“I talked to Jason this morning, and he said his legs felt great,” Gonzalez said before Saturday’s game. “That’s good. Maybe we get him a pinch-hit (Saturday). The more at-bats he gets, the more pitches he sees, the better he’s going to be.”
Catcher Brian McCann was also out of the lineup Saturday, a day after his two-out single drove in the winning run and sparked a four-run ninth inning. Gonzalez had previously informed the catchers of his plan to rest McCann on Saturday and play Gerald Laird against left-hander Travis Wood, with McCann to return to the lineup Sunday.
Medlen keeps rolling: He didn't get a decision in Saturday's 3-1 loss, but Kris Medlen turned in another in a string of strong performances for the Braves right-hander since veteran Tim Hudson's season-ending broken ankle.
Medlen was charged with six hits, one run, two walks and six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings Saturday. He left with a 1-0 lead and a runner on first base, and that run scored when reliever Scott Downs gave up a pair of hits to the next two batters.
Since Hudson was injured July 24, Medlen is 8-2 with a 2.31 ERA in 11 games, including 8-1 in 10 starts. He won four consecutive starts before Saturday.
“He was great,” Laird said. “It was exactly what I expected. He’s been pitching great the last couple of months, like one of the better pitchers in baseball. It’s just a tough one, because he worked his tail off all game up to that point (in the eighth inning), and you want to get him a win.
“He had everything working. His fastball in and out, the great change-up like he always has, and his curveball was working today. It was just fun to be back there. He was working it really well.”