ATLANTA – Rookie Alex Wood isn’t just learning on the job for the Atlanta Braves.
The left-hander keeps winning, too.
Today wasn’t one of his best outings, manager Fredi Gonzalez said. He was spraying it around a little bit and got his pitch count up, but he’s tough to take swings at.
Wood pitched five-plus strong innings, Elliot Johnson had a two-run triple and Atlanta beat the Cleveland Indians 2-0 on Tuesday night.
The Braves have won two straight, improving the majors’ best record to 79-52. They have won 14 of 17 at Turner Field and own baseball’s home mark at 45-18.
Closer Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 42nd save, most in the majors, in 45 chances.
He struck out Drew Stubbs and retired pinch-hitter Lonnie Chisenhall and Michael Bourn on groundouts.
Atlanta took a 2-0 lead in the second inning.
Brian McCann walked with one out, advanced to third on Joey Terdoslavich’s single to right field, and both runners scored when Johnson tripled over Stubbs near the wall in right.
Wood (3-2) gave up five hits, a career-high four walks and struck out five in 5 2/3 innings. He’s 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA in his past six starts.
Cleveland had won two straight and five of six, but lost despite holding Atlanta to just three hits.
Our pitching’s been on point, but you’ve got to score to win, Bourn said. You can’t score zero runs and win the game. It’s not going to happen.
We’ve got to find a way to put some runs on the board and help our pitchers out.
Rookie Danny Salazar (1-2) gave up three hits, two runs and two walks in four innings. The right-hander struck out three.
Wood issued his four walks in the first three innings, but he worked around Asdrubal Cabrera’s leadoff double in the fourth and Kipnis’ two-out double in the fifth.
A two-out single by Michael Brantley chased Wood in the sixth. The next Atlanta pitcher, Luis Ayala, walked Stubbs, the only batter he faced, but Scott Downs ended the threat by striking out pinch-hitter Jason Giambi.
Cabrera went 3 for 4 and was the only batter with more than one hit, but Johnson drove in the game’s only runs.