Perez digs deep hole as Braves fall to Yanks

Perez digs deep hole as Braves fall to Yanks

ATLANTA -- Didi Gregorius hit a three-run homer and collected a career-high six RBIs, Brian McCann celebrated his return to Atlanta with a three-run shot of his own and the Yankees rolled to a 15-4 victory over the Braves on Friday night at Turner Field.

Gregorius' seventh homer of the year highlighted New York's eight-run pounding of right-hander Williams Perez, who lasted just 1 2/3 innings. Chase Headley also drove in three runs for the Yankees, who remain 1 1/2 games behind the Blue Jays for the American League East lead.

More

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jonny on the spot: Gomes pitches 9th inning

Outfielder is first position player to pitch for the Braves since 1989

Jonny on the spot: Gomes pitches 9th inning

ATLANTA -- Jonny Gomes might revere baseball's sanctity more than any other current Major Leaguer. But the veteran Braves outfielder was still cognizant of the fact that he provided some levity and entertainment when he made his first career pitching performance during Friday night's 15-4 loss to the Yankees at Turner Field.

"Any time you're between the lines in a big league ballgame, it's not really a laughing matter, when you're up or down," Gomes said. "With that being said, it doesn't take the loss out of the loss column, but hopefully there were a couple chuckles."

More

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

McCann back where it all started in Atlanta

Catcher takes on Braves for first time since joining Yankees

McCann back where it all started in Atlanta

ATLANTA -- Throughout his high school years in suburban Atlanta, Brian McCann routinely visited Turner Field without any reason to believe he would end up playing more games in this stadium than anybody not named Chipper Jones or Andruw Jones.

Yet, when McCann returned to this familiar setting on Friday afternoon, it felt much different than it had at any previous point of his life. For the first time, the Yankees catcher was entering as a visitor and preparing himself for the odd experience to spend this weekend doing whatever it took to beat that Braves organization that will forever hold a special place in his heart.

More

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

Braves aim to bounce back against Yankees

Braves aim to bounce back against Yankees

This weekend's series between the Braves and Yankees features a pair of shortstops who have competed against each other since their childhood days in Curacao. New York's Didi Gregorius and Atlanta's Andrelton Simmons share a bond that dates back to all those days they played baseball, basketball and soccer together as children.

Unfortunately for Simmons, Gregorius had all the fun on Friday as he drilled a three-run homer in the first inning and helped the Yankees enhance their postseason bid with a convincing series-opening win over the Braves, who have lost 32 of their past 44 games.

More

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

Braves lay first bricks at SunTrust Park

Aaron, Freeman take part in ceremony, help bury time capsules

Braves lay first bricks at SunTrust Park

ATLANTA -- Hank Aaron and Freddie Freeman were among those at SunTrust Park on Thursday morning to ceremonially lay the first bricks that will be used to build the Braves' new state-of-the-art stadium that is set to open at the start of the 2017 season.

"As a little boy, I knew a little bit about laying bricks, I knew how to hold them," the 81-year-old Aaron said before laying his brick alongside the other decorative ones used in this ceremony that was staged in the upper portion of the stadium's construction.

More

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

Inbox: Examining Braves' offseason plans

Beat reporter Mark Bowman fields questions from fans

Inbox: Examining Braves' offseason plans

Will the Braves fill left field next year with an internal option or a big free agent?
-- David P., Birmingham, Ala.

This will be influenced by how Nick Swisher performs over the final month. If Swisher extends the success he had last weekend at Wrigley Field and proves that his surgically repaired knees will allow him to play left field at least five times per week, the Braves might be able to cross a need off their offseason to-do list and use their available funds elsewhere. But with that being said, Swisher still has a lot to prove, and Michael Bourn has provided indication he shouldn't be viewed as anything more than a fourth outfielder.

More

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

Back-to-back HRs can't end Miller's woes

Back-to-back HRs can't end Miller's woes

ATLANTA -- Jose Reyes' two-run triple capped a four-run seventh inning that extended Shelby Miller's winless streak to 18 starts and propelled the Rockies to a 6-3 win over the Braves on Wednesday night at Turner Field.

Miller had retired 14 consecutive batters and held a 3-0 lead before he surrendered five hits, including three extra-base hits, during Colorado's decisive seventh. Ben Paulsen and Brandon Barnes recorded doubles ahead of Reyes' triple off Miller, whose winless streak now stands as the longest ever by an Atlanta pitcher in one season.

More

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

Miller's winless rut reaches record level

All-Star's streak of 18 starts without 'W' sets Atlanta mark

Miller's winless rut reaches record level

ATLANTA -- For the first time in more than three months, Shelby Miller seemed to have everything he needed to end the most frustrating span of his young career. But after being reintroduced to the comfort of a multi-run lead during Wednesday night's 6-3 loss to the Rockies, the Braves right-hander endured an ugly seventh inning that extended his winless streak to an Atlanta-record 18 consecutive starts.

"We don't really talk about [the streak]," Braves second baseman Jace Peterson said. "Everybody knows it's going on. It's one of those things that is terrible. But I know he's going to keep battling and we're going to get him a win soon."

More

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

Braves eye Olivera for expanded roster

Cuban infield prospect, 30, acquired in July from Dodgers

Braves eye Olivera for expanded roster

ATLANTA -- The Braves are looking forward to introducing Hector Olivera to the Major Leagues. Before doing so, they want to give the 30-year-old Cuban third baseman a chance to immerse himself in professional baseball in the United States and make up for time lost while recovering from a strained left hamstring.

Olivera -- who is not expected to be called up until Major League rosters expand Tuesday -- has produced meager offensive results since he began a Minor League rehab stint on Aug. 13. The struggles he has encountered in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, Class A South Atlantic League and Triple-A International League have allowed the Braves to face the reality that there is no reason to rush him.

More

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

Moylan happy Medlen made his MLB return

Moylan happy Medlen made his MLB return

ATLANTA -- Though they are separated by distance, Peter Moylan and Kris Medlen have continued to savor their strong friendship, which was enriched as they spent last summer and most of this past offseason pushing each other toward their current satisfaction.

When Moylan and Medlen both underwent a second Tommy John elbow surgery two weeks apart last year, their respective playing careers were suddenly in jeopardy. But neither allowed this possibility to enter their minds as they endured a grueling rehab process together. Instead, the former Braves teammates remained committed to doing whatever necessary to get themselves back where they are now -- pitching at the Major League level.

More

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

Braves lament miscues against Rockies

Braves lament miscues against Rockies

ATLANTA -- When Adonis Garcia was released by the Yankees during the final week of Spring Training and signed by the Braves four days later, he was described as a decent hitter whose defensive limitations would likely keep him at the Triple-A level.

Garcia steadily quieted doubts about his glove after he was given a chance to spend most of this month filling the void created when the Braves traded third baseman Juan Uribe to the Mets. But the 30-year-old Cuban was humbled on Tuesday night, when he committed three errors, two of which led to the four unearned runs the Rockies tallied in a 5-1 win over the Braves at Turner Field.

More

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

Markakis, Braves come up short vs. Rockies

Markakis, Braves come up short vs. Rockies

ATLANTA -- DJ LeMahieu highlighted his three-hit night with a two-run fourth-inning single that capitalized on one of the three errors third baseman Adonis Garcia committed as the Rockies claimed a 5-1 win over the Braves on Tuesday night at Turner Field.

Garcia's first two errors led to each of the four unearned runs charged to Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz, who needed 94 pitches to complete five innings. Foltynewicz hit Matt McBride with a pitch and issued a four-pitch walk to Rockies starter Chad Bettis to load the bases before LeMahieu delivered his two-run single.

More

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

Tandem in left proves all right for Braves

Gomes' offense, Bourn's defense fuel slide-ending victory

Tandem in left proves all right for Braves

ATLANTA -- It's getting a little crowded in left field for the Braves, but that's not a bad thing.

On Monday night at Turner Field, left field was the difference, as Jonny Gomes started and had a huge night at the plate, then Michael Bourn came in for defense in the eighth and made a key play to help preserve the Braves' 5-3 win over the Colorado Rockies. The win ended Atlanta's season-high seven-game losing streak.

More

Jon Cooper is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bethancourt recalled, will see playing time

Marimon rejoins bullpen; Perez optioned; Aardsma DFA'd

Bethancourt recalled, will see playing time

ATLANTA -- It didn't take Christian Bethancourt long to realize that he missed the Major Leagues. The rookie catcher (who turns 24 on Sept. 2) realized it sometime on June 15, the day he was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett.

Monday afternoon at Turner Field, Bethancourt admitted he could barely contain his emotions when he found out he was being recalled by the Atlanta Braves.

More

Jon Cooper is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves snap skid as Teheran quiets Rox

Braves snap skid as Teheran quiets Rox

ATLANTA -- Julio Teheran went 7 1/3 strong innings and Atlanta's beleaguered bullpen held on as the Braves beat the Rockies, 5-3, on Monday night at Turner Field, snapping a seven-game losing streak.

Braves left fielder Jonny Gomes crushed a first-inning two-run homer and his defensive replacement, Michael Bourn, made a critical outfield assist in the eighth to cut down a Colorado run. The Braves won for only the third time in their last 14 games.

More

Jon Cooper and John Donovan are contributors to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rookies make coffee run in full uniform

Rookies make coffee run in full uniform

CHICAGO -- Instead of just sitting around the dreary visitor's clubhouse at Wrigley Field on Sunday morning, the Braves had some fun by sending a group of rookies to the coffee shop across the street to get an array of drinks while in full uniform.

"There were some Cubs fans in there that wanted us to hold their babies, and there were some autograph guys," Braves rookie reliever Andrew McKirahan said. "It was good fun."

More

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

Seitzer helps Simmons with discipline at plate

Relationship with hitting coach has benefited shortstop

Seitzer helps Simmons with discipline at plate

CHICAGO -- Andrelton Simmons's stubbornness and lack of patience have added to the challenge he has encountered while attempting to be a more consistent offensive threat. But as he has shown better plate discipline this season, the Braves Gold Glove shortstop has seemingly benefited from the relationship he has formed since being introduced to his new hitting coach Kevin Seitzer during Spring Training.

"We have a really good relationship, and there has been a lot of trust that has been established throughout the season," Seitzer said. "I'm really pleased with what [Simmons] has done this year. I think he is going to get nothing but better. This has been the first year where he has really been able to try to build on something."

More

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

Growing pains contribute to Braves' road woes

Young pitchers working through rough stretch trying to improve

Growing pains contribute to Braves' road woes

CHICAGO -- Somewhere in the near future, the Braves hope to look back on this year and remember it as the one that allowed them to consistently field championship-caliber clubs. Unfortunately, the reconstruction process has put them in a position where they must endure their current frustrations, which were extended on Sunday, when they concluded a winless seven-game road trip with a 9-3 loss to the Cubs.

"We've got three rookie [starting pitchers], and even the guys [in the rotation] that aren't rookies are still 24 or 25," Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said. "We've got a young rotation, and they're getting to log some innings. Hopefully, they can learn from all their mistakes and end on a positive note with their last few starts."

More

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

Lavarnway's homer not enough vs. Cubs' five

Lavarnway's homer not enough vs. Cubs' five

CHICAGO -- Four Cubs homered -- including two from Kris Bryant -- while Jason Hammel allowed two runs across 6 1/3 innings as Chicago defeated the Braves, 9-3, on Sunday at Wrigley Field to complete the series sweep. It marks the fourth sweep for the Cubs this season, the first time they have accomplished such a feat since 1945.

Dexter Fowler, Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Miguel Montero all went long off Atlanta starter Matt Wisler, who allowed seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. The Cubs totaled 12 home runs while completing a four-game sweep of the Braves for the first time since 1968.

More

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

Swisher homers from both sides to tie record

Outfielder's 14th switch-homer day matches Teixeira

Swisher homers from both sides to tie record

CHICAGO -- When Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez utilized Nick Swisher as his starting left fielder on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field, he opted to sacrifice some defense for offense. But he certainly wasn't expecting the powerful production he received.

Proving that his surgically-repaired knees have not zapped his power, Swisher homered from both sides of the plate for the 14th time in his career -- once again matching Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira for the most in Major League history. But the pair of two-run shots he provided were not enough to prevent the Braves from extending their losing streak to six games with a disheartening 9-7 loss to the Cubs.

More

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

Vizcaino looking like new pitcher out of 'pen

Right-hander has cut down on walks while maintaining electric fastball

Vizcaino looking like new pitcher out of 'pen

CHICAGO -- Arodys Vizcaino exited Spring Training wearing the embarrassment of a performance-enhancing drug suspension and having the reputation of being a hard-throwing reliever whose impressive radar gun readings were tarnished by his high walk totals.

Five months later, Vizcaino finds himself in a much different position. The 24-year-old right-hander returned to the Major Leagues in July and found himself as the Braves closer when Jim Johnson was traded to the Dodgers on July 30. He has converted each of his three save opportunities and, more importantly, shown an ability to throw strikes on a more consistent basis.

More

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

Braves trade Young to Mets for cash

Braves trade Young to Mets for cash

CHICAGO -- This season certainly has not gone as well as Eric Young Jr. had hoped. But the veteran center fielder gained some encouraging news on Saturday, when he learned the Braves traded him to the Mets for cash considerations.

Young began this season as Atlanta's starting center fielder, but Cameron Maybin assumed that role on May 2. Young has been with Triple-A Gwinnett since mid-June and there were no plans for him to join Atlanta's roster at any point this season.

More

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

Perez, bullpen fall victim to powerful Cubs

Perez, bullpen fall victim to powerful Cubs

CHICAGO -- Miguel Montero and Jorge Soler greeted their former teammate Edwin Jackson by opening the eighth inning with back-to-back home runs, giving the Cubs a 9-7 comeback win over the Braves on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs moved five games in front of the Giants in the race to claim the National League's second Wild Card spot with their 28th comeback win of the season. After falling behind, 7-3, in the fifth inning, they steadily cut the deficit before Addison Russell tied it on a solo homer that was reviewed by the umpires. The Cubs produced the decisive blasts in the eighth at the expense of Jackson, the veteran right-hander that they released just after the All-Star break.

More

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

Russell's controversial HR proves costly to Braves

Umpires' call stands after replay showed ball hitting fan above wall

Russell's controversial HR proves costly to Braves

CHICAGO -- Addison Russell knew the wind had been blowing out at Wrigley Field since the Braves had come to town on Thursday. So when he hit a ball off Braves pitcher Matt Marksberry into center field in Saturday's 9-7 win against Atlanta, he knew it had a chance of landing in the stands.

He couldn't have predicted how close a call it would be, though, when a fan appeared to interfere with the ball as it headed toward the bleachers. But following a Crew Chief replay review, he was awarded a home run that proved crucial to the win.

More

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

Markakis showing signs of power returning

Markakis showing signs of power returning

CHICAGO -- Though Nick Markakis has totaled just two home runs this season, he has spent the past month providing indication that he is steadily regaining some of the power potential that he lost after undergoing neck surgery in December.

At the same time, Markakis has continued to be one of the most consistent contributors within Atlanta's lineup. The veteran outfielder's two-run double in the fourth inning served as one of the few offensive highlights the Braves produced during Friday's 5-3 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

More

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

Miller staying positive despite tough-luck run

Miller staying positive despite tough-luck run

CHICAGO -- If Shelby Miller's ERA does not rise over the remainder of the season, he will accomplish something that only Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine have done among Braves pitchers dating back to 1990. But if he doesn't claim a win in his next start, Miller will also find himself mentioned in the same breath as Jo-Jo Reyes.

While these differing comparisons might seem ridiculous, so too has been Miller's winless streak, which was extended to 17 starts on Friday after he was unable to preserve the marginal run support he received during a 5-3 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

More

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 hold lead in loss to Cubs

Braves unable to hold lead in loss to Cubs

CHICAGO -- Chris Coghlan homered and the Cubs scored four unanswered runs to rally for a 5-3 victory over the Braves on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Chicago is now three games behind Pittsburgh for the first Wild Card spot in the National League.

"We know that if we're down in the score we're going to come back at some point, and that's part of the confidence, part of the winning attitude," said Cubs catcher Miguel Montero."It feels great."

More

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

Braves impressed by Foltynewicz's ability

Right-hander struggles in loss, but displays electric arm against Cubs

Braves impressed by Foltynewicz's ability

CHICAGO -- The Braves are quite confident Mike Foltynewicz has the stuff and makeup necessary to become an intimidating and effective late-inning reliever. At the same time, they know that he has a special arm that could also prove quite effective as a starter if they simply remain patient and allow him to learn from outings like one he produced during Thursday night's 7-1 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

"I told Folty to be proud of the way he threw tonight," Braves catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "I know he gave up some runs. The linescore didn't match what he had tonight. But this was definitely a step in the right direction."

More

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