Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/14/13
He won his fourth consecutive start retired 15 consecutive batters in one stretch cleanly fielded a scorched one-hop grounder between his knees and doubled to drive in a run. Yes it was quite a night for Braves pitcher Kris Medlen who did a little of everything in a 3-1 win against the Phillies at Turner Field the 18th in 22 games for the Braves. The right-hander allowed five hits and one run in seven-plus innings to even his record at 10-10 which might have seemed unlikely when he was 1-6 at the end of May. “He’s been awesome” said Chris Johnson whose two-run homer accounted for the Braves’ other runs. “Every one of these (starting pitchers) it seems like since Huddy (Tim Hudson) went down every time they go out there it’s like they’re trying to prove something. They’re doing an amazing job and us winning is because of them.” Jason Heyward and Justin Upton had a pair of hits apiece from the first two spots in the batting order for the Braves who evened the series at a game apiece and have split four games since they won the last of 14 consecutive games. “Just try to win games” Medlen said of his and the team’s mindset. “Try to get closer to the playoffs – not the Wild Card game; the division title. We’ve got our eyes on that and we’re pretty focused. We’ve got guys playing well.” Craig Kimbrel gave up a one-out single in the ninth before he retired the next two batters on a strikeout and a popped foul to convert his 37th save in 40 chances including 27 in a row. Brandon Beachy will face lefty John Lannan in Wednesday night’s series finale when the Braves will go for their sixth consecutive series win. Medlen improved to 4-0 with a 3.46 ERA in his past four starts and had five strikeouts with one walk to give him 23 strikeouts and four walks during his winning streak. He was 0-3 with an 8.59 ERA in three starts before that. “Outstanding. That’s a couple outings in a row now where he’s been nails” said manager Fredi Gonzalez who has seen Medlen’s mound demeanor change recently. “That goes hand in hand when you’re pitching well and getting results your confidence level is going to rise. But he has been really really good. Today I thought it was the best curveball I’ve seen in a while mixing his change-up fastball both sides of the plate. It was a well-pitched ballgame.” Medlen threw 63 strikes in 93 pitches and got a standing ovation when he was replaced after walking Erik Kratz to start the eighth inning. Gonzalez and pitching coach Roger McDowell had discussed it and decided that Medlen would probably stay in for another batter or two if he he’d gotten outs to start the inning.
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