MIAMI — Kris Medlen and Chipper Jones found themselves linked in baseball’s records with Whitey Ford and Lou Gehrig.
More importantly to the Atlanta Braves, they just kept rolling along.
Medlen pitched eight innings of four-hit ball and the Braves won his start for the 21st consecutive time, beating the Miami Marlins, 3-0, on Wednesday night. Jones went 1-for-4 in his final South Florida appearance, getting hit No. 2,721 to tie Gehrig for 58th on baseball’s career list.
“That’s the Iron Horse, man,” Jones said. “(I’m) just really honored to have as many hits in my career as one of the greatest in the game. Now we’ve got to work on passing him.”
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Atlanta, closing in on securing at least a National League wild-card spot, has won 12 of its past 17 games. The Braves picked up a half-game on Washington in the NL East race, closing to five games after the Nationals split a doubleheader with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Marlins gave Jones a fly-fishing rod and a slew of accessories to commemorate his last game in Miami. They won’t have to worry about him anymore, but Medlen might be a problem for years to come.
Medlen (9-1) lost the first two starts of his career in 2009. He hasn’t taken a loss in any of his 26 starts since, with the Braves prevailing in the past 21 of those — making them the first team since the New York Yankees to have such a streak, according to STATS LLC. The Yankees won 22 times in a row when Ford started from 1950 through 1953, a span interrupted by his service during the Korean War.
Medlen tried to dismiss any comparison with the Hall of Famer.
“Whitey Ford? Pfft. Let’s go. Come on. Don’t even say it,” Medlen said.
Medlen struck out six and walked one while lowering his ERA from 1.62 to 1.51. Rob Brantly doubled for the Marlins, who were shut out for the 16th time this season.