA in eight starts at Turner Field this year. He laid down a suicide squeeze bunt to score Eric Hinske in the second and added an RBI single in the fourth.

Brian Bannister (6-5) allowed seven hits, five runs and three walks in four innings. He struck out two.

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