Atlanta had an opportunity to build off of a 4-2 week and continue to inch closer to the .500 mark on the season.
The Braves began the week with a four-game set against the struggling Giants. R.A Dickey pitched seven scoreless innings in the opener, and the Braves broke the game open with a seven-run eighth inning, in a dominant 9-0 victory.
The second game of the series was headed in similar fashion until Austin Slater’s late game heroics stole a victory away from Julio Teheran. Teheran, who had pitched flawlessly through seven innings, found himself in trouble for the first time in the ball game, and Austin Slater made him pay with a go ahead three-run homer. The Giants would tack on two more in the inning on their way to a 6-3 victory.
San Francisco was able to battle back again in game three, scoring a run in both the 8th and 9th innings to send the game to extra innings. After a couple of scoreless frames, Kemp send the few Braves fans that stayed through the rain delay and the extra baseball happy with a walk-off home run over the right field wall.
The Braves would power their way to a series win in the finale with four home-runs. One of those homers belonged to Matt Adams, his third of the series. Lane Adams also added a home-run, the first of his career. An eight-run fifth inning was just enough to push the Braves past yet another late-inning rally, 12-11.
Atlanta welcomed the Brewers to town for a weekend series, and began it the right way with a 5-4 victory. Once again, the Braves bullpen nearly blew the lead. Jose Ramirez allowed a two-run homer in the bottom of the eight, but Vizcaino was able to close the door in the ninth.
They followed that performance up with another victory on the back of R.A Dickey for the second time of the week. Dickey went seven again and gave up just a lone run in the first inning. A Brandon Phillips two-run homer was all the Braves needed to win their fourth consecutive game, 3-1.
That set up the Braves ace Julio Teheran with the perfect opportunity to cap off a terrific week. He started Sunday’s series finale against the Brewers to give the Braves a series sweep and their fifth win in a row. Unfortunately, Teheran’s home struggles continued, as he pitched awfully, giving up six runs in just three innings pitched. Atlanta’s red-hot offense didn’t help either. They were shut out in the loss, 7-0.
Despite a sour ending to the week, the Braves continued their solid work at home, finishing their 10-game homestand 7-3. They finished their week 5-2, and there are real signs of this team coming around. The lineup is a real force, even without Freeman in the middle of it. Braves fans should be excited, as his return is just around the corner. If Atlanta can continue their winning ways, there is no telling how good this team could be in the second half of the season.
Player of the Week
Brandon Phillips has been everything the Braves could have asked for since acquiring him this offseason. The always smiling Phillips was the hero of last week with two consecutive walk-offs, and had an even more impressive week this week showing off his power. Phillips had three home-runs bringing his total to seven on the season. He also added two doubles and three singles, while providing his always stellar defense at second base. Dat Dude has been a real pleasure to have on the ball club this season, and it does not look like he has lost a step since his all-star days with the Reds.