CHICAGO -- The last time the Braves were at Wrigley Field, almost a month ago, a hard icy wind blew off Lake Michigan, making the conditions less than ideal for playing baseball. Then in third place, the Braves hadn't yet signed Jose Bautista, and Tyler Flowers was on the disabled
CHICAGO -- The last time the Braves were at Wrigley Field, almost a month ago, a hard icy wind blew off Lake Michigan, making the conditions less than ideal for playing baseball. Then in third place, the Braves hadn't yet signed Jose Bautista, and Tyler Flowers was on the disabled list.
With the weather nearly 40 degrees warmer on Monday for the makeup of that April 15 rainout, the bolstered, now first-place Braves took advantage by slugging three home runs in a 6-5 victory over the Cubs. Bautista delivered the keynote with a go-ahead three-run blast in the fifth, Ozzie Albies went 3-for-5 with his 13th homer and Flowers went 2-for-2 with a homer and three walks.
Bautista's homer was the 333rd of his career and first at Wrigley.
"I was aware I never hit one here, so I'm glad I got that off the list," said Bautista, who made his Braves debut on May 4. "Anytime you can do something positive for the team -- especially if it's a game-winning hit -- you're going to enjoy it.
"I'm glad I got it done."
The Braves have won three straight and have the best record in the National League at 25-15 following a 6-1 road trip.
"This is a real positive road trip for the guys," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "They should feel good going home because they played some really good baseball and won some tough games on this road trip. It should give them a lot of confidence."
Julio Teheran (4-1) allowed four runs on four hits in six innings to get the win. Shane Carle got five outs in the seventh and eighth and A.J. Minter worked out of a bases-loaded jam -- allowing one run -- for his second save, getting Kristopher Bryant to line out to left field to end the game.
Although his scoreless-innings streak was ended at 16 in the second, Teheran improved to 3-0 with a 3.11 ERA at Wrigley Field.
Albies set the tone for the day -- all the runs scored on homers before the ninth -- when he rocketed the second pitch of the game into the right-field bleachers.
Chicago then took a 2-1 lead in the second on Albert Almora Jr.'s two-run shot before the Braves answered with Flowers' two-run shot to reclaim a 3-2 edge.
Bryant kept the string of two-run dingers going when his high fly in the bottom of the third landed about four rows deep into the left-field bleachers to put the Cubs back on top, 4-3. Bautista then upped the ante in the fifth with his decisive three-run shot.
Ender Inciarte had a rough day at the plate, going 0-for-5, but contributed with an outstanding defensive play.
With Benjamin Zobrist on first base with one out in the sixth, Javier Baez hit a liner to center that appeared to be a sure hit. Inciarte, though, raced in and to his left to make a sliding catch for the out. He then bounced up and fired to first to double off Zobrist -- who was still standing near second base -- to complete the inning-ending double play.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Minter closes the door: Chicago seemed poised for another late-inning comeback after loading the bases with one out in the ninth. Minter struck out pinch-hitter David Bote for the second out before hitting pinch-hitter Ian Happ to force in a run and trim the Braves' lead to one run. But Minter ended the threat, getting Bryant to line out to left.
"I want to be in those situations," Minter said. "I want to be in there when the game is on the line and I just want to continue to show those guys I can get the job done."
HE SAID IT
"It's not that bad. We could have had to go to San Francisco or something. We've got a plane. You have a seat to yourself. That's good enough."
-- Flowers, on traveling from Miami for the makeup game
The Braves and Cubs shift to Atlanta for the start of a regularly scheduled three-game series on Tuesday at 7:35 p.m. ET. Mike Foltynewicz (3-2, 3.21 ERA) goes for the Braves in the opener. The right-hander has gotten off to a good start this season and tossed five scoreless innings in his last start against Miami on May 10. Yu Darvish (0-3, 6.00 ERA) will come off the 10-day DL (flu) to make his first start for the Cubs since May 2.
John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com based in Chicago.