It had been nearly 33 months since the Braves lost a regular-season game that Kris Medlen started, but his record-setting run ended Thursday on a cold, raw night at Turner Field.
The Phillies scored two runs in the second inning and held on for a 2-0 win against the Braves, averting a season-opening series sweep and snapping a major-league record streak of 23 consecutive Braves wins in games started by Medlen.
After cranking out six homers and 16 runs in the first two games of the series and beating Phillies starters Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay, the Braves could muster only two singles against left-hander Cliff Lee, who has dominated them since the middle of the 2011 season.
On a night when the first-pitch temperature was 41 degrees, Lee faced two batters over the minimum for eight innings, allowing two hits and no walks with eight strikeouts. He’s 4-1 with an 0.78 ERA in his past six starts against the Braves, with 45 strikeouts and only three walks in 46 innings.
“Cliff was darn good on a tough night to pitch, a tough night to play a baseball game because of the weather conditions,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He sure made it look pretty easy. He commanded all of his pitches. He got into the eighth inning with no problem.”
Medlen, off his mark in the early innings, was charged with two runs, five hits and four walks in five innings and threw 92 pitches. That included 49 pitches in the first two innings, when he issued three walks, including one to Lee to load the bases with none out in the second.