Braves 1, Phillies 0

Guy Curtright, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


ATLANTA -- Kris Medlen showed why he is in line to pitch the opener for the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series and Chris Johnson made sure that the gem wasn't wasted Friday night.
Johnson broke up the duel between Medlen and Cliff Lee by hitting a homer leading off the eighth inning, and the Braves defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 1-0 before a crowd of 38,711 at Turner Field.
Lee, who struck out 13, had retired 16 straight batters before Johnson connected on an 0-2 slider for his 12th homer. Craig Kimbrel then pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts for his 50th save.
Medlen (15-12) allowed two hits, walked two and struck out seven in eight innings to win his fifth straight decision. He allowed just one batter over the minimum.
Lee (14-8) gave up three hits and didn't walk a batter in taking the hard-luck loss.
Cesar Hernandez broke up Medlen's no-hit bid with two outs in the sixth inning, just beating out a slow roller that third baseman Johnson barehanded and threw late on. Hernandez then tried to steal second, but was thrown out by Evan Gattis.
Chase Utley had a single to left field with one out in the seventh innings, but Carlos Ruiz followed by grounding into a double play.
Lee struck out the side in the fourth and fifth innings, and reached double figures for the fifth time with the first of his strikeouts in the sixth inning.
Lee struck out 14 - the second most in his career -- over eight innings in a victory over the Miami Marlins on Sept. 16. He fanned 16 over seven innings against the Braves in a 5-0 loss on May 6, 2011.
Medlen walked Ruiz leading off the second inning and Utley with two outs in the fourth, both on 3-2 pitches. Medlen induced a double play in the second, though, and Ruiz struck out after Utley's walk.
Lee allowed singles to Freddie Freeman and Andrelton Simmons in the second inning before striking out Dan Uggla to end the threat with runners on the corners.
Lee came in with a 6-2 record and a 1.65 ERA in his past nine starts against the Braves, with 67 strikeouts and five walks in 65 1/3 innings. On Sept. 6, he struck out 10 and walked none in eight innings while allowing two hits in a 2-1 win at Atlanta.
NOTES: C Brian McCann will sit out the remainder of the series against the Phillies with a right adductor strain, but the Braves are optimistic that he will be ready for the playoffs. "I think we dodged a bullet," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. McCann felt a twinge warming up starting pitcher David Hale on Thursday and left in the second inning after one at-bat. "I was hoping it would get better and it didn't," said McCann, who is hitting .256 with 20 homers and 57 RBIs in 102 games. "I've never had a groin problem at any time in my life." ... RHP Jordan Walden hasn't pitched since Sept. 17 because of shoulder issues and is in danger of not being a part of the Braves' bullpen for the postseason. Walden, who is 4-3 with a 3.30 ERA in 49 games, missed three weeks with groin issues and then struggled in three games after his return. ... LHP Mike Minor (13-8, 3.22 ERA) will try to break a three-game losing streak as he faces the Phillies on Saturday night. He is in line to start the second game of the NL Division Series for the Braves.

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