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Struggling Braves not getting timely hitting

BaseballAtlanta BravesJulio TeheranB.J. UptonCraig KimbrelMajor League BaseballEmilio Bonifacio

The Sports Xchange

MLB Team Report - Atlanta Braves - INSIDE PITCH

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta offense continues to sputter with runners on base, which helps explain the team's lack of success since the All-Star Game.

Although the Braves won two of three games with Washington, the games were typical of the team's season. On Friday night, the Braves had nine hits, with four of them leaving the ball park, and won 7-6. On Saturday night, the Braves had nine hits, only one for extra bases, and lost 4-1 in 11 innings. On Sunday, they had nine hits, one a homer, and won 3-1.

The trend carried over on Sunday. In the first inning, Justin Upton struck out with two runners on base and Chris Johnson struck out with the bases loaded and two out. In the fourth and fifth innings, the Braves left runners at first and second.

"We had opportunities," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We didn't get the big hit and that's what we've been dealing with for the last week."

On Saturday, the Braves were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base. In Sunday's win, they were 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base.

This season, the Braves are hitting .244 with runners in scoring position, but only .198 with runners in scoring position and two outs. Atlanta is hitting .241 in the seventh inning or later, when the close games are often decided.

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MLB Team Report - Atlanta Braves - NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 60-57

STREAK: Won one

NEXT: Dodgers (RHP Kevin Correia, 5-13, 4.94 ERA) at Braves (RHP Julio Teheran, 10-8, 2.92 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--LHP Alex Wood (8-9) allowed five hits and one run over 7 1/3 innings on Sunday. He threw 124 pitches, the most in his two-year career, and won for the first time since July 20. The left-hander improved to 2-1 against Washington with a 1.48 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings.

--RHP Julio Teheran (10-8) has lost two straight starts. He allowed six runs in six innings against Seattle on Aug. 6. Teheran is 1-2 with a 4.95 ERA over his last three starts. Teheran has made only one career start against the Dodgers on July 31 and took a loss despite allowing only two runs in eight innings.

--LF Justin Upton hit his 21st homer on Sunday night. That blow gave him his 1,000th career hit and his 500th career RBI. It was the 156th homer of Upton's career. His brother, Braves OF B.J. Upton, reached both milestones earlier this season.

--CF Emilio Bonifacio replaced B.J. Upton as the leadoff hitter and in center field. He went 1-for-5 and scored the go-ahead run. Bonifacio has hit in four straight games and is 4-for-10 on the homestand.

--RHP Craig Kimbrel pitched for the third straight night on Sunday and earned his 34th save. Kimbrel isn't expected to be available for the first game of the series against the Dodgers on Monday. Kimbrel has 79 strikeouts in 47 innings.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He pitched great. He competes and he makes pitches. Woody was definitely the player of the game. He made some terrific pitches when he needed to." -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, after LHP Alex Wood allowed five hits and one run over 7 1/3 innings on Sunday.

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MLB Team Report - Atlanta Braves - ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

--SS Andrelton Simmons (sprained left ankle) left the Aug. 5 game and missed the Aug. 6-8 games.

--RHP Shae Simmons (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 27.

--RHP Gavin Floyd (fractured right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list June 20, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 31. He underwent surgery June 24 to insert screws in the elbow.

--LHP Jonny Venters (Tommy John surgery in May 2013) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on March 29. He stopped his first live batting practice session May 14 after 10 pitches because of soreness. He experienced soreness during a May 25 bullpen session, and he was diagnosed with a breakup of scar tissue. The soreness lingered into mid-June, when he received a platelet-rich plasma injection. He resumed throwing July 18. He played catch from 120 feet on July 26 and will throw a bullpen session sometime during the week of July 28.

--RHP Cory Gearrin (ligament damage in right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 24, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 2. He had season-ending Tommy John surgery April 15.

--RHP Kris Medlen (Tommy John surgery in March 2014) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on March 26. He will miss the entire season.

--RHP Brandon Beachy (Tommy John surgery in March 2014) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on March 29. He will miss the entire season.

ROTATION:

RHP Julio Teheran

RHP Aaron Harang

RHP Ervin Santana

LHP Mike Minor

LHP Alex Wood

BULLPEN:

RHP Craig Kimbrel (closer)

RHP David Hale

RHP Anthony Varvaro

RHP Jordan Walden

RHP David Carpenter

RHP Juan Jaime

LHP James Russell

CATCHERS:

Evan Gattis

Gerald Laird

C/OF Ryan Doumit

INFIELDERS:

1B Freddie Freeman

2B Tommy La Stella

SS Andrelton Simmons

3B Chris Johnson

INF Ramiro Pena

INF Phil Gosselin

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Justin Upton

CF B.J. Upton

RF Jason Heyward

INF/OF Emilio Bonifacio

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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