Found August 11, 2013 on Fox Sports South:
ATLANTA -- Taking three cuts as the Braves got back on track with an 8-4 win over the Marlins Sunday at Turner Field. 1. Braves offense regained its mojo During the Braves' 14-game winning streak they did little wrong, but above all they proved both opportunistic and disciplined. They hit .317 (41 of 129) with runners in scoring position and they struck out an average of 7.5 times, which isn't spectacular, but it was nearly 1.2 below their season average. After Brian McCann's third-inning home run Friday night, the Braves seemed to get off track in both departments. They fanned six times after McCann's blast in the win, then fanned 10 times in Saturday's loss and between the homer and Sunday, they failed to get a hit with RISP. That was partly due to the fact that after averaging 9.2 such chances during they streak they generated had just three from the McCann homer on, but they were out of sorts nonetheless. Atlanta regained its potency Sunday, delivering five times in 14 chances with men in scoring position -- and fittingly the biggest contribution came from Freddie Freeman. "It was one of those days after (Saturday), losing 1-0 on a wild pitch and the way we started was like 'Oh, this is going to be one of those days,'" manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "But these guys battled." The All-Star pulled Henderson Alvarez's two-seam fastball to left field for a three-run home run, his 14th of the season. It was Freeman's 43rd hit in 95 at-bats with RISP, putting him second in the majors with a .452 average, which trails only the Cardinals' Allen Craig (.459). The Braves also cut down on their strikeouts with six, but in doing so they did hit a dubious mark before we've hit the second full week in August. Chris Johnson's fourth-inning whiff gave Atlanta 1,000 on the season, making them one of only two teams to already hit that figure (the Astros being the other) and with 45 games remaining they're still on pace to eclipse the franchise record of 1,289 set in 2012. 2. Despite getting the win, Minor's impressive run came to an end Over his last six outings heading into Sunday, Mike Minor had gone 5-1 with a 1.74 ERA, allowed an average of 5.1 hits and had a 33:8 stakeout:walk ratio -- and he had a quality start every time. Through five innings, Minor looked poised to add another QS, which would have been his seventh straight and the 20th of the season, tying him with the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw and Diamondbacks' Patrick Corbin for the major league lead. But Minor's latest run ended after Placido Polanco advanced Giancarlo Stanton to third base with a line drive single, Ed Lucas followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Stanton, marking the fourth earned run of Minor's day and putting him one over the QS limit of three. To Minor's credit, he didn't get much help during the Marlins' three-run second inning, as Jake Marisnick hit an RBI single over Justin Upton's head and Jason Heyward and Dan Uggla missed out on a chance to end the inning during a miscommunication on Koyie Hill's popup, which was followed by Alvarez's two-run double. Minor (12-5) would rebound, retiring 10 of the next 11 batters he faced and would leave after yielding six runs in seven innings as he struck out six and walked one en route to setting a career-high in victories. "I thought he was outstanding," Gonzalez said. "We got him a hole a little bit but he battled and gave us seven strong innings and became the pitcher of record. That's where the good ones stick around. They hang around, they hang around and all of a sudden we score and he gets the 'W.'" It's all a continuation of an eye-opening season for the Braves' 25-year-old ace-in-the-making, who already has an eight-game QS streak under his belt this season from May 3-June 9 and has just one two-game stretch (June 15 and June 20 vs. the Giants and Mets, respectively), when he didn't have a quality start. 3. Heyward has found a home at leadoff It's telling that even in starting Jordan Schafer, who had hit in the top spot in 20 of his 26 starts, Gonzalez was sticking with Heyward at leadoff, instead penciling Schafer in at eigthh -- and that's because Heyward has been that good since moving up in the lineup. The rest of the Braves to have hit atop the order are 164-of-620 on the season with slash lines of .264.341.379, while Heyward is at .351.439.509, going 20-of-57 with three doubles, two homers, eight walks and 11 RBI in 15 games at leadoff. He's been outside that spot just once since July 27, hitting ninth on Aug. 3 a game, coincidentally, in which he went hitless. Heyward added to his strong play atop the order Sunday, going 4-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. It was his fourth career four-hit game and the first since Sept. 1, 2010 against the Mets. "He can hit anywhere, really, and putting him in the leadoff spot, and getting him on base and getting some big, clutch hits ... it's big," Gonzalez said.

Braves Jason Heyward Big at the Top

Jason Heyward is coming up big at the top For those not already aware,  Jason Heyward has recently been residing at the top of the Atlanta Braves lineup and performing at the top of his game.  The two transitions have coincided with one another.  Heyward may not physically look like the prototypical lead-off hitter, but the Atlanta Braves box scores paint a different picture....

Brian McCann Out With Sore Knee

For the second consecutive game, Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann will sit out with a sore knee.  Evan Gattis will again catch and bat clean-up. According to Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Carroll Rogers, McCann told manager Fredi Gonzalez that he aggravated the knee catching Brandon Beachy before Friday night’s game. Rogers quoted McCann as saying: “I tried to play...

Braves Activate Laird, Option Cunningham

The Atlanta Braves continue to get healthy as they activated catcher Gerald Laird off the disabled list and optioned outfielder Todd Cunningham to Triple-A Gwinnett.  Laird will be in uniform and available to play against the Marlins Sunday. Laird went on the disabled list August 3, retroactive to July 26 with a kidney stone ailment. Laird has been a solid contributor for the Braves...

Jordan Schafer Expected Back Saturday Night

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Baby Mac!

Braves catcher Brian McCann enjoys some family time with his 1-year old son Colt in the dug out before playing the Marlins in a MLB baseball game on Sunday, August 11, 2013, in Atlanta. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM Braves catcher Brian McCann enjoys some family time with his wife Ashley and 1-year old son Colt before playing the Marlins in a MLB baseball game on Sunday, August...

Atlanta’s Chris Johnson literally taped mouth shut to avoid getting tossed

Atlanta Braves infielder Chris Johnson was unceremoniously tossed by home plate umpire Jim Joyce for arguing a called 3rd strike on a check swing in the first inning of Saturday’s game against the Marlins. Johnson lipped off to Joyce, then threw his bat and slammed down his helmet, which prompted the ump to toss the N.L.’s leading hitter. Atlanta would go on to lose to the Marlins...

Braves' Brian McCann dealing with sore knee

The Atlanta Braves have given catcher Brian McCann the past two days off, allowing him to rest his sore right knee. The ailment -- which has been lingering -- flared up on Friday, and McCann has been out of the lineup since, beyond making a pinch-hit appearance on Saturday. Manager Fredi Gonzalez told reporters -- including Eric Single of -- that McCann's absence...

Chris Johnson tapes mouth shut as peace offering with umpire

Chris Johnson of the Atlanta Braves took the comical high road as a way of avoiding a collision with authority before Sunday's game by showing umpire Jim Joyce that he was sorry for an outburst that got him ejected the night before. Johnson literally taped his mouth shut while standing in the Braves dugout, getting Joyce's attention with the help of manager Fredi Gonzalez...

Three Cuts: Braves suffer soggy home loss to Phils

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Braves fan falls from upper deck

There are reports that a man fell from the upper deck at Turner Field, the home of the Atlanta Braves, Monday night. 

Braves’ Justin Upton exits with hamstring cramp

The Atlanta Braves lifted outfielder Justin Upton from yesterday’s contest against the Miami Marlins after he suffered a cramp in his left hamstring. Upton has been bothered by cramping throughout the season, but he told reporters – including Eric Single of – that the removal was more of a precautionary measure than the sign of a serious injury. Upton attempted...

Fan dies after falling from stands

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Braves 9, Marlins 4

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Triple Play: Justin Upton, Jonathan Papelbon, Alex Rios

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