Maybin settling into CF role with hot bat, glove
Outfielder drives in two runs, makes strong throw to complete DP vs. Brewers
ATLANTA -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez planned to have a center-field platoon between right-handed-hitting Cameron Maybin and lefty-swinging Eric Young Jr. But Young's struggles, combined with Maybin's early success at the plate, gave Maybin the everyday role.
In Thursday night's 10-1 win over the Brewers, Maybin reinforced that decision after being moved into the second spot in the lineup for the first time this season.
Maybin's walk in the first inning led to an early Braves lead after he stole his fifth base of the season and scored on Nick Markakis' single up the middle.
"It was cool, man," Maybin said of hitting second. "I didn't really change my approach, tried to keep the same approach -- be a tough out, get a good pitch to hit and just make sure I'm on base, somehow, someway.
"Whenever I can do that good things happen, and good things happened tonight."
Maybin saw good things happen on both sides of the ball Thursday night. In the fourth inning, Maybin started a key double play by catching Ryan Braun's fly ball at the warning track and firing to second base to get Gerardo Parra tagging up from first.
"You know, that's not an easy throw," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, who talked about Maybin's improved arm strength before the game. "You're back up against the wall there and he made an accurate throw, in the air and [shortstop Andrelton] Simmons made a terrific tag and we end up doubling the guy up there.
"[We] very easily could have had another guy in scoring position, and if I'm not mistaken, I think the next guy got a base hit. So instead of just one run, it could have been a two-run swing."
The Brewers challenged the call, but upon replay the out was upheld.
"You know, they say a blind squirrel will find a nut every once in a while," Maybin joked about the play. "I was able to make a good throw and [Simmons] did a great job of putting a really good tag on the guy -- it turned out to be a pretty big play in the game."
Maybin finished the night 1-for-4 with a walk, three runs scored and two RBIs after reaching base again in the seventh and eighth innings. Since May 2, when Maybin assumed the everyday center-field role, he has hit .314 (17-for-54) with nine runs and 12 RBIs.
"My confidence is high," Maybin said. "I've been able to put in some really good work with [hitting coach Kevin Seitzer] in the cage.
"And every day is a competition. Every day I feel like you have to fight to keep the job, win the job. So my mentality is to come out and go hard everyday and things will work out."