5 - 4 Final
  for this game

Can't stop the chop: Braves win sixth straight

Aug 24, 2011 - 4:59 AM Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Jason Heyward's grand slam in the fourth inning provided the decisive runs in the streaking Atlanta Braves' 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Cubs starter Casey Coleman walked in a run before giving up Heyward's first career slam. Chicago rallied in the next inning, plating all four of its runs, but couldn't completely erase the deficit.

Atlanta has won six consecutive games and eight of nine, and has done so thanks to excellent pitching. The Braves had allowed only three runs in their last five games, including a 3-0 win in Monday's series-opener, entering Tuesday's contest.

While starter Mike Minor (4-2) gave up four runs -- three earned -- in five innings, Atlanta's bullpen held the Cubs to four hits the rest of the way. Craig Kimbrel worked a scoreless ninth for his 40th save, matching the major league rookie record set by Texas' Neftali Feliz last year.

"I really feel like our bullpen was huge tonight. That will relieve a lot of pressure from us as hitters," said Heyward.

Coleman (2-6) also lasted five innings but took the loss, the Cubs' third in a row.

He retired the first two batters in the fourth inning but ran into trouble after Dan Uggla and Chipper Jones singled, putting runners at the corners. Coleman then walked Eric Hinske on four pitches and forced in a run when his 3-2 fastball to Alex Gonzalez ran just outside.

Coleman got ahead of Heyward, but his curveball caught the middle of the plate and Heyward drilled it over the left-center field wall.

"You never know what base hit is going to beat you or what play is going to beat you. It looks harmless, but then you just can't close out the inning," Cubs manager Mike Quade said about the fourth.

Alfonso Soriano got one of the runs back when he led off the fifth with a homer to left field. Minor then hit Geovany Soto with a pitch and allowed a single to pinch-hitter Darwin Barney.

After a fly ball allowed both runners to advance a base, Aramis Ramirez -- who had a career-high five hits -- lined a double to the left field wall. A throwing error by shortstop Gonzalez during Jeff Baker's plate appearance allowed another run to score, bringing Chicago within 5-4.

But Minor ended the inning with a Carlos Pena flyout, and the Atlanta bullpen took over.

Cristhian Martinez allowed three hits in 1 1/3 innings, and was pulled after allowing consecutive singles in the seventh. George Sherrill hit a batter to load the bases, but struck out Pena, and Arodys Vizcaino got Marlon Byrd to ground out to end the inning.

Vizcaino worked a flawless eighth before Kimbrel worked around a two-out single in the ninth.

Game Notes

Heyward and Jones finished with three hits...Kimbrel extended his scoreless streak to 31 2/3 innings, the longest in the majors...Atlanta remained 6 1/2 games behind Philadelphia in the NL East. The Phillies defeated the Mets, 9-4, on Tuesday.