Medlen, McCann lead Braves past Indians 3-1

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 29, 2013 at 9:56 pm •  Published: August 29, 2013
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ATLANTA (AP) — There's no way Kris Medlen could live up to the expectations he set last season.

The Atlanta Braves have no complaints.

It looks as if he's ready to be a major contributor in the postseason.

Medlen pitched seven scoreless innings, Brian McCann hit a three-run homer and Atlanta completed a sweep of the Cleveland Indians with a 3-1 victory Thursday night.

"I'm being aggressive," said Medlen, who relied heavily on his fastball in the early innings. "Hopefully, I can keep it going through September and October."

McCann went deep in the third after Justin Upton kept the inning going with a two-out single. Upton had to leave the game in the sixth after being struck on the left hand by a pitch, but X-rays were negative. He is day to day.

Medlen (11-12) capped a series of dominant pitching by the Braves, who surrendered just three runs in three games and maintained a commanding 13-game lead in the NL East. David Carpenter gave up a pinch-hit homer to Lonnie Chisenhall in the eighth, but Craig Kimbrel worked a scoreless ninth for his 43rd save in 46 chances.

"We've been getting good pitching all season long," McCann said. "That's why we're in the position we're in."

Medlen hasn't matched what he did the final two months of 2012, when he joined the rotation, made a dozen starts and went 9-0 with a 0.97 ERA. But manager Fredi Gonzalez likes what he sees.

"People were expecting him to do the same thing," Gonzalez said. "That's just a fantasy."

Ubaldo Jimenez (9-9) took the loss. He pitched seven strong innings, but one big mistake cost him. McCann launched his 19th homer of the season about 10 rows back in the right-field seats, giving the Braves all the runs they would need for their fourth straight victory.

The only good news for the Indians: They didn't lose any ground in the AL wild-card race, remaining four games back of Oakland. The A's lost 7-6 at Detroit.

"Really, the whole series was their ability to get a big hit and we didn't," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "Low-scoring games and they were able to find a way to get a big hit and we didn't."

Medlen surrendered six hits in snapping a two-game losing streak, taking advantage of a team that is struggling offensively in what could be a crucial stretch of its season. The Indians have scored more than three runs only once in the last seven games as they prepare for upcoming series against AL Central-leading Detroit and playoff contender Baltimore.

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