Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/4/13
Just when it looked as if one mistake pitch might be too much for Kris Medlen and the Braves to overcome Tuesday night Evan Gattis and Andrelton Simmons stepped up and demonstrated again the resuscitative powers of the home run. After Gattis hit a tying solo homer in the seventh inning Simmons hit a no-doubt-about-it two-run shot two batters later to lift the Braves to a 3-1 win against the New York Mets at Turner Field and reduce their magic number to 10 to clinch the National League East title. “He left one right down Main Street and I got all of it” Simmons said of his 13th home run and first since July 25. “I think that’s the furthest one I’ve ever hit. Especially to left-center.” The win was the eighth in nine games for the Braves and their 20th in 24 home games. Any combination of Braves wins and Washington Nationals losses totaling 10 will give the Braves their first division title since 2005. Medlen (12-12) continued his recent impressive run allowing seven hits and one run in seven innings with no walks and nine strikeouts and Craig Kimbrel had two strikeouts in the ninth inning for his majors-leading 44th save and 34th in a row without a blown save. “The way our offense has been going you just find a way to hang in there and they always find a way to have big innings” Medlen said. “No different today. Simba and Gat did a huge thing for myself and for the team.” Gattis had three hits and long-slumping B.J. Upton had his second consecutive two-hit game for the Braves making him 11-for-25 on the homestand and lifting his average to .200 for the first time all season. The home run by Gattis ended a drought of 70 at-bats since his last one July 24 and capped a resounding return for the big rookie in his first game back after being sent to Triple-A Gwinnett for what amounted to a three-game tuneup. “I felt fixed before leaving” said Gattis who had six hits including three doubles and homer at Gwinnett. “It’s good to go there and really kind of put it in action. And from there yeah definitely good to have a good night here – first one (back) especially.” Gattis hit only .169 with two extra-base hits (doubles) in his past 20 games and had barely gotten off the bench in the past week. He was baseball’s most dangerous pinch-hitter in the early season and the Braves wanted to get his bat going again as they entered the final month of the regular season.
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