Rapid Reaction: Braves 5, Cubs 2
September, 22, 2013
By Sahadev Sharma | Special to ESPNChicago.com
CHICAGO -- A quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 5-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Sunday at Wrigley Field.
How it happened: It looked like Edwin Jackson was headed for another rough outing when Freddie Freeman quickly put the Braves on top with a two-run homer in the first inning. Freeman, who had three hits on the day, sent Jackson's first offering onto Sheffield Ave. for his second home run of the series. Jackson settled down, allowing only one more run on the day -- a solo home run off the bat of Andrelton Simmons -- tossing six innings, striking out six and walking none. Braves starter Julio Teheran was impressive, tossing six innings of one-run ball, striking out 10 and walking none as he held the Cubs offense in check and helped lead the Braves to victory. Simmons added another home run in the eighth, this one a two-run shot, off Brooks Raley to put the game out of reach.
What it means: The Braves clinched the NL East before the game ended, as the Washington Nationals lost to the Miami Marlins. It's the Braves’ first division crown -- and third playoff appearance -- since their record streak of 14 straight division titles ended in 2006. The Cubs’ next opponent, the Pittsburgh Pirates, are also trying to claim their place in postseason play.
Outside the box: Prior to the game, manager Dale Sveum said he expected Junior Lake to play in winter ball as the youngster needs added reps to get familiar playing outfield. Lake solely played in the infield prior to this season and only had six games in the outfield, none in center, at Triple-A Iowa this year. However, Lake has played every inning of his major league career in the outfield.
Up next: The Cubs open up a three-game set Monday as Jeff Samardzija (8-12, 4.42) takes on Charlie Morton (7-4, 3.35) and the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field at 7:05 p.m.