ATLANTA -- Braves rookie Mike Foltynewicz pitched his best game of the season in the Braves' 2-1 win over Jimmy Nelson and the Brewers on Sunday afternoon, giving Atlanta its third victory in the finale of a four-game series at Turner Field.
"It's all about the pitching," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. "You get a good pitching performance, and you're in the game and you can do some stuff offensively to score runs."
Foltynewicz's 7 2/3 innings were the deepest he has gone in a game this season, and he limited the Brewers to one run on three hits, striking out seven batters for the fourth straight game. He ran into trouble only in the seventh inning, after a long stretch on the bench during Atlanta's two-run rally in the bottom of the sixth. The win lifted the Braves above .500 (22-21) for the first time since April 27.
"I was attacking the zone with the fastball, getting early outs and the slider and curveball were working OK," Foltynewicz said. "They got a couple good hits off them at the end. Me and [catcher A.J. Pierzynski] had a good game plan going in, and we stuck with it and got guys out."
Nelson threw 5 2/3 solid innings for Milwaukee, but Cameron Maybin's single and back-to-back walks to open the bottom of the sixth proved to be his downfall. With outfielder Ryan Braun and third baseman Aramis Ramirez out of the starting lineup for rest, the Brewers couldn't muster enough offense to split the series.
"We've got to find ways to get men on base," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Or if we're going to be a slugging lineup, we have to get our pitch and can't miss it."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Get like Mike: Foltynewicz rebounded in a big way from his last start (a five-run, five-inning effort against the Rays on Tuesday). 'Folty' needed just 98 pitches to get through 7 2/3 innings, thanks to locating a crisp mid-90s fastball to set up his curveball and slider. More >
A game of inches: Nelson was inches away from getting out of the sixth inning without any runs, but diving second baseman Hector Gomez couldn't hold Pierzynski's bases-loaded, one-out liner. Shortstop Luis Sardinas recovered the ball and got the force at second but was unable to complete a potential double play, allowing a run to break the scoreless tie and extend the inning. Had the ball been caught, it likely would have resulted in a 4-6 inning-ending double play. More >
Light Brew: Playing without the big bats of Braun and Ramirez, the Brewers had trouble getting on base. The Brewers had six baserunners all day, with half of them coming on two walks and a hit-by-pitch. The Brewers also struck out 11 times. More >
Still May for Maybin: May has been a great month for Maybin, and the Braves outfielder extended his hitting streak to nine games in the sixth inning with a single to center field. His hit also set up the Braves' run-scoring rally, as back-to-back walks to Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis, were followed by Pierzynski's RBI fielder's choice and Andrelton Simmons' RBI single to left.
"I was just talking with Andrelton and said, 'That's a good homestand.' You know we really needed to play as well as we did here. We had been struggling a little bit back and forth here. And a great homestand to take some momentum on the road, some confidence on the road and try to keep it going." -- Maybin, on the Braves' 4-2 record this homestand
"My command was bad and I didn't make pitches when I needed to. In my last outing, after the third inning I was able to command everything. Today, I couldn't." -- Nelson
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Nelson hit out of the ninth spot in the Brewers' lineup, going 1-for-2. It was the first time in six games that Milwaukee had the hurler batting ninth. In those six games, the pitchers batted .154 (2-for-13), 86 points higher than when hitting ninth (4-for-59).
INJURY REHAB UPDATE C.J. pain-free after BP: Braves third baseman Chris Johnson took batting practice at Turner Field for the first time since going on the disabled list with a fractured left hand. He also fielded a few ground balls at third. Johnson said he felt no pain after the session and is set to start a three-game rehab stint with Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Brewers:Kyle Lohse starts the opener of a six-game homestand against the NL West, starting Monday against the Giants. First pitch at Miller Park for the Memorial Day matinee is 1:10 CT. Following the three-game set with San Francisco, the Brewers host the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend.
Braves: Rookie Williams Perez will make his second career start Monday night at 8:10 ET against the Dodgers, as Atlanta heads west for a 10-game road trip. Atlanta will play three games in Dodger Stadium before heading to San Francisco and Arizona.