Derrek Lee batting cleanup and facing Cubs in Braves debut

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Derrek Lee will make his Braves debut later this afternoon at Wrigley Field against his former Cubs teammates. He’s also batting cleanup, which is somewhat unexpected for a guy with a .416 slugging percentage.
Of course, Lee hit .304/.358/.528 with six homers and 10 doubles in the 30 games preceding his trade to Atlanta and has a long track record of similarly strong production. However, he batted fourth just 90 times over seven seasons in Chicago, hitting cleanup in only 9.9 percent of his Cubs starts.
Brian McCann has been the Braves’ primary cleanup hitter this season, started there 77 times in 121 games, but the man Lee is replacing at first base, Troy Glaus, also hit cleanup 35 times before losing his job and landing on the DL. McCann is hitting behind Lee in the fifth spot today.

Kenley Jansen’s consecutive saves streak ends at 34

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Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up three runs in the top of the ninth inning during Sunday’s game against the Braves, blowing his first save since August 26 last season. He had converted 34 consecutive saves.

Jansen yielded back-to-back singles to lead off the ninth inning, staked to a 4-1 lead. After getting two outs, Matt Adams hit a three-run home run down the right field line to knot the game at four apiece.

After Sunday’s lackluster performance, Jansen is now 24-for-25 in save chances this season with a 1.49 ERA and a 62/2 K/BB ratio in 42 1/3 innings.

Zach Britton sets American League record with 55th consecutive save

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Orioles closer Zach Britton finished Sunday’s 9-7 victory over the Astros with a scoreless ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season. He has now earned the save in 55 consecutive opportunities dating back to September 2015, setting a new American League record. Tom Gordon previously held the record with 54 consecutive saves. Eric Gagne holds the major league record at 84.

Britton’s last blown save came on September 20, 2015, then converted two more saves before the end of the regular season. He went 47-for-47 in save chances last season and is six-for-six so far this year.

Along with his six saves, Britton has a 2.65 ERA and a 13/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings this season. The lefty came off the disabled list earlier this month after missing two months with a strained left forearm.