Facing growing pains, Wood knows he must adjust

After stellar finish to '14, lefty has posted 4.32 ERA this season

Facing growing pains, Wood knows he must adjust

ATLANTA -- Alex Wood fast-tracked his way through the Braves' Minor League system in 2013 and proved to be one of Atlanta's top starting pitchers during the second half of last season. But through the first month of this season, the southpaw has been routinely introduced to the frustration he felt after being pulled during the fifth inning of Monday night's 5-2 loss to the Phillies.

"The time is now," Wood said. "I've got to make an adjustment. It's a humbling game to say the least. It's one of those things where there's no doubt in my mind that I'm going to figure it out. It's just a matter of when. I think it will be sooner rather than later."

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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's early troubles too much for Braves to overcome

Wood's early troubles too much for Braves to overcome

ATLANTA -- Aaron Harang extended his mastery of the Braves and benefited from the three first-inning runs the Phillies tallied against Alex Wood during Monday night's 5-2 win at Turner Field.

Harang, who rejuvenated his career with Atlanta last year, limited his former club to one run over six innings. The 36-year-old right-hander had completed 18 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings against the Braves until Andrelton Simmons tripled and scored on Freddie Freeman's single in the sixth inning.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Aimee Sachs is a contributor to MLB.com. Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harang the latest ex-Brave to do damage against club

Righty tosses six one-run innings, Francoeur has 4-for-5 night

Harang the latest ex-Brave to do damage against club

ATLANTA -- After helping Aaron Harang rejuvenate his career last year, the Braves were hesitant to give him a two-year deal this winter. But given what he has done to them over the past 10 days, they probably wish they would have at least tried to match the one-year, $5 million deal he signed with the Phillies.

"It's one of those things," Harang said. "They had other priorities at hand. We did start talking [to the Braves] about the same time as the Phillies, but it's just one of those things. Sometimes things don't work out the way you had hoped or the team had hoped. The Phillies were more aggressive toward me."

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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.

Teheran finds form as Braves blank Reds

Teheran finds form as Braves blank Reds

ATLANTA -- Comforted by the three-run first inning his offense produced against Johnny Cueto, Julio Teheran halted his recent woes with a strong mound performance that guided the Braves to Sunday afternoon's 5-0 win over the Reds at Turner Field.

While Teheran scattered three hits over six scoreless innings, Cueto surrendered three extra-base hits before recording his second out of the day. Kelly Johnson highlighted Atlanta's three-run first inning with a two-run homer, and Jonny Gomes added a solo shot in the third inning.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Bernie Pleskoff

Peterson could become everyday player

Peterson could become everyday player

The Atlanta Braves obtained an excellent multisport athlete when Jace Peterson was included in one of the many offseason moves made by the club. In mid-December, the San Diego Padres sent Peterson to the Braves along with pitcher Max Fried, third baseman Dustin Peterson and center fielder Mallex Smith for outfielder Justin Upton and pitcher Aaron Northcraft. It was a blockbuster trade that could help shape both clubs for years to come.

Jace Peterson was a football, basketball and baseball star at Hamilton Christian Academy in Lake Charles, La. He was a two-way sports star, playing both football and baseball, at McNeese State University, also in Lake Charles. In Peterson's three years, he hit .366 as a freshman, .353 as a sophomore and .335 as a junior. He stole a total of 78 bases while being caught stealing only 16 times.

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Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Aggressive approach suits sharp Teheran

Braves' ace goes after Reds hitters with fastball, ends three-start winless streak

Aggressive approach suits sharp Teheran

ATLANTA -- Having already gained a sense of how Julio Teheran had handled past adversity, the Braves were not surprised to see the talented young hurler display his fighting spirit while completing six scoreless innings during Sunday afternoon's 5-0 win over the Reds.

"This was more of the Julio Teheran that we've seen in the past," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said after watching Teheran scatter three hits and notch six strikeouts.

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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.

Proud dad Johnson leads Braves' offense

After greeting son at third base before game, utility man homers in first inning

Proud dad Johnson leads Braves' offense

ATLANTA -- Throughout his Major League career, there have been numerous instances in which Kelly Johnson has participated in a pregame ceremony that allows members of a local youth baseball team to stand at a specific position before the home team takes the field.

But some emotion was added to the experience on Sunday, when Johnson came out of the home dugout at Turner Field and ran toward his son, Cole, who was standing and waiting for his father to arrive at third base.

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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.

MLB reveals 30 Honorary Bat Girl winners

MLB reveals 30 Honorary Bat Girl winners

Mother's Day is Sunday, and for Melissa Rupert of Liberty Township, Ohio, it will be the first one to celebrate as the mother of a baby boy named Noah.

"He's my entire world," Rupert said. "Every day, I hold my baby boy as tightly as he'll let me and remind myself that he is my rock and my joy, and I barely think about ... breast cancer."

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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.

Simmons can't dodge grounder, called out

Simmons can't dodge grounder, called out

ATLANTA -- Nothing seems to be bouncing the right way for the Braves these days. Just ask Andrelton Simmons.

With the Braves down four to the Reds on Saturday night, Simmons snuck an RBI double just fair down the right-field line, pulling Atlanta within three and putting a runner on second with no outs. But Simmons was promptly eliminated when he was struck by Jace Peterson's ground ball, making the first out of the inning on runner's interference. The rally fizzled after that, and the Braves fell, 8-4.

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

Braves can't overcome Reds' power

Braves can't overcome Reds' power

ATLANTA -- The Reds hit three home runs and Jay Bruce added a pair of triples in an 8-4 win over the Braves on Saturday night at Turner Field.

Bruce's first triple off Braves starter Eric Stults helped set up the first two runs in the fourth, and he drove in two more with his second triple. Marlon Byrd and Todd Frazier hit solo homers off Stults in the sixth and seventh, respectively, and Zack Cozart added a two-run shot in the ninth.

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

Triples at heart of Stults' two-out trouble

Looking to escape frames, lefty allows three-bagger to Reds' Bruce twice in two innings

Triples at heart of Stults' two-out trouble

ATLANTA -- Braves lefty Eric Stults found himself pitching to the Reds' Jay Bruce with two outs in both the fourth and fifth innings Saturday night, and both times Bruce -- who is not known for his speed -- tripled.

With two outs in the fourth, Bruce hit a drive off the left-field wall just over the reach of a leaping Kelly Johnson.

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

One month later, Ciriaco gets callup

Versatile infielder impressed in spring, but Maybin trade kept him off Opening Day roster

One month later, Ciriaco gets callup

ATLANTA -- Pedro Ciriaco impressed as a non-roster invitee in Spring Training, so much so he joined the Braves on their flight to Miami before Opening Day.

But a late trade with the Padres that brought Cameron Maybin to Atlanta sent the utility man down to Triple-A Gwinnett.

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

Folty pitches in at plate, K.J. delivers vs. Reds

Folty pitches in at plate, K.J. delivers vs. Reds

ATLANTA -- Mike Foltynewicz displayed more than just a strong arm in his first Major League start and Kelly Johnson preserved the effort with a two-run home run in the fifth inning that propelled the Braves to a 4-3 win over the Reds on Friday night at Turner Field.

Johnson's two-run shot with two outs added to the frustrations of Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani, who entered the game with a National League-leading 1.04 ERA. DeSclafani had surrendered just two hits until Foltynewicz recorded his first career hit -- a two-out, two-run double that cut Atlanta's deficit to one run in the fourth inning.

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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.

Touted Foltynewicz earns win in his first start

Touted Foltynewicz earns win in his first start

ATLANTA -- Experiencing his first Major League start did not feel nearly as foreign to Mike Foltynewicz as stepping into the batter's box. But the highly regarded pitching prospect handled both challenges in a successful manner and gave the Braves more reason to be excited about the possibility that he will be a part of their starting rotation for many years to come.

"There's a lot to like about him," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He's a guy that has all the ability. He's got a good fastball and he's a big strong kid. He's a young guy with a lot of upside."

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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.

K. Johnson a pleasant surprise in starting role

K. Johnson a pleasant surprise in starting role

ATLANTA -- After experiencing frustrating stints with the Yankees, Red Sox and Orioles last year, Kelly Johnson returned to his suburban Atlanta home unsure about the remainder of his baseball career. But his spirits brightened in January, when the Braves extended an offer to rejoin their organization.

Initially, it appeared Johnson would fill a backup role if he earned a roster spot during Spring Training. But as the past few weeks have elapsed, the veteran utility man has taken advantage of his opportunities and delivered, like he did with a go-ahead home run during Friday night's 4-3 win over the Reds.

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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.

C. Johnson's hand fracture preexisting

Third baseman still needs 3-6 weeks because of bone bruises

C. Johnson's hand fracture preexisting

ATLANTA -- Braves third baseman Chris Johnson received some encouraging news when an MRI exam performed on Friday morning showed that his left hand fracture was preexisting. But he will still need three to six weeks to recover from the multiple bone bruises he suffered during an unsuccessful stolen-base attempt on Thursday night.

"I'm down for a couple weeks and then I'm going to be reevaluated," Johnson 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.

Miller takes no solace in solid outing

Right-hander tagged with consecutive homers, hurt by passed ball

Miller takes no solace in solid outing

ATLANTA -- Through this season's first month, Shelby Miller has provided a clear indication that he has the potential to serve as Atlanta's ace for many years to come. At the same time, he has proven to be an unselfish competitor, who certainly does not take solace in tough-luck outcomes.

Miller fit this latter description as he spoke to reporters after the Braves experienced Thursday night's 5-1 loss to the Reds at Turner Field. His effective seven-inning effort was blemished by consecutive home runs to begin the seventh inning and marred by a 29-pitch sixth inning that might have been much cleaner had Christian Bethancourt secured a strike-three pitch.

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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.

Miller stung by Reds' consecutive HRs in 7th

Miller stung by Reds' consecutive HRs in 7th

ATLANTA -- Mike Leake surrendered two hits over eight scoreless innings and accounted for one of the consecutive home runs Shelby Miller allowed as the Reds claimed a 5-1 win over the Braves on Thursday night at Turner Field.

After teaming with Tucker Barnhart to begin the seventh inning with back-to-back home runs, Miller completed his 97-pitch outing in impressive fashion. The right-hander retired 19 of the last 20 batters he faced and did not pitch from the stretch after Chris Johnson drew a two-out walk in the fourth. Nick Markakis' infield single to begin the bottom of the first accounted for one of the four hits recorded by the Braves, who have lost 11 of their past 15 games.

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

Veal latest addition to Braves' bullpen mix

Club continues to give successful Triple-A relievers a shot to impress

Veal latest addition to Braves' bullpen mix

ATLANTA -- As the Braves attempt to find the right pieces for their bullpen, they might continue to provide some of their Minor Leaguers a chance to prove whether they can be productive at the Major League level.

Before Thursday's series opener against the Reds, the Braves purchased left-handed reliever Donnie Veal's contract from Triple-A Gwinnett. Right-handed reliever John Cornely, who made his Major League debut on Wednesday night, was optioned to Gwinnett to create a roster spot for Veal.

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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, Braves bounced in rubber tilt with Nationals

Wood, Braves bounced in rubber tilt with Nationals

ATLANTA -- Jordan Zimmermann completed seven innings and aided his own cause with a bases-clearing single that propelled the Nationals to a 13-4 win over the Braves on Wednesday night in the rubber game at Turner Field.

Zimmermann's three-run single capped a four-run fourth inning that gave the Nationals a lead they would not relinquish. A.J. Pierzynski's two-run single in the first inning provided an early lead for Braves starter Alex Wood, who surrendered just two hits through the first three innings.

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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.

Freeman's red-hot bat a bright spot for Braves

Freeman's red-hot bat a bright spot for Braves

ATLANTA -- Now that Freddie Freeman has entered into one of his hot streaks, the Braves' offense has started to show some life. But Freeman's most recent contributions went for naught as the pitching staff allowed the Nationals to tally 26 runs during the final two games of this week's series at Turner Field.

Still as the Braves exited Wednesday night's 13-4 loss in the rubber game, they could at least be encouraged by the recent production provided by Freeman. Since exiting Saturday in the midst of a 1-for-18 slump, the All-Star first baseman has recorded 10 hits, including four doubles, in his past 17 at-bats.

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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 pays heavy price in decisive fourth inning

Wood pays heavy price in decisive fourth inning

ATLANTA -- It did not take long for the Braves to be burned by the carryover effect that developed when the Nationals erased an early eight-run deficit and completed an incredible comeback victory on Tuesday night, courtesy of Dan Uggla's three-run homer in the ninth.

Had Uggla not recorded a pair of triples and the home run during the previous two nights, Alex Wood might have attacked him the same way he would have any other hitter who has batted .173 since the start of the 2013 season. But with those extra-base hits still fresh in his memory, the young Braves lefty proved cautious with his ex-teammate and ultimately paid the price during the decisive four-run fourth inning the Nationals produced during Wednesday night's 13-4 loss at Turner Field.

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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 aims to win starting nod for All-Star Game

Freeman aims to win starting nod for All-Star Game

ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman has gained an All-Star selection both of the past two seasons, but he has yet to experience the honor of being voted by the fans to serve as the National League's starting first baseman.

Freeman will have another opportunity this year as he and shortstop Andrelton Simmons headline the cast of Braves on this year's All-Star ballot, which was released on Wednesday.

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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 want Teheran to dial up more fastballs

Braves want Teheran to dial up more fastballs

ATLANTA -- As Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, pitching coach Roger McDowell and Julio Teheran watched video of Teheran's most recent starts on Wednesday afternoon, they determined that the young right-hander needs to get back to relying on his fastball.

Teheran has utilized his fastball with less than 50 percent of his pitches in two of his past three starts, including Tuesday night's outing, during which he allowed the Nationals seven runs (three earned) and 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings.

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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 manager's proof is in Pierzynski's play

Catcher rewards Fredi's faith with 4-hit, 4-RBI game; has a knock in first 11 contests with club

Braves manager's proof is in Pierzynski's play

ATLANTA -- When Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez stopped utilizing Christian Bethancourt as his primary catcher last week, there was reason to question whether it was wise to stunt his development by placing him in a backup role.

But as A.J. Pierzynski has continued his torrid hitting, it has been more difficult to question Gonzalez's decision to continue placing the veteran catcher in his starting 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.

No doubt about it, Braves' loss tough to take

Club falls for first time since 1996 when scoring at least 12 runs, but skipper points to resiliency

No doubt about it, Braves' loss tough to take

ATLANTA -- As the Braves attempted to digest how they had squandered a pair of eight-run leads before suffering Tuesday night's 13-12 loss to the Nationals, they threw out the usual "turn the page" clichés that are often heard at the conclusion of a tough defeat.

But it will take a while for the Braves to lose the sour taste that developed on a night when Julio Teheran endured a third consecutive shaky start and the highest-paid member of Atlanta's current payroll -- Dan Uggla -- provided the Nationals this victory with his three-run homer in the ninth inning off Jason Grilli.

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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.