Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/15/13
The Braves and Phillies endured a one hour and 48 minute rain delay for the second time in three days and both watched players leave Wednesday’s game to knee injuries but it was the Braves who built up the biggest head start to overcome the adversity. That’s a pretty good microcosm of what the Braves have done all season. They got early momentum on the first leadoff home run of Jason Heyward’s career and three RBIs from Chris Johnson to build a five-run lead in the first two innings. Brandon Beachy had another solid outing four starts into his return from Tommy John surgery and the Braves won 6-3. Tyler Pastornicky left with a sprained left knee after colliding with Heyward in right field the day after he was called up to replace Dan Uggla who was put on the disabled list in preparation to undergo laser eye surgery. “I feel like it’s happened from the beginning for us this year me personally and as a group BMac not being here…” said Heyward referring to his April appendectomy and Brian McCann’s late start to the season following shoulder surgery. “…We’ve taken on all the challenges this year.” As unpredictable as the Braves injury situation has been the outcome is getting fairly routine. The Braves took two of three from the Phillies for their sixth straight series victory. They haven’t lost a series since dropping two of three in New York when Tim Hudson suffered a season-ending fractured ankle. The Braves have won 17 of 19 since including a 14-game winning streak. The Nationals have won five in a row but still sit 14 games back in the NL East. They can do no better than being 13 ½ games behind the Braves who are idle Thursday when they come to Turner Field for the weekend series. “We know what that feels like” Heyward said. “That’s why we’re doing our best to not let it have to come down to the end.” When Heyward collided with Pastornicky in the third inning knocking him out of the game shortly thereafter Beachy already had a 5-0 lead on John Lannan who’d left with his own knee injury after recording only four outs. When it looked like Beachy might be beginning to tire in the sixth inning giving up a two-run homer to Domonic Brown it was almost a footnote. Beachy gave up only those two runs in six innings and won his second straight start. His fastball touched 93 mph and sat in the 88-90 mph range and for the first time since his rocky return against Colorado he started throwing his slider again with regularity. “I felt pretty good early mixed things up re-introduced the slider a little bit made it something they had to at least respect” said Beachy now 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA. “Each time I felt like I’ve moved a little bit in the right direction.”
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