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Braves can't find key hits in 3-2 loss to Yankees

Associated Press Published: June 13, 2012

ATLANTA (AP) — Inning after inning, the Atlanta Braves had their chances to avoid being swept by the Yankees.

Time after time, the Braves couldn't find the key hit.

The Braves left 13 runners on base as Curtis Granderson hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth inning to lead the streaking New York Yankees past Atlanta 3-2 on Wednesday night to complete the three-game sweep.

The Braves, who outhit the Yankees 12-7, wasted repeated scoring chances.

With runners on first and third in the eighth, Martin Prado hit into an inning-ending double play against Cody Eppley. The Braves went 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position.

"We just couldn't get anybody in from third base," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. "I think we left a guy on base every inning. It's tough to pitch that way."

The Braves also left runners in scoring position in the second, third, fourth and seventh innings. They broke through against Kuroda only in the fifth, when Brian McCann's two-run homer drove in Prado, who singled.

"Every game was close," McCann said. "It just seemed like we didn't get that big hit to break open the game.

"One of the best teams in the game and we know we can hang with them and we know we can compete and we know we can beat them. We played good," McCann added. "It's just they came out on top."

The Yankees, now 9-2 at Turner Field, have won all four regular-season series in Atlanta. Including the 1996 and 1999 World Series championships over the Braves, New York has won 14 of its last 16 games in Atlanta.

McCann pulled a 2-2 pitch from Hiroki Kuroda about 15 rows deep into the right field seats for his eighth homer, giving Atlanta a 2-1 lead.

Tim Hudson (4-3) gave up the lead before he could record an out in the sixth. Derek Jeter led off with a single. Granderson followed with his homer, a high flyball that stayed fair as it landed inside the pole and well beyond the reach of a leaping right fielder Jason Heyward, giving the Yankees a 3-2 lead.

Hudson said the pitcher Granderson hit for a homer was "a cutter that didn't cut."

"It was frustrating, this series," Hudson said, referring to Tuesday night's loss when the Braves blew a 4-0 lead in losing 6-4.

"Last night I thought we were on the verge of breaking it open big all night and that didn't happen. And tonight, we got the big home from McCann and then I let them get back in it with a homer."

Kuroda (6-6) gave up two runs on nine hits and two walks in six innings. He set a season high with eight strikeouts.

Kuroda has won three straight decisions, giving up a combined four runs in four starts in that span after he won only three of his first nine decisions.

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