Now, that was fun. The Braves’ first three hitters (Furcal, DeRosa, Sheffield) of the game all homered — only the second time in major league history a team has done that — and Javy homered later in the first to knock out Reds starter Jeff Austin. By the end of the game, the Braves had put up fifteen and gotten an easy win after the last two games’ nailbiters.
Furcal homered in the second as well, giving him eight homers on the season. That’s as many as Chipper. Rafael is now, unbelievably, tied for the NL lead in total bases and slugging .565. Where did that come from? The next person who says he should hit the ball on the ground and use his speed gets slapped. He wound up 3-4 with a walk and scored four runs.
This time, the only Braves starter not to get a hit was Andruw, who’s stuck on 999. Even Matt Franco, who came off the bench after the Braves went up 11-0, went 3-3.
Russ Ortiz had a good night — hey, the pressure was off — going six and allowing two runs on just three hits. Jung Bong got a three-inning save, allowing the rest of the pen a night off. He allowed one run on one hit.
The Braves are now 3 1/2 up on Montreal with the Marlins trying to sweep a doubleheader from the Expos, leading 2-0 after five as I write. The Phillies are now 7 1/2 back. Tomorrow is a travel day before the Braves visit the Mets for three.