It rained early; it rained late. And the Braves rained hits on Zach Duke in between as they rolled to an easy 7-3 victory last night.
Duke wasn't exactly giving up lasers, but a pitch-to-contact guy has days when everything misses a glove, and Friday night was one of those times. By the time the puddles had dried, Duke pitched 5-1/3 innings and allowed seven runs on 12 hits. The left-hander walked two and struck out four.
Heck, the game was all but over before the first clouds had passed when the Braves jumped off to a 4-0 lead in the first. With two outs and the bases jammed, David Ross stroked a sack-clearing double. Chipper Jones also haunted the Buccos, driving in three runs. The pitcher, Derek Lowe, even added a pair of hits and drew a walk while running his lifetime record against the Pirates to 9-0.
Neil Walker, recovered from his first collar of the year with a pair of doubles, an RBI, and run scored. Garrett Jones had a pair of hits and an RBI; the rest of the team had three hits total.
Brian Burres takes on Kris Medlen tonight.
-- Pedro Alvarez can smell June. He's collected 10 hits in his past 24 at-bats, with four doubles, a homer and seven RBIs during the eight-game stretch (not including last night's rain-suspended game).
-- Bradenton placed eight players on the South Division roster of the Florida State League, a division high.
Chosen were pitchers Bryan Morris, Nathan Adcock, Noah Krol and Jeff Locke, catcher Tony Sanchez, infielders Brock Holt and Jeremy Farrell, and outfielder Quincy Latimore. Morris was the leading vote-getter.
-- Todd Richmond, 25, the player traded for Tyler Yates, threw a no-hitter last night in AAA ball.