Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 6/19/13
ATLANTA -- Taking three cuts after the Braves' 5-3 win over the Mets on Wednesday at Turner Field. 1. Medlen delivered the unexpected We know Kris Medlen can pitch, and he's shown he can hit, belting a home run on June 8 against the Dodgers. Now, he's shown he can be a force on the base paths as well. Medlen had his first career stolen base, swiping second with two outs in the sixth inning and after the game, the bag was sitting in his locker, a souvenir from his night. But he'll remember this game for more that just that achievement. "I have literally never made that play in my life," Medlen said. With runners at first and second in the fifth inning and the Braves leading 3-0 off Chris Johnson's three-run home run, John Buck hit a comebacker to Medlen. Thinking triple play, he fired the ball to third base, well out of the reach of Johnson and two runs scored as the ball rolled toward left field. "Can I apologize to every coach I've had in my entire life," Medlen said. "It was like I blacked out, I woke up and the ball was in left field and I'm like 'Oh, my God.' You can't let a big-league team back in the game like that." The Mets would tie it up a batter later as Kirk Nieuwenhuis dropped an RBI single into right field. "Those kind of things happen," Medlen said. "You've got to get out of those situations. Even me giving up the base hit after that, the broken-bat base hit down the line, it's just the baseball gods slapping me in the face. The third run crossed and I'm like 'I deserved that.' Just take a deep breath and you recover." He did, allowing two more hits and left with a 5-3 lead as Jordan Schafer scored on a wild pitch by Shaun Marcum and a B.J. Upton RBI double. Medlen (4-7) allowed six hits and one earned run with seven strikeouts and zero walks for his third win in four starts. But for a pitcher who has struggled to get run support -- Medlen's 2.9 coming in where the lowest of any Braves starter and 1.2 below the major league average -- he did himself no favors. "I was always determined to make (the lead) stand, but as the ball hit my glove, it clicked in my head 'Triple play,'" Medlen said. "It was hit so hard right to me. C.J. was at the bag, on the way. ... if I had made the throw, who knows what would have happened." Said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez of that gaffe: "I hope there were no kids watching that." 2. B.J. Upton is heating up with the weather Sure, it's cliche, but in regards to the Braves centerfield, it's certainly ringing true. Upton walked in his first at-bat off Marcum, singled in the the second and laced an RBI double to center field in the fifth inning -- his first hit of the season with two outs and runners in scoring positing to end a 0-for-28 drought -- continuing a hot June for a player that had a totally forgettable opening two months in a Braves uniform. "He's swinging it," Gonzalez said. "Any time you see balls get hit opposite field, those are good swings and it's nice to see that." He ended May with eight extra base-hits with form home runs in 159 at-bats, eight RBIs, a 39.6 strikeout rate and the lowest batting average of any qualifying player in the majors at .166. June, though, has been a different story as he now has three doubles and four HRs, nine RBI and he's struck out 23 percent of the time. It's seen him slowly move up the order after being in seventh or eighth for most of the last 36 games, hitting sixth during the road trip to San Diego and as high as fifth twice in the last five games. Upton's average is still way down at .174, a testament to just how much Upton was struggling that he's 26 points below the Mendoza Line, and he's going to have to hit right around .300 over the next 98 games just to get back to his career average of .250. That may be asking too much, but three months in, the Braves are now seeing a player that looks more in line with the one they thought they were getting in that splashy November signing. 3. For the Braves' top pick, it was a whirlwind of a day Jason Hursh, the 31st overall selection in the draft out of Oklahoma State flew into Atlanta on Wednesday morning. He signed his contract, and after getting a first-hand look at Turner Field and the current Braves -- he said he took his picture with outfielder Justin Upton -- will report to Single-A Rome on Thursday. "They don't waste any time," the hard-throwing, 6-foot-1, 197-pounder said. "I'm ready to get started though." Hursh signed for an on-slot bonus of 1,704,200. He was the Cowboys' leader in innings pitched (106 13) and strikeouts (86) in 2013, ending the year with a 2.79 ERA and 6-5 record and earned second-team All-Big 12 honors. Hursh sat out last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, an experience that he believes made him a better pitcher. "I think I just grew up, really, having Tommy John surgery," Hursh said. "Sat out the 2012 year and I just really worked hard. It was a second chance to come back and prove that I could still pitch and everything. It helped, sitting on the sideline kind of made me develop my mental game more. Just came back and have been better ever since. I guess it's kind of a blessing in disguise you could say." The right-hander, who has a fastball that has been clocked in the-midupper 90s, has been told he'll throw 20-30 innings in Rome over the remainder of the season. He took a couple of weeks off after the season.
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