With 10 straight wins, all is rosy in Atlanta
McCann, a six-time All-Star who’s recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, might take a little longer, but while he and Freeman are rehabbing, the Braves are getting big numbers from Evan Gattis, Chris Johnson and Francisco.
“It’s fun when you can do that,” Upton said. “But our goal is to go out and play good baseball every night, pitch well, play good defense, put together good at-bats, and we’ve been able to do that so far.”
Atlanta’s 10-game winning streak is its longest since the club won 15 straight from April 15-May 2, 2000. At 12-1, the Braves are off to their best start since they began the 1994 season 13-1.
After Francisco walked to chase Herrera, Johnson followed with an RBI single off Aaron Crow that scored pinch-runner Jordan Schafer from second. All four runs were charged to Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera.
Luis Avilan recorded the first out of the ninth before injuring his left hamstring. Avilan limped slowly off the field with the help of trainer Jim Lovell and Gonzalez before getting carted off the field.
Kimbrel finished off the Royals by striking out pinch-hitter Billy Butler, giving up an RBI single to Alex Gordon and retiring Alcides Escobar on a groundout in a non-save situation.
Kris Medlen, who was trying to improve to 17-3 in his career as a starter, allowed six hits and two runs _ one earned _ with no walks and five strikeouts in seven innings.
On Wednesday, Minor will make his third start. The left-hander, the seventh overall draft pick in 2009, is 2-0 with a 0.85 ERA in 13 innings this year.
“Any time you can do like our pitching staff did and hold us in the game and keep it close and give us a chance to win it late, that fires us up and makes us want to go out and get a good ballgame for them,” Justin Upton said. “Kris did a great job tonight and kept them (mostly) off the board and gave us a chance.”