Long story short: Homers win it for Braves

Gomes, Uribe go deep to provide club with much-needed power

Long story short: Homers win it for Braves

ATLANTA -- During the offseason, the Braves front office made a conscious decision to go to a contact-oriented approach offensively, leading to a team that is last in the Majors in home runs.

But Friday night in the series opener against the Phillies at Turner Field, Atlanta powered its way to a 2-1 victory with home runs from left fielder Jonny Gomes and third baseman Juan Uribe.

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Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Uribe ends duel with one mighty slash

Uribe ends duel with one mighty slash

The Braves entered Friday's series opener with the Phillies as Major League Baseball's worst home run hitting team, but the long ball proved to be the difference as Jonny Gomes and Juan Uribe both connected off of Phillies starter Adam Morgan to lead Atlanta to a 2-1 win.

The homers backed up yet another solid home performance from Julio Teheran, who allowed just one unearned run over seven innings. Teheran was far from flawless, as he worked around Philadelphia baserunners throughout the evening, but still managed to lower his home ERA to 2.04.

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Todd Zolecki has been the Phillies beat reporter for MLB.com since 2009, and has been covering the Phillies since 2003.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Banuelos facing an innings limit

Despite rookie's strong debut vs. Scherzer, Braves proceeding cautiously post-Tommy John surgery

Banuelos facing an innings limit

ATLANTA -- Manny Banuelos will be restricted by an innings limit because of the significant caution the Yankees took as he returned from Tommy John surgery last year. But Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said no definite plans have been set for the rookie left-hander, who produced a stellar Major League debut while matching up against Max Scherzer in Thursday night's 2-1 win over the Nationals.

"I know there is a number out there, but I think if you follow it every individual is different," Gonzalez said. "I think with every case you have to be willing to do something different. But nobody has set a shutdown date or anything like that."

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Mark Bowman is the Braves beat reporter for MLB.com. He has been covering the club since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

All-Star starters unveiled Sunday, full rosters Monday

Watch selection shows on ESPN; Final Vote to get underway Monday

All-Star starters unveiled Sunday, full rosters Monday

It was historic because it happened exclusively online. It was personal because it decided the fate of your favorite players. It was intense because you argued a lot. And it was teamwork because you helped shatter a Major League Baseball record.

After 65 consecutive days of relentless fan voting to determine starting positions players for the 86th All-Star Game on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, the largest All-Star balloting program in sports closed at 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wood looks to keep Phils' fireworks to a minimum

Wood looks to keep Phils' fireworks to a minimum

The Braves and Phillies will both be looking to celebrate the Fourth of July with a win at Turner Field on Saturday, as Atlanta turns to Alex Wood and Philadelphia starts to Kevin Correia.

Wood is coming off of his best start of the season, 7 1/3 shutout inning against the Pirates in Pittsburgh, where he matched a season-high eight strikeouts while spotting his fastball to both sides of the plate and mixing in an effective curveball.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter with MLB.com and Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Vizcaino nearing return to Braves bullpen

Pitcher's PED suspension concludes at end of Friday's game

Vizcaino nearing return to Braves bullpen

ATLANTA -- Arodys Vizcaino could join the Braves bullpen within the next few days.

Triple-A Gwinnett activated Vizcaino Friday after he completed a rehab assignment, but with Atlanta playing its 80th game of the season Friday against the Phillies, he could join Atlanta as soon as Saturday, although he's thrown just seven innings this season at or below the Double-A level.

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Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves add two highly touted international free agents

Team agrees to terms with pair of 16-year-olds from Dominican Republic

ATLANTA -- The Braves agreed to terms with two International free agents from the Dominican Republic on Friday, shortstop Derian Cruz and outfielder Cristian Pache.

Both 16-year-old players will report to the Braves' Dominican Academy.

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Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves sink Scherzer with walk-off in ninth

Braves sink Scherzer with walk-off in ninth

ATLANTA -- It took a fortunate hop, but the Braves found a way to conquer Max Scherzer, courtesy of a one-out, walk-off single that Cameron Maybin bounced over the third-base bag to conclude Thursday night's 2-1 win over the Nationals at Turner Field.

Scherzer entered the ninth having retired 10 straight batters, going back to Andrelton Simmons' fifth-inning RBI single. But the tide turned when Pedro Ciriaco opened the bottom of the ninth with an infield single. Two batters later, Maybin bounced his game-winning hit over the third-base bag and into left field. Against Washington manager Matt Williams' wishes, the umpires didn't review the play because it was a ruling that occurred in front of the bag.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Maybin makes most of shot at redemption

Maybin makes most of shot at redemption

ATLANTA -- Cameron Maybin once again displayed his accountability and professionalism when he said that he was embarrassed that he had put his Braves teammates in a position where they nearly lost the opportunity to conquer Max Scherzer and the Nationals.

Maybin's inability to secure Bryce Harper's sharp liner to begin the seventh inning resulted in a double and led to a run that erased the possibility of Manny Banuelos earning a win in his Major League debut. But two innings later, the center fielder delivered the fortune-filled walk-off single that doomed Scherzer and provided the Braves a 2-1 win over the Nationals.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Freeman confirms he's out until after break

Freeman confirms he's out until after break

ATLANTA -- After spending the past couple of weeks dealing with pain and frustration, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has conceded that he has no choice but to rest his injured right wrist until after the All-Star break.

Freeman has been sidelined since June 18 with a bone bruise and aggravated ligaments in his right wrist. Though it has been assumed for more than a week that he would be sidelined through the break, it is still too early to pinpoint exactly when he will be healthy enough to return to the Braves' lineup.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Banuelos enjoys scoreless debut, cramps and all

Banuelos enjoys scoreless debut, cramps and all

ATLANTA -- Faced with the challenge of making his Major League debut against Max Scherzer on Thursday night at Turner Field, Manny Banuelos had no trouble maintaining his poise and showing why he was once one of baseball's top pitching prospects.

Everything seemed to be going better than Banuelos could have expected. But in the process of crafting an impressive debut that helped the Braves claim a 2-1 win over the Nationals, the 24-year-old left-hander was forced to make an unceremonious, sixth-inning exit because he started to be undone by cramps in his left calf and fingers.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves make 3 trades for bonus pool money

Braves make 3 trades for bonus pool money

ATLANTA -- When this year's international signing period began on Thursday, the Braves agreed to provide seven-figure signing bonuses to two players listed among MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects. They then began positioning themselves to be aggressive yet again on next year's international market.

The Braves added a little more than $1.1 million to their international bonus pool via three trades on Thursday. Cody Martin was sent to the A's in exchange for the 53rd international bonus pool slot, which was set at $388,400. A few hours later, Atlanta traded two Minor Leaguers (right-handed pitcher Caleb Dirks and outfielder Jordan Paroubeck) to the Dodgers for the 87th bonus pool slot, which is valued at $249,000. The Braves ended the flurry by sending Minor League pitcher Garrett Fulenchek to the Rays for the 73rd ($299,000) and 103rd spots ($195,200).

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Close, non-reviewable call ends it in Atlanta

Close, non-reviewable call ends it in Atlanta

ATLANTA -- The Nationals stayed on the field longer than most losing teams Thursday night, after the Braves' 2-1 walk-off victory in the series finale at Turner Field, but only because of a close call on Cameron Maybin's game-winning hit down the third-base line.

Maybin went down in the zone and connected with a low slider from Max Scherzer with a runner on second and one out in the bottom of the ninth, driving the ball into the dirt just in front of home plate and then watched it bounce over Yunel Escobar and third base and land in foul territory past the bag.

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Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves close to signing two top international prospects

Braves close to signing two top international prospects

The Braves are on the verge of adding a pair of high-profile international prospects to their Minor League system.

According to industry sources, the Braves agreed to $1.4 million signing bonus with outfielder Cristian Pache, ranked No. 10 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, and a $2 million bonus for infielder Derian Cruz, ranked No.24.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wisler logs firsts at plate while stifling Nats

Braves rookie adds to four-run fourth with first MLB hit, RBI; allows one hit over 5 1/3

Wisler logs firsts at plate while stifling Nats

ATLANTA -- Through the first three starts of his career, Braves right-hander Matt Wisler has displayed his tremendous potential, experienced some inevitable growing pains and proven that it is not always wise to intentionally walk a batter to bring him to the plate.

Along with pitching effectively into the sixth inning of Wednesday night's 4-1 win over the Nationals at Turner Field, Wisler also notched his first career hit -- an RBI single off Doug Fister -- immediately after Eury Perez was intentionally walked with two outs during a four-run fourth inning.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves quench thirst for runs in 4-run 4th

Pierzynski, Uribe hit back-to-back homers; Wisler contributes first MLB hit, RBI

Braves quench thirst for runs in 4-run 4th

ATLANTA -- After spending most of the past two weeks struggling to score runs without Freddie Freeman in their lineup, the Braves recorded back-to-back home runs and celebrated Matt Wisler's first career hit during the four-run fourth inning that propelled them to Wednesday night's 4-1 win over the Nationals.

"We haven't put a crooked number up in a while, and it was against a really, really tough pitcher in [Doug] Fister," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wisler, homers help Braves solve Nationals

Wisler, homers help Braves solve Nationals

ATLANTA -- Matt Wisler validated his status as a highly regarded pitching prospect and recorded his first career hit and RBI during a four-run fourth inning that propelled the Braves to Wednesday night's 4-1 win over the Nationals at Turner Field.

Wisler's two-out RBI single capped the fourth inning, which was highlighted by the back-to-back homers A.J. Pierzynski and Juan Uribe hit off Doug Fister. But most of the 22-year-old right-hander's most valuable contributions came in the process of limiting the Nationals to one hit, while recording six strikeouts and issuing five walks over 5 1/3 innings.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Smoltz first (and last?) to enter Hall post-TJ surgery

Smoltz first (and last?) to enter Hall post-TJ surgery

PHOENIX -- When John Smoltz is inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 26, he will be the first pitcher to go in having undergone elbow ligament replacement surgery -- today almost universally known as Tommy John surgery -- at some point during his career.

And Smoltz may very well be the last for a while, unless the lefty John himself is elected by a Veteran's Committee.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After long wait, Brigham dazzles in debut

Right-hander delivers three scoreless frames, strikes out four

After long wait, Brigham dazzles in debut

ATLANTA -- Few can understand all that Jake Brigham has experienced while spending the past nine years toiling in the Minor Leagues. But those who were aware of his long journey had no choice but to be thrilled with what he accomplished as he completed three scoreless innings while making his Major League debut for the Braves during Tuesday night's 6-1 loss to the Nationals.

"This was more than I could have ever imagined," Brigham said. "I hate that we lost because I'm walking around with a smile. But it was amazing and just a thrill."

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Four-run first inning spoils Miller's outing

Right-hander fans 10, but two-out hits loom large in loss

Four-run first inning spoils Miller's outing

ATLANTA -- As Braves right-hander Shelby Miller has positioned himself to at least be considered as the National League's starting pitcher at this year's All-Star Game, he has relied heavily on a two-seam fastball that expanded his repertoire late last season and allowed him to begin using his curveball less frequently.

Thus, it was easy to understand why much of the frustration Miller expressed after allowing four first-inning runs in Tuesday night's 6-1 loss to the Nationals was aimed toward his choice to throw a curveball to Clint Robinson, who belted the breaking pitch over the right-field wall for a two-run homer that highlighted the unexpected opening frame.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves unable to pick up shaky Miller

Braves unable to pick up shaky Miller

ATLANTA -- It did not take the Nationals long to extend their dominance of the Braves and halt the struggles they have had against Shelby Miller. A four-run first inning provided Jordan Zimmermann more than enough support as he led Washington to a 6-1 win on Tuesday night at Turner Field.

While Miller surrendered a season-high five runs -- four earned -- over five innings, Zimmmermann scattered five hits over 7 2/3 scoreless innings. The Nationals right-hander pitched around A.J. Pierzynski's second-inning leadoff double on the way to extending his consecutive scoreless innings streak against the Braves to 15 2/3 innings.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves have one eye on present, two on future

Flurry of roster moves indicates desire to compete

Braves have one eye on present, two on future

ATLANTA -- Though the Braves have spent this season's first three months living up to John Hart's description of not being "the prettiest girl at the dance," the countless acquisitions and roster moves the club's front office has made indicates that it is not willing to simply settle for routine disappointment this year, despite admittedly placing a greater focus on the future.

"I think we'll dance as hard as anybody and we won't sit out any songs," Braves assistant general manager John Coppolella said, playing off the analogy provided by Hart, who became the club's president of baseball operations in October.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wood splinters Bucs' bats, plays stopper

Lefty fans eight to help Braves snap five-game skid

Wood splinters Bucs' bats, plays stopper

PITTSBURGH -- While Julio Teheran has created concern with the inconsistency he has displayed over the past few months, Alex Wood has spent the past six weeks proving he could make adjustments necessary to distance himself from his early-season struggles.

Still, none of the successful outings Wood has recently completed were any more impressive than the dominant one he fashioned while helping the Braves snap a five-game losing streak with Sunday afternoon's 2-1 win over the Pirates at PNC Park.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Good Wood: Braves quiet Bucs in finale

Good Wood: Braves quiet Bucs in finale

PITTSBURGH -- Left-hander Alex Wood quieted the Pirates into the eighth inning on Sunday as the Braves downed Pittsburgh, 2-1, to snap a five-game losing streak.

Nick Markakis' RBI single in the fifth and Jace Peterson's solo homer in the seventh were all the help Wood needed to snap a three-decision losing streak. Wood allowed five hits in 7 1/3 innings, not issuing a walk while striking out eight. He allowed three runs or fewer for the 13th time in his 15 starts.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Perez OK after collision with Maybin in 9th

Perez OK after collision with Maybin in 9th

PITTSBURGH -- Braves outfielders Eury Perez and Cameron Maybin broke for the ball, and while neither came up with the catch, they're lucky no bones were broken.

In the bottom of the ninth of the Braves' 2-1 win over the Pirates on Sunday afternoon at PNC Park, Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer drove a Jason Grilli fastball to the left-center-field warning track.

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John McGonigal is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves call up RP Kelly for first taste of bigs

Marimon optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett

Braves call up RP Kelly for first taste of bigs

PITTSBURGH -- Right-handed reliever Ryan Kelly was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett and joined the Braves' bullpen for Sunday afternoon's game. Subsequently, fellow reliever Sugar Ray Marimon, who has a 7.71 ERA in six appearances with Atlanta this year, will be optioned to Gwinnett.

This will be Kelly's first action in the big leagues after nine seasons in the Minors. After nearly a decade of working and waiting for "the call", he was excited to finally get it.

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John McGonigal is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peterson breaks slump by clearing bases

Peterson breaks slump by clearing bases

PITTSBURGH -- When runners are on, the task at hand is to score them. It's simple and straightforward, but difficult to do. Braves second baseman Jace Peterson happens to thrive in those situations, and, even though he was mired in an extended slump recently, the 25-year-old delivered when Atlanta needed a jolt of offensive life in Saturday's 8-4 loss to the Pirates at PNC Park.

Pittsburgh dealt with gray skies and rain all afternoon, but on the scoreboard, the Pirates looked to be in the clear with a five-run lead going into the top of the seventh.

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John McGonigal is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rough 1st inning too much for Braves

Rough 1st inning too much for Braves

PITTSBURGH -- Pedro Alvarez has only been along the ride for most of the first half of the season, but he may be ready to give the Pirates a lift. Alvarez's two-run double triggered a five-run first on Saturday and the Bucs went on to an 8-4 win over Atlanta at rain-soaked PNC Park.

Julio Teheran's road woes continued as the opening inning caved in on him shortly after he hit Andrew McCutchen the left elbow with a pitch, forcing the All-Star outfielder's removal from the game. Although he settled in to hold the Pirates to one additional run in his six-inning outing, Teheran's road ERA swelled to 7.40 (40 earned runs in 48 2/3 innings).

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.