Kimbrel relishes first big league save

Kimbrel relishes first big league save

PHILADELPHIA -- Braves manager Bobby Cox provided a glimpse toward the future Sunday, when he rested Billy Wagner and gave Craig Kimbrel a chance to notch the first save of his young career.

Extending his recent dominant run and further proving why he may serve as Atlanta's closer next year, Kimbrel notched three strikeouts in a scoreless ninth inning that capped a 6-3 win over the Mets. The inning might have been perfect had Ike Davis' infield single not struck Kimbrel's right foot.

"It was really cool," Kimbrel said. "It's something I've been working for for a long time and I finally got it."

When Kimbrel escaped Spring Training without allowing a run, there was already speculation that he could serve as the club's future closer. With Wagner still planning to retire at the end of this year, it looks like this future could come as soon as next year.

In the five appearances he's made since ending his season with Triple-A Gwinnett, Kimbrel has worked five scoreless innings, allowed just one hit and recorded 12 strikeouts without issuing a walk.

"He can dominate," Cox said. "There's no doubt about that."