The Atlanta Braves did things a little differently on Thursday night to secure a 6-3 win over the San Francisco Giants. The Braves put together a four-run rally in the fifth inning by virtue of station-to-station baseball rather than the long ball.
It’s only the second time the Braves have pulled off that feat in 2013, with the other time being a 10-2 blowout win at the hitter-friendly Coors Field.
Entering the fifth inning, the Braves trailed the Giants 3-2. Leadoff hitter Jordan Schafer scored on a ground ball out from Andrelton Simmons after he led off the inning with a triple. Justin Upton restarted the rally with a triple of his own, and RBI singles from Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann and B.J. Upton helped to extend the lead to 6-3.
In total, the Braves totaled five hits and two walks in the impressive four-run rally, which ultimately proved to be the difference in the game.
To be fair, the Braves are not suddenly becoming a fundamental small-ball baseball team. McCann got the scoring going with a two-run home run in the second inning, and as a team, the Braves struck out 14 times. That will be their identity in 2013.
Still, the scoring rally proved the Braves are capable of winning games without relying on the long ball. McCann (3-for-5) should have a steadying influence on a boom-or-bust lineup. He’ll have his moments, but the catcher will add some much-needed consistency to the roller coaster lineup. Uggla (1-for-3, two walks) has seemingly turned the corner, and B.J. Upton will eventually start hitting.
Things are starting to fall into place for the offense. Thursday night’s formula could become a larger factor in the recipe for success moving forward in 2013.