Medlen looks strong as Braves rout D-backs
After watching Atlanta starter Kris Medlen walk the first batter he faced, Chipper Jones decided to offer the rookie some friendly advice.
"He told me I had to get ahead of hitters and it clicked," Medlen said. "I have to go throw strikes."
Medlen retired 14 of the next 15 batters he faced en route to his first career victory, 9-3 over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.
"I got the sense his first couple starts that he was pitching away from contact," Jones said. "He's got to get ahead in the count and use his entire repertoire to be effective."
Medlen allowed one run on four hits over six innings and struck out eight.
"That got him going, getting out of the first inning like that," said Braves manager Bobby Cox. "He threw nothing but strikes after that. He hit his target real well and changed speeds really well."
Jones also helped the rookie at the plate, homering and driving in four runs in spite of the painful bunions on his right foot.
Asked how he's feeling, Jones said, "A lot like I do every do now every day. I can go out there and hit left-handed. Right-handed is more of a problem. I was able to get some good wood on some balls today."
Garrett Anderson hit his first Atlanta home run, and Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar each had three doubles for the Braves, who won for the second time on their seven-game road trip.
The Braves wasted little time against Diamondbacks starter Max Scherzer (2-4), scoring two runs on the game's first seven pitches.
Johnson doubled down the left-field line on the second and Escobar doubled to the left-field wall on the first pitch he saw for a 1-0 lead. Jones followed with a single to center, scoring Escobar to make it 2-0.
"They set the table and we tried to clear it," Jones said.
Escobar doubled again leading off the third, and Jones homered into the left-field stands to extend Atlanta's lead to 4-0 in the fourth. Jones added an RBI single in the fourth, and Anderson hit a three-run homer to put the Braves ahead 8-0.
"We were looking at an uphill battle from the get-go," said Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch "They didn't miss any mistakes."
Anderson's home run was his first since Sept. 20 against Texas as a member of the Los Angeles Angels.
Scherzer surrendered a career-high eight runs on 10 hits in a career-worst 3 2-3 innings, with three walks, four strikeouts and a hit batter.
"They had a really good approach and came out swinging," Scherzer said. "They hit my mistakes. I just didn't have it today. Some days you just don't have it and the big thing for me is to come back the next time."
Arizona ended Medlen's shutout bid in the sixth when Chris Snyder doubled down the left-field line and scored on Geradro Parra's double into the left-field corner. Chris Young added an RBI single in the seventh off Jeff Bennett and Mark Reynolds had a run-scoring single to right against Manny Acosta in the eighth.
The Braves matched a season high with seven doubles. ... Scherzer's ERA climbed by a run and a half to 4.47 from 3.38. ... Johnson finished the four-game series 7 for 20 with four doubles, five runs scored and three RBIs. ... Braves 1B Casey Kotchman left the game in the fourth after he was hit in the right shin four pitches after Anderson's home run. Scherzer was also pulled from the game after the play. X-rays on Kotchman's shin were negative and he's listed as day-to-day. ... Jones has six career home runs at Bank One Ballpark/Chase Field. ... Jones said he's not seriously considering surgery to repair the bunions. "I've heard nightmares about the surgery," he said. "It's something that will go away with rest buy I'm not sure how much rest I'm going to get." The Diamondbacks, vying for their first series victory at home this season, settled for a four-game split with Atlanta.