When the Atlanta Braves signed Troy Glaus this past offseason, they hoped for an offensive spark that has been lacking at first base in recent years; they got much more than they bargained for.
Glaus has been stellar this year, and last night was no exception. Glaus hit a home run off Robinson Tejada on an 0-2 count to give the Braves a 5-4 victory over the tough-luck Royals Saturday night.
Glaus went 1-4 in the game, his homer being his only hit, and Brian McCann also homered to run the Braves' winning streak to four games and send their home record to 23-7. Billy Wagner worked the ninth to earn the win.
The Royals, under skipper Ned Yost, still struggle to compete in a mediocre AL Central. Yost, who served as the Braves third base coach, bench coach, and bullpen coach during the 1990s, was hired to give the team a bit of a boost. The boost hasn't found its way to the diamond, and the Royals fell to 29-40 on the year, fourth place in the AL Central ahead of a lackadaisical Cleveland Indians club still holding out hope for Travis Hafner to return to his power days.
The Royals have some good players, such as Scott Podsednik and Jose Guillen, but just can't seem to keep it together.
The Braves, whose win on Saturday pushed their lead to 1 1/2 games over the surging New York Mets, are trying to bring a championship to Atlanta; they last won it all in 1995. Manager Bobby Cox is retiring at season's end, giving the Braves tremendous motivation to win a ring.
Saturday's game showed a typical example of what the Braves are doing right this year. This team is clutch, with guys like Martin Prado (.310 with runners in scoring position and two outs), Troy Glaus (.424 with RISP and two outs), Eric Hinske (.357 with RISP and two outs), and Jason Heyward (.353 with RISP and 2 outs) leading the way.
This team does extremely well rallying with two outs and finds ways to win late in the game. This tortoise out of the gate turns into the rabbit at the finish line, owners of the third best record in the majors and the best record in the National League. Happy days are here again in Atlanta; can these Braves keep it up? All signs point to yes.