Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 5/16/13
The Atlanta Braves still sit atop the NL East, but haven't looked much like a first-place team lately. The last-place Los Angeles Dodgers, meanwhile, are starting to pick up the pace. Slumping Atlanta hopes to get a boost from Jason Heyward, who could return in the opener of a three-game set against the visiting Dodgers on Friday night. After belting 25 homers in opening 12-1, the Braves (22-18) have hit .234 with 27 long balls during a 10-17 stretch. Atlanta concluded a 4-6 road trip with Wednesday's 5-3 defeat to Arizona, its fifth loss in six games. Freddie Freeman went 3 for 4 with three RBIs for the Braves, who collected 11 hits but left a season-high 12 runners on base. "For losing two of three (to the Diamondbacks), you feel like we won a couple of those games the way we hit the ball," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "It's just the way it goes sometimes. I don't know how many times I felt like the ball was going to go through the infield and it was a line drive at somebody....
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