Braves Capture Sixth Straight Win Beating Twins, 8-3

Evan Gattis Gets First Grand Slam

Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Evan Gattis hitting at AT&T Field last summer against the Lookouts.
Evan Gattis hitting at AT&T Field last summer against the Lookouts.
- photo by Tim Evearitt

ATLANTA --- Evan Gattis certainly enjoyed circling the bases on his first career grand slam and 10th homer of the season, tops among Major League rookies, off Minnesota starter Vance Worley (1-5), which capped a five-run fourth inning and helped lift the Atlanta Braves to an 8-3 win -- their sixth in a row -- over the Twins on Wednesday afternoon at Turner Field.

The slam was set up by Gattis' ability to work the count on Worley, who threw only 55 of his 91 pitches for strikes, walked two batters and hit two others -- one of them Gattis an inning earlier.

The win completed a sweep of the Twins, capped a 6-0 homestand and allowed the Braves to raise their record to 15-5 at Turner Field, a Major League-leading .750 winning percentage at home. They'll enjoy an off-day Thursday then head to New York for a weekend series with the Mets.

The Twins dropped their eighth straight game. They'll open a series in Detroit on Thursday.

Given an 8-0 cushion, Atlanta starter Paul Maholm (6-4) settled in and kept the Twins, who rested All-Star catcher Joe Mauer, a career .800 hitter against Maholm (4-for-5), off-balance.

Maholm won his second straight start, putting victorious bookends on the homestand -- he won the opener against the Dodgers on Friday -- and continuing his stellar pitching at Turner Field, where he has a 1.69 ERA (four earned runs in 21 1/3 innings) in 2013, having allowed two or fewer runs in all three home starts.

Gattis credited Maholm's diverse repertoire, and especially his changeup, for his success Wednesday.

Maholm, who came in 0-1, with an 8.25 ERA in his lone start against Minnesota, was tough on the Twins, limiting them to one unearned run on seven hits over 7 1/3 innings, retiring nine in a row at one point. The only run he allowed came in the sixth, and was unearned. He struck out four and walked one, throwing 112 pitches, 74 for strikes.

It was a welcome performance for the Braves, whose bullpen needed a day to catch its collective breath.

The Braves took care of Worley, who allowed eight runs, all earned, on 10 hits, three of those leaving the yard. The eight runs were the most he's given up in his career, while the 3 2/3 innings marked his second-shortest start of the season. Minnesota optioned Worley to Triple-A Rochester after the game.

Atlanta continued its trend of scoring in the first inning, as Heyward had his first of two hits on the day, lining an RBI single to center to score center fielder Jordan Schafer, who'd led off with a walk and moved to second on a Ramiro Pena single. Heyward went toe-to-toe with Worley in the nine-pitch at-bat, fighting back from an 0-2 count then drilling a full-count fastball into center.

In the third inning, the Braves used Worley's inability to locate against him. Pena, starting at short as Andrelton Simmons got the day off, hit his second homer of the year, lining a 1-1 pitch over the wall in right. After Worley hit Heyward and Gattis with pitches, third baseman Chris Johnson singled to center, scoring Heyward to increase the lead to 3-0.

In the fourth, Upton blasted his fourth homer of the year, way out to left-center on a 3-2 pitch, then the Braves loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk, setting the stage for Gattis. The hero Tuesday night, when he hit a game-tying homer with two out in the ninth on an 0-1 pitch, Gattis worked the count to 3-0 then powered the next offering over the wall in right.

Cory Rasmus ended up finishing off the game, pitching out of a first-and-second, one-out jam in the eighth before allowing two runs on a pair of ninth-inning homers in his Major League debut. He allowed just the two hits, while striking out three and walking one in 1 2/3 innings.

Heyward, one of three Braves with at least two hits (Pena and Johnson also had two hits), had his second straight multihit game and his third of the homestand. The Braves right fielder is hitting .304 (7-for-23) since coming off the disabled list.

With a 6-0 homestand in the books, Atlanta heads to New York for three then to Toronto for two. It's a lot shorter road trip than the 10-day trips to which they've become accustomed.

----- Source: MLB.com


East Hamilton Tennis Defeats Bradley Friday

Hannah Dattilo improved to 11-0 on the season in singles as the East Hamilton girls tennis team defeated Bradley Central, 9-0, Friday at the Standifer Gap Courts, while the EH boys also won against the Bears, 8-1. The Duncan  sisters- Audrey and Haylee - posted singles wins as did brothers Nick and Noah Langley for the 'Canes.   East Hamilton Boys 8, Bradley Central ... (click for more)

Coach "Red" Etter Honored For 41 Years Of Coaching

The Baylor Red Raiders took time Friday evening to honor long-time coach, Gene Etter.  Coach Etter is retiring after 47 years at Baylor and 41 years as the head varsity baseball coach. He  joined the faculty in 1968 and became the head baseball coach in 1975. In addition to his baseball duties, Etter has taught math and computer science and served as ninth grade basketball ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Area Bracing For Possibility Of Strong Tornadoes

The Chattanooga area on Saturday was bracing for the possibility of strong tornadoes coming in from the West. The National Weather Service issued this Hazardous Weather Outlook: AN OUTBREAK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORM IS EXPECTED THIS EVENING AND EARLY TONIGHT ACROSS THE TENNESSEE VALLEY AND SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN REGION ALONG AND AHEAD OF A COLD FRONT. DANGEROUS DAMAGING WINDS ... (click for more)

State Attorney General Says City Council Cannot Make Taxis Not Registered In Hamilton County Go Through Emissions Testing

The state attorney general's office has ruled that the City Council cannot require that taxis not registered in Hamilton County go through emissions testing. The city is dealing with the new Uber taxi service that has an out-of-town owner. Locally-owned cabs have to go through the annual emissions testing. The opinion says that local taxi owners cannot get around the emissions ... (click for more)

The Heart Of A Teacher Makes A Difference - And Response (2)

In less than four weeks, I expect to be one of 216 graduating seniors from East Hamilton School. One could say all possible variables help a student rise to the highest levels in school; but a student is more than his environment or genetic code. He is a mixture of his own propensity and dedication to academics, coupled with a systemic team of mentors who give their all as a student’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Would Mr. Summers’ Clients…

It was a beautiful day at Orange Grove Friday as the nationally-famed center, which cares for over 1,000 intellectually disabled children of all ages, celebrated its annual “Lunch of Champions” with a packed house in the Bucky Williams Gymnasium. Jerry Summers, who insiders know has done more for Orange Grove than any other man alive, not only emceed the event as he does every year, ... (click for more)