ATLANTA — Kris Medlen pitched seven scoreless innings and helped the Atlanta Braves to a 3-1 win and a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night.
Medlen (11-12) ended his two-game losing streak by scattering six hits, striking out six and walking none in a 96-pitch appearance. It was his 17th quality start in 26 outings. No Cleveland player advanced past second base against the right-hander.
Medlen delivered the third straight impressive start for Atlanta in the series. The Braves allowed only three runs in the three games, two of them by the bullpen, and reduced their magic number to win the National League East to 17.
Craig Kimbrel pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his league-leading 43rd save. Kimbrel converted his 33rd consecutive save opportunity, extending his own club record.
Cleveland’s Ubaldo Jimenez (9-9) pitched well but lost his second straight start. Jimenez, who threw a no-hitter against Atlanta at Turner Field in 2010, matched his season high with 10 strikeouts. He scattered seven hits, but one of them was Brian McCann’s three-run homer.
Cleveland scored its lone run in the eighth inning when Lonnie Chisenhall hit his first career pinch-homer off Atlanta reliever David Carpenter. It was Chisenhall’s eighth home run of the year.
The Indians threatened in the top of the third. Michael Bourn dropped a single into right field with two outs and stole second base but was stranded when Nick Swisher struck out.
McCann got Atlanta on the board in the bottom of the third with a long three-run homer into the right-field seats. It was McCann’s 19th home run this season and his first since Aug. 17 against Washington.
The inning started when Andrelton Simmons lined a double into the left-field corner. But he was thrown out at third base when Nationals catcher Yan Gomes fielded Medlen’s sacrifice bunt quickly and cleanly. After Jordan Schafer struck out, Justin Upton kept the inning alive with a single that hat set up McCann’s home run, which put Atlanta ahead 3-0.
NOTES: Upton left the game in the fifth inning after being hit by a pitch on the left hand. … Cleveland’s Jason Kipnis extended his hitting streak to four games for the Indians with a single in the first inning. … Atlanta gave 1B Freddie Freeman the night off. He had played every game since the All-Star Game. But the night off was short-lived when Upton was hit by a pitch and Freeman was inserted as a pinch runner. … It was Dragon Con Night at Turner Field with special guests Lou Ferrigno, who starred in the TV series “The Incredible Hulk” from 1978 to 1982, and Lucy Lawless, who starred in “Xena: Warrior Princess” from 1995 to 2001.