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Cleveland at Atlanta

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Cleveland (71-62)000000010170
Atlanta (81-52) «00300000x380

McCann leads Braves past Indians for series sweep

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- There's no way Kris Medlen could live up to the expectations he set last season.

The Atlanta Braves have no complaints.

It looks as if he's ready to be a major contributor in the postseason.

Medlen pitched seven scoreless innings, Brian McCann hit a three-run homer and Atlanta completed a sweep of the Cleveland Indians with a 3-1 victory Thursday night.

"I'm being aggressive," said Medlen, who relied heavily on his fastball in the early innings. "Hopefully, I can keep it going through September and October."

McCann went deep in the third after Justin Upton kept the inning going with a two-out single. Upton had to leave the game in the sixth after being struck on the left hand by a pitch, but X-rays were negative. He is day to day.

Medlen (11-12) capped a series of dominant pitching by the Braves, who surrendered just three runs in three games and maintained a commanding 13-game lead in the NL East. David Carpenter gave up a pinch-hit homer to Lonnie Chisenhall in the eighth, but Craig Kimbrel worked a scoreless ninth for his 43rd save in 46 chances.

"We've been getting good pitching all season long," McCann said. "That's why we're in the position we're in."

Medlen hasn't matched what he did the final two months of 2012, when he joined the rotation, made a dozen starts and went 9-0 with a 0.97 ERA. But manager Fredi Gonzalez likes what he sees.

"People were expecting him to do the same thing," Gonzalez said. "That's just a fantasy."

Ubaldo Jimenez (9-9) took the loss. He pitched seven strong innings, but one big mistake cost him. McCann launched his 19th homer of the season about 10 rows back in the right-field seats, giving the Braves all the runs they would need for their fourth straight victory.

The only good news for the Indians: They didn't lose any ground in the AL wild-card race, remaining four games back of Oakland. The A's lost 7-6 at Detroit.

"Really, the whole series was their ability to get a big hit and we didn't," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "Low-scoring games and they were able to find a way to get a big hit and we didn't."

Medlen surrendered six hits in snapping a two-game losing streak, taking advantage of a team that is struggling offensively in what could be a crucial stretch of its season. The Indians have scored more than three runs only once in the last seven games as they prepare for upcoming series against AL Central-leading Detroit and playoff contender Baltimore.

Cleveland didn't get more than one runner aboard in any inning until the seventh, when Carlos Santana led off with a single and Yan Gomes reached on a hit with one out. The threat fizzled as Asdrubal Cabrera flied out to center and Mike Aviles lined out to right.

"When you're not knocking the ball all over the ballpark, then getting key hits is huge," Francona said. "We haven't been able to."

With the Cleveland offense posing little threat, the biggest scare for the Braves came in the sixth when Upton was plunked on the left hand by a 92 mph fastball from Jimenez.

As Upton walked off the field, there was a sense of dread at Turner Field. Just eight days earlier, outfielder Jason Heyward was struck in the face by a pitch against the New York Mets, leaving him with a broken jaw that required surgery. He could miss the rest of the regular season, though Heyward hopes to return in time for the playoffs.

Upton's injury was not nearly as serious, it turned out, the Braves finally catching a break in what has been an injury plagued season.

"That's a fragile area," said Upton, his hand wrapped after the game. "It was definitely a little bit scary."

Gonzalez said he'll probably sit Upton on Friday as a precaution and "go from there."

Notes

The Indians released RHP Brett Myers from his contract. After signing a $7 million contract, he went 0-3 with an 8.02 ERA before going on the disabled list April 20. He didn't pitch again for the Indians, but hopes to catch on with another team for the final month. ... Chisenhall's drive off Carpenter was the first pinch-hit homer of his career. ... The Braves begin a three-game home series against Miami on Friday, with Julio Teheran (10-7) facing Jose Fernandez (10-5). ... Zach McAllister (7-7) will go for the Indians against Detroit's Rick Porcello (10-7) in the opener of that series.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Brian McCann goes deep in the third for his 19th homer of the season. His slugging percentage is a robust .507. (USATSI)
Brian McCann goes deep in the third for his 19th homer of the season. His slugging percentage is a robust .507. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

B. McCann
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Cleveland

U. Jimenez
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 3
BB 0
K 10
 
Cleveland Indians
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Bourn, CF4010010 .268
Nick Swisher, RF4000031 .242
Jason Kipnis, 2B3010100 .285
Carlos Santana, 1B4010012 .265
Michael Brantley, LF4010001 .273
Yan Gomes, C4010000 .288
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS4010002 .241
Mike Aviles, 3B3000003 .262
Ubaldo Jimenez, P2000021 .000
   a-Lonnie Chisenhall, PH1111000 .220
Totals3317117  
a-homered for Jimenez in the 8th
Batting
HR - Lonnie Chisenhall (8, Carpenter)
RBI - Lonnie Chisenhall (29)
SB - Michael Bourn (20, 2nd base off Medlen/McCann), Jason Kipnis (24, 2nd base off Carpenter/McCann)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Aviles-Kipnis-Santana
Cleveland Indians
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ubaldo Jimenez (L,9-9) 77330101 3.95
Rich Hill 0.1100000 5.97
Cody Allen 0.2000010 2.17
HBP - Upton (by Ubaldo Jimenez)
Pitches-Strikes - Ubaldo Jimenez 104-72, Rich Hill 4-3, Cody Allen 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ubaldo Jimenez 6-4
Batters Faced - Ubaldo Jimenez 28, Rich Hill 2, Cody Allen 2
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jordan Schafer, RF4000042 .269
Justin Upton, LF2120000 .265
   Freddie Freeman, PR-1B1000000 .308
Brian McCann, C4123002 .276
Chris Johnson, 3B4010002 .329
Joe Terdoslavich, 1B-LF3000021 .266
   Elliot Johnson, LF1000011 .187
Dan Uggla, 2B3000020 .185
B.J. Upton, CF3010010 .185
Andrelton Simmons, SS3020001 .250
Kris Medlen, P2100010 .200
   a-Gerald Laird, PH1000001 .286
Totals31383011  
a-flied out for Medlen in the 7th
Batting
2B - Chris Johnson (27, Jimenez), Andrelton Simmons 2 (21, Jimenez)
HR - Brian McCann (19, Jimenez)
RBI - Brian McCann 3 (50)
2-OUT RBI - Brian McCann 3 (19)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jordan Schafer 1
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kris Medlen (W,11-12) 7600060 3.58
David Carpenter (H,7) 1111111 2.09
Craig Kimbrel (S,43) 1000000 0.97
Pitches-Strikes - Kris Medlen 96-65, David Carpenter 26-15, Craig Kimbrel 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kris Medlen 4-10, David Carpenter 1-1, Craig Kimbrel 3-0
Batters Faced - Kris Medlen 26, David Carpenter 5, Craig Kimbrel 3
Game Information
Attendance - 22081
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 88
Umpires - Home - Jeff Nelson, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - Jim Joyce