Braves look to buck post All-Star break rut

Braves look to buck post All-Star break rut

DENVER -- Two weeks after entering the All-Star break feeling good about how they had fared over the previous month, the Braves once again find themselves in the midst of one of those frustration-filled stretches they were hoping to avoid during the season's second half.

The Braves came out of the break looking forward to the opportunity to spend two weeks tidying their ugly record with games against the Rockies, Reds and Twins. But instead of taking advantage of the chance to get healthier against other teams with sub .500 records, Atlanta has instead been routinely introduced to the disappointment felt on Sunday afternoon, when they were swept out of Coors Field with a 7-2 loss to the Rockies.

More

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves buried early in loss to Rockies

Braves buried early in loss to Rockies

DENVER -- The Rockies chased Braves pitcher Tyrell Jenkins before he could finish the fourth inning with three home runs in a 7-2 victory over the Braves on Sunday at Coors Field to complete their first four-game sweep since July 9-12, 2015, which was also against the Braves.

Colorado wasted no time scoring, hitting around in the first inning and plating four runs on Nolan Arenado's three-run homer and Nick Hundley's RBI single. The Rockies ended Jenkins' outing two innings later when DJ LeMahieu homered to lead off the inning and Trevor Story hit his fourth homer of the series two batters later. More >

More

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

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

Freeman's hot stretch coincided with rib injury

Freeman's hot stretch coincided with rib injury

DENVER -- When Freddie Freeman produced his impressive offensive tear during June's final two weeks, he was not taking batting practice because of the discomfort caused by what was essentially a cracked left rib.

Since Freeman resumed taking batting practice once he started feeling better during July's first week, he has endured another maddening slump. It has just been that kind of year for the Braves first baseman, who has batted .179 with a .648 OPS since the All-Star break. He improved those numbers as he notched a pair of hits in Sunday's 7-2 loss to the Rockies at Coors Field.

More

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harrell out to get back on track against Twins

Harrell out to get back on track against Twins

The Twins and Braves played in one of the more memorable World Series in 1991, and 25 years later, they're set to meet again in Interleague Play, only this time they're both in last place in their respective leagues.

Minnesota, though, has been playing much better baseball of late, and will start right-hander Ervin Santana against his former team in the opening game of the two-game series at Target Field on Tuesday. Atlanta, which visits for the first time since 2010, counters with right-hander Lucas Harrell.

More

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Soroka squares off against Keller in Class A duel

Soroka squares off against Keller in Class A duel

Here's a look at top prospects to watch in Monday's Minor League action:

Hitter to watch: Mauricio Dubon (Red Sox's No. 11), Portland vs. Trenton (7 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)

More

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves unable to rewrite Rockies' Story

Braves unable to rewrite Rockies' Story

DENVER -- Trevor Story put himself into the record books, then lifted the Rockies to their third straight victory over the Braves, 8-4, on Saturday night at Coors Field. Story homered twice and had career highs with four hits and five RBIs.

The Rockies -- who will try to sweep the series Sunday afternoon -- improved to 6-3 since the All-Star break and are .500 (24-24) at home for the first time since June 27. Story is too wrapped up in the performance of his club, which is 46-51 but harboring dreams of pushing into the National League Wild Card race, to think much about history.

More

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

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

Wisler cruises early, unravels in 6th inning

Snitker praises young righty's approach, use of changeup

Wisler cruises early, unravels in 6th inning

DENVER -- Though they might be tired of the growing pains that come with attempting to establish themselves as big league starting pitchers, Braves right-handers Mike Foltynewicz and Matt Wisler accept the reality that they are in an often frustrating portion of the development process.

As the season has progressed, the Braves have reason to be encouraged about where these two might stand next year. But after Wisler combusted during the sixth inning of Saturday night's 8-4 loss to the Rockies, the Braves were once again reminded to remain patient.

More

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Teheran encouraged day after lat injury

Braves waiting on righty's recovery before deciding on next start

Teheran encouraged day after lat injury

DENVER -- When Julio Teheran returned to Coors Field on Saturday, he completed all of the activities he normally does the day after a start. But even though the Braves are encouraged by how much Teheran's upper back has improved, the club will wait a couple of days before determining if their ace will make his next start.

"Last night, I was a little bit worried because I was expecting to be sore, but it's nothing out of the ordinary," said Teheran, who exited Friday night's 4-3 loss to the Rockies in the fifth inning with what the Braves' medical staff called right lat tightness.

More

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Weigel among top prospect performers Saturday

Brewers prospect caps huge game with walk-off shot; Indians' No. 2 notches season-high four hits

Weigel among top prospect performers Saturday

The Midwest League is notorious for dampening the power of young hitters. Apparently no one told that to Isan Diaz.

The Brewers' No. 11 prospect slugged a pair of home runs on Saturday, including a walk-off shot to propel Class A Wisconsin past Lake County, 9-8. Diaz also hit a triple in the contest en route to finishing 3-for-4, while his six RBIs represented a new career high.

More

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves unlikely to part with Inciarte's defense

Braves unlikely to part with Inciarte's defense

DENVER -- Ender Inciarte's name has been linked to trade rumors dating back to the night the Braves acquired him as part of the blockbuster package gained from the D-backs in December. But unless Atlanta general manager John Coppolella is blown away by an offer, it does not look like he will trade the talented center fielder who has compensated for his offensive struggles by consistently providing Gold Glove-caliber defense.

"We've been so pleased with what Ender brings every day," Coppolella said. "We know he's a better hitter than what he is showing, but he provides so much value defensively and he's also a great makeup player. We love what he brings to the clubhouse and the energy he brings to our team."

More

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves edged out by Rox after Teheran's injury

Braves edged out by Rox after Teheran's injury

DENVER -- In a rematch of a pitcher's duel from five days prior against Julio Teheran, the Rockies' Jon Gray got the upper hand. The rookie right-hander tossed seven brilliant innings and closer Carlos Estevez survived a wild ninth for a 4-3 victory over the Braves on Friday night at Coors Field.

After not factoring into the decision in the Rockies' 1-0 loss in Atlanta on Sunday, Gray earned the win by holding the Braves to one run on six hits with one walk and eight strikeouts. The only run came in the first inning on Nick Markakis' RBI infield single that knocked in Freddie Freeman, whose triple popped out of left fielder Ryan Raburn's glove.

More

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com who covered the Rockies on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Allard among top prospect performers Friday

Mariners slugger makes immediate impact with new team; top Twins prospect fires eight strong

Allard among top prospect performers Friday

Dan Vogelbach sure knows how to make an introduction. Playing in his first game with Triple-A Tacoma since being traded from the Cubs to the Mariners on Wednesday, Seattle's new No. 15 prospect went 3-for-3 with two RBIs.

The 23-year-old wasted no time showing off his power stroke, hitting his 17th homer of the season in his first at-bat with Tacoma. After hitting that solo blast to right field in the second inning, Vogelbach followed up with an RBI double to left in the third.

More

William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cabrera has first chance to show resiliency

Braves' rookie reliever coming off first rough outing in big leagues

Cabrera has first chance to show resiliency

DENVER -- When Mauricio Cabrera made the jump from Double-A to the Majors near the end of June, there was reason to believe the Braves' reliever would light up radar guns and struggle with his command. But only one of these descriptions has consistently been valid.

As Cabrera has produced triple-digit radar-gun readings that have been topped only by Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, he has hit the strike zone with regularity. But the 22-year-old right-hander was humbled on Thursday night, when he surrendered two hits, issued a walk and hit a batter while facing six hitters in the eighth inning of a 7-3 loss to the Rockies.

More

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Home run balls bite Braves at Coors Field

Home run balls bite Braves at Coors Field

DENVER -- Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez and pinch-hitter Mark Reynolds made their homers count Thursday night in a 7-3 victory over the Braves at Coors Field.

Gonzalez's three-run homer in the sixth inning, off Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz, carried a 114.1-mph exit velocity and a projected distance of 459 feet -- the second-hardest and second-longest homer for Gonzalez this year, according to Statcast™. More important, it was Gonzalez's first homer in 23 plate appearances and, even better, his first homer in a Rockies win in 73 plate appearances since June 27.

More

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

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

Emotion gets best of Foltynewicz, Pierzynski

Pitcher upset after allowing homer, catcher ejected

Emotion gets best of Foltynewicz, Pierzynski

DENVER -- Mike Foltynewicz allowed his emotions to get the best of him during the decisive sixth inning and A.J. Pierzynski was ejected while Erick Aybar and manager Brian Snitker argued against an obstruction call levied against Aybar during Mauricio Cabrera's ugly eighth inning.

Needless to say, the Braves were not happy about how things unraveled as they opened a four-game set at Coors Field with Thursday night's 7-3 loss to the Rockies. Foltynewicz became visibly frustrated after surrendering Carlos Gonzalez's mammoth three-run home run in the sixth inning and Pierzynski came unglued when he was ejected for what he claimed to be an innocent kick of a ball toward Colorado's dugout.

More

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Coppolella says he won't trade Teheran

Braves hope to build rotation around young righty

Coppolella says he won't trade Teheran

ATLANTA -- Julio Teheran will continue to draw interest from teams looking to add a frontline starting pitcher before the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline. But Braves general manager John Coppolella contends he will not be influenced to trade his All-Star pitcher.

"I have told about 12 different general managers we aren't moving [Teheran]," Coppolella said. "We have gotten some hits on some other starting pitchers and we've got to at least listen. But I think young pitching for us is what we're trying to build around."

More

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Toussaint among top prospect performers Thursday

Marlins prospect continues to sizzle on mound; Padres' No. 4 keeps on slugging

Toussaint among top prospect performers Thursday

It's been a stellar month for Marlins No. 24 prospect Jeff Brigham. Pitching for Class A Advanced Jupiter, Brigham has yet to yield an earned run in July, lowering his ERA from 5.28 to 3.87 in just four starts (21 2/3 innings).

The 24-year-old righty turned in yet another impressive performance Thursday, tossing seven scoreless innings and striking out a season-best 10 batters. Brigham limited the Dunedin Blue Jays to four hits and one walk as the Hammerheads secured a 1-0 victory at Roger Dean Stadium.

More

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

Solo shots can't save Braves in series finale

Solo shots can't save Braves in series finale

CINCINNATI -- It was a good thing for Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani that Tucker Barnhart hit a home run in the sixth inning on Wednesday afternoon at Great American Ball Park. The two-run shot not only provided a lead, it allowed DeSclafani to pitch eight innings as the Reds took a 6-3 victory over the Braves and claimed two of three games in the series.

Braves starter Lucas Harrell took a 2-0 lead into the sixth inning when Cincinnati erupted for a four-run rally. With one out, Jose Peraza hit a two-run single to center field that scored Jay Bruce and Eugenio Suarez. Two batters later, Barnhart put the Reds ahead with a two-run homer to right field. Manager Bryan Price would have pinch-hit for DeSclafani, who was hitting ninth behind Barnhart, had they not taken the lead.

More

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati and covered the Braves on Wednesday.

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

Not enough in tank for Harrell to finish strong

Braves starter keeps Reds at bay through five frames, allows four runs in sixth

Not enough in tank for Harrell to finish strong

CINCINNATI -- Through the first five innings of Wednesday's series finale between the Reds and Braves at Great American Ball Park, Lucas Harrell didn't have his best stuff. But he was good enough.

Harrell was admittedly rusty in the first, allowing the first two batters he faced to reach before striking out Joey Votto and Jay Bruce and inducing a grounder from Eugenio Suarez. He allowed three hits and three walks over those five frames, but he limited the damage and came out unscathed with a two-run lead.

More

Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Game-Ender! Inciarte hits sac fly in 11th for win

Game-Ender! Inciarte hits sac fly in 11th for win

CINCINNATI -- It was a night when both teams' bullpens had spells of not getting the job done. But the messy battle of relievers was ultimately claimed by the Braves with a 5-4 victory over the Reds in 11 innings, with Ender Inciarte's sacrifice fly being the difference.

In the top of the 11th, Nick Markakis hit a leadoff single against Tony Cingrani, who worked a scoreless 10th for Cincinnati. Blake Wood took over and allowed Jeff Francoeur's single that put runners on the corners. Inciarte hit a fly ball to center field and Markakis scored the go-ahead run -- just the third inherited runner to cross the plate on Wood this season. Francoeur was thrown out by Billy Hamilton for the double play trying to advance to second base, but the damage was already done.

More

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati.

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

Jenkins displays maturity in 2nd start for Braves

Jenkins displays maturity in 2nd start for Braves

CINCINNATI -- With one swing of the bat, it looked like Braves second baseman Gordon Beckham had propelled rookie Tyrell Jenkins into his first career win just one day before his birthday.

Beckham's two-run homer in the seventh gave the Braves a two-run lead shortly after Jenkins exited, and he would have been the pitcher of record. Unfortunately for Jenkins, Jim Johnson couldn't hold down the save and, although the Braves ended up with the 5-4 win in 11 innings, Jenkins missed out on that first victory.

More

Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Simmons to pitch in GCL rehab game

Reliever has experienced multiple setbacks in Tommy John surgery recovery

Simmons to pitch in GCL rehab game

CINCINNATI -- The Braves hope that the setbacks are behind reliever Shae Simmons as he continues to work on his return from Tommy John surgery from more than a year ago.

On Monday, Simmons threw about 30 pitches a simulated game in the Gulf Coast League (GCL) and experienced nothing but "normal soreness" in his right forearm, the culprit of his most recent setback.

More

Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Garcia homers; Braves fall short in opener vs. Reds

Garcia homers; Braves fall short in opener vs. Reds

CINCINNATI -- The people responsible for the home run celebration fireworks at Great American Ball Park barely had time to reload in the fourth inning on Monday. Three homers in the bottom of the fourth helped power the Reds to an 8-2 victory over the Braves. It was Cincinnati's third win in four games since the All-Star break, while Atlanta has dropped three of its last four.

Atlanta took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth, before Cincinnati pounced with five runs in the bottom half. Zack Cozart hit a solo homer against Braves starter Matt Wisler, before Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez each added two-run shots. Cincinnati had been without a home run in each of its previous four games.

More

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati.

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

Cabrera uncorks 103.8-mph fastball vs. Reds

Cabrera uncorks 103.8-mph fastball vs. Reds

CINCINNATI -- Working mop-up duty in the eighth inning of the Braves' 8-2 loss to the Reds on Monday, reliever Mauricio Cabrera reached back and threw the hardest pitch of his Major League career.

On a 2-2 pitch to pinch-hitter Tyler Holt, Cabrera threw a 103.8-mph fastball for ball three. Not only was it the fastest pitch Cabrera has ever thrown, but it was the fastest thrown by any pitcher not named Aroldis Chapman in the Statcast™ era.

More

Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wisler struggles second time through order

Braves right-hander fell apart by allowing five-run fourth inning vs. Reds

Wisler struggles second time through order

CINCINNATI -- Things seemed to be looking up for Braves starter Matt Wisler in his start against the Reds on Monday.

Through the first three innings, Wisler faced the minimum, allowing two hits but inducing two double plays while striking out two. But like it has so often for the 23-year-old righty recently, the wheels fell off when the Reds came to bat a second time in the fourth inning. Five runs later, Wisler was staring at a four-run deficit, which led to an 8-2 Braves loss. He allowed five earned runs and eight hits over his five innings.

More

Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Markakis selected as Braves' 2016 Heart and Hustle winner

Award recognizes passion, desire and work ethic

Markakis selected as Braves' 2016 Heart and Hustle winner

The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) announced the 30 preliminary winners of the 2016 Heart and Hustle Award on Tuesday, honoring one player from each of the 30 Major League teams.

The Heart and Hustle Award, given annually, celebrates active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game. It's the only award in the Majors that is voted on by former players, and voting is conducted prior to the All-Star break.

More

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Flowers' injury gives Recker chance behind plate

Veteran backstop called up from Triple-A to platoon with Pierzynski

Flowers' injury gives Recker chance behind plate

CINCINNATI -- With Tyler Flowers missing the next four to six weeks with a broken left hand, Braves catcher Anthony Recker is going to get a chance to prove himself.

Recker, called up Wednesday from Triple-A Gwinnett, got his first start on Sunday against the Rockies, catching a seven-inning shutout performance from Julio Teheran. Without Flowers, it looks like the Braves will, at least for now, continue their catching platoon and let Recker get the start against lefties while A.J. Pierzynski will take righties. That means Recker is in line to start the first two in Cincinnati against lefties Brandon Finnegan in the opener on Monday and Cody Reed on Tuesday.

More

Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.