In a rotation led by two big-name pitchers, little-known Jorge Sosa has emerged as one of Atlanta’s strongest starters.
Sosa looks to win his fifth straight start as the NL East-leading Braves wrap up a three-game series with the Florida Marlins at Turner Field.
Sosa allowed just two hits in 6 2-3 innings of Tuesday’s 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. The victory was his 13th of the season, tying him for second on the team with Tim Hudson and leaving him one behind John Smoltz.
“He just makes pitches when he has to,” Estrada said. “He’s got that slider that sometimes looks invisible to hitters, but they’ll swing at it. … We’ve been calling him Houdini all season long.”
Sosa, a converted outfielder, entered this season with a career record of 11-26. However, he is 10-3 in 18 starts and his 2.48 ERA as a starter is the best in Atlanta’s rotation.
“I thank this organization for giving me the opportunity to win 13 games,” Sosa said through an interpreter. “I can’t say anything bad about the Devil Rays, but it’s great to be here with a winning organization. I’m learning a lot from the veterans.”
“He’s got 13 wins,” Chipper Jones said. “That’s a difference maker with the amount of injuries we’ve had to our pitching staff this year. We were able to dip down in the bullpen and have him start—good start after good start, five, six, seven innings every time out, giving us a chance to win.”
The Braves beat the Marlins 6-1 on Saturday, trimming their magic number for clinching the East to three. Andruw Jones hit his major league-leading 51st homer, Jeff Francoeur, Rafael Furcal and Chipper Jones also went deep and Thomson earned his first win since May.
Miguel Cabrera scored the only run for Florida, which was eliminated from contention in the division. The Marlins, who have lost eight of 10, trail Houston by five games in the wild-card race with seven to play.
“We’re playing terrible,” Marlins outfielder Jeff Conine said. “It’s disheartening. You’re close to being in a race and playing terrible. It’s not very fun.”