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Atlanta at Milwaukee

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Atlanta (44-33) «4101000017140
Milwaukee (31-43)000040000490

McCann's slam ends Braves' scoreless drought in win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- The Atlanta Braves had gone 24 innings without a run when Brian McCann stepped to plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the first inning Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers.

McCann quickly put an end to the streak of futility when he hit a grand slam to left-center off Alfredo Figaro. Chris Johnson and Jordan Schafer added solo shots for the Braves, who went on to a 7-4 victory.

"I usually don't hit the home runs over that way, so I've been working hard to stay on the ball and today, luckily, I put a good enough swing on it to go out that way," McCann said.

Beaten 2-0 by the Brewers on Friday and Saturday, the Braves received a much needed offensive lift from McCann when he connected for his 10th career slam.

"That was big for us," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "If anything, to get ahead and get four runs and then tack on a couple later on and win the game was big. Games like this, they say hitting is contagious. Hopefully, it catches a couple of guys and keeps going."

Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez sprained his left shoulder when he fell awkwardly near the center-field wall while making a leaping catch of Andrelton Simmons' drive in the fourth. Gomez, hit in the left knee by an earlier pitch from Paul Maholm, immediately left the game clutching his shoulder.

Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said there is no immediate plan to put Gomez on the disabled list.

"Hopefully, it's not going to be too bad," Roenicke said. "It could be a couple days, it could be a week. We'll know more tomorrow when they take a look at him."

Gomez was confident he won't miss much time.

"I can move my shoulder. I don't think it will take a lot of time before I'm back to playing. In a few days, I'll be fine. Probably tomorrow I'll be a little bit sore. I felt my shoulder pop out and come back. I got lucky that it came back."

Gomez said he injured the shoulder when bracing himself as he fell near the outfield wall.

"When I jumped I expected that the wall was (closer) to me," he explained. "When I jumped I stayed in the air for a long time. I thought I was going to hurt my head and my neck."

He said the team's medical staff told him an MRI isn't necessary at this point.

Gomez also was sporting a bruise on his knee from being hit by a pitch.

"I think my knee hurt more than my shoulder," he said. "There's a little bruise. It's right on the bone."

Gomez broke his left clavicle in a game at Arizona in 2011. He is hitting .312 with 12 home runs, 37 RBI and 15 stolen bases.

Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy said he was relieved to hear about the initial prognosis Sunday.

"I thought he broke his collarbone again. They showed the replay on it and it looked terrible," Lucroy said. "I'm glad to hear that it's just a sprain. He's a big stick and an important part of our team and our lineup."

The Braves, who lead the NL East despite getting shut out a major league-high 11 times this season, snapped an eight-game losing streak at Miller Park dating to April 2011.

McCann reached base safely four times in five trips to the plate.

Johnson led off the second with an opposite-field homer to right field. A leadoff drive by Schafer in the fourth extended the lead to 6-0.

Schafer had four hits in five at-bats, including a double.

"That's what he can do for you -- give you that spark," Gonzalez said. "You can pretty much put him in any of those positions in the outfield and he's a plus defender. He can beat you with his legs or hit one out of the ballpark like he did today."

McCann also offered high praise for Schafer's performance.

"I can't say enough good things about that guy," McCann said. "He comes back here for his second stint and I think he's understanding what he can and can't do on a baseball field. He's staying within himself and you're seeing this guy has got tools and we're starting to see them on a nightly basis."

Milwaukee scored four times off Maholm in the fifth. Logan Schafer's one-out single drove in two. Lucroy followed with a two-run homer to straightaway center.

Atlanta added a run in the ninth on Dan Uggla's RBI single.

Five Braves relievers held Milwaukee scoreless over the final four innings. Craig Kimbrel earned his 21st save in 24 attempts.

The Brewers loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh but pinch-hitter Juan Francisco, acquired in a trade with Atlanta this month, popped out in foul territory to end the threat.

Maholm (8-6) entered 3-11 with a 5.12 ERA against the Brewers and had lost six consecutive decisions to them over eight starts. His last win against Brewers came in 2009.

This time, he gave up four runs and eight hits over five innings while walking one and striking out three.

"The offense was the big thing today," Maholm said. "I pitched well for four innings and then gave up some runs, but it's good for the team to leave here with a win."

Figaro (1-2) lasted 3 1/3 innings, giving up nine hits and six runs. He struck out four and walked three.

It marked the second consecutive poor outing by Figaro, who allowed four earned runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings of a 10-1 loss at Houston on Tuesday.

"He wasn't locating his pitches," Roenicke said. "He was up in the zone with his fastball and couldn't command the off-speed pitches. He can't pitch that way."

Notes

  • In recognition of Polish Heritage Day, Milwaukee sported red caps and white jerseys with red accents and blue and gold lettering with the name Piwowarzy, which means Brewers in Polish, across the front.
  • Milwaukee 3B Aramis Ramirez was given a day off to rest a balky knee. Jeff Bianchi started in his place.
  • OF Justin Upton was out of the Braves' lineup again with an injured right hand.
  • Milwaukee 2B Rickie Weeks has a hit in 16 consecutive starts.
  • The Braves travel to Kansas City for a two-game series that begins Tuesday, marking the first meeting between the teams at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals are the only team the Braves have yet to visit since the start of interleague play in 1997.
 
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Brian McCann slugs a first-inning grand slam to end the Braves' 24-inning scoreless streak in a win over Milwaukee. (USATSI)
Brian McCann slugs a first-inning grand slam to end the Braves' 24-inning scoreless streak in a win over Milwaukee. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

B. McCann
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 4
Milwaukee

J. Lucroy
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jordan Schafer, LF5241000 .313
Andrelton Simmons, SS5120001 .247
Jason Heyward, RF5010023 .211
Freddie Freeman, 1B4100113 .304
B.J. Upton, CF3100226 .175
Brian McCann, C4134000 .246
Dan Uggla, 2B5021031 .195
Chris Johnson, 3B3121101 .320
    Paul Janish, 3B1000002 .000
Paul Maholm, P3000024 .139
    Reed Johnson, PH1000001 .232
    Tyler Pastornicky, PH1000012 .286
Totals407147411  
a-lined out for Avilan in the 7th
b-struck out for Walden in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jordan Schafer (5, Figaro), Dan Uggla (4, Figaro)
HR - Jordan Schafer (3, Figaro), Brian McCann (8, Figaro), Chris Johnson (5, Figaro)
RBI - Jordan Schafer (13), Brian McCann 4 (21), Dan Uggla (28), Chris Johnson (22)
2-OUT RBI - Brian McCann 4 (8)
SB - Jordan Schafer (8, 2nd base off Figaro/Lucroy)
CS - B.J. Upton (4, 2nd base by Figaro/Lucroy)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Simmons-Freeman
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Paul Maholm (W,8-6) 5844131 3.75
Luis Avilan (H,12) 1000010 1.78
Anthony Varvaro (H,4) 0.2100010 3.08
Cory Gearrin 0000200 3.30
Jordan Walden (H,4) 1.1000010 2.70
Craig Kimbrel (S,21) 1000020 1.59
HBP - Gomez (by Paul Maholm)
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 90-57, Luis Avilan 12-9, Anthony Varvaro 12-9, Cory Gearrin 11-3, Jordan Walden 11-7, Craig Kimbrel 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 7-4, Luis Avilan 1-1, Anthony Varvaro 1-0
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 24, Luis Avilan 3, Anthony Varvaro 3, Cory Gearrin 2, Jordan Walden 4, Craig Kimbrel 3
Milwaukee Brewers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Norichika Aoki, RF5100011 .291
Jean Segura, SS5120010 .336
Carlos Gomez, CF1000000 .313
    Logan Schafer, CF3112010 .228
Jonathan Lucroy, C3122111 .279
Rickie Weeks, 2B3010111 .221
Yuniesky Betancourt, 1B3000002 .205
    Juan Francisco, PH-1B1000003 .216
Jeff Bianchi, 3B4020010 .258
Caleb Gindl, LF3000102 .111
Alfredo Figaro, P1000012 .300
    Tom Gorzelanny, P1010000 .500
    Martin Maldonado, PH1000010 .178
    Scooter Gennett, PH1000000 .225
Totals3549438  
a-fouled out for Betancourt in the 7th
b-struck out for Gorzelanny in the 6th
c-popped out for Gonzalez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jean Segura (8, Maholm)
HR - Jonathan Lucroy (8, Maholm)
RBI - Logan Schafer 2 (9), Jonathan Lucroy 2 (40)
SB - Jean Segura (23, 2nd base off Varvaro/McCann), Carlos Gomez (15, 2nd base off Maholm/McCann), Jeff Bianchi (1, 2nd base off Maholm/McCann)
Team LOB - 8
Milwaukee Brewers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Alfredo Figaro (L,1-2) 3.1966343 4.64
Tom Gorzelanny 2.2300040 2.56
Brandon Kintzler 1000010 4.03
Mike Gonzalez 1000010 3.46
Jim Henderson 1211110 2.03
IBB - Johnson by Alfredo Figaro
HBP - McCann (by Brandon Kintzler)
Pitches-Strikes - Alfredo Figaro 75-49, Tom Gorzelanny 45-32, Brandon Kintzler 19-12, Mike Gonzalez 11-6, Jim Henderson 23-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alfredo Figaro 2-3, Tom Gorzelanny 1-3
Batters Faced - Alfredo Figaro 21, Tom Gorzelanny 11, Brandon Kintzler 4, Mike Gonzalez 3, Jim Henderson 6
Game Information
Attendance - 41221
Game Time - 3:22
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Manny Gonzalez, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Brian Gorman, Third Base - Larry Vanover