Braves at Deadline crossroad after tough stretch

Team played to 8-11 record against five postseason contenders

Braves at Deadline crossroad after tough stretch

PHOENIX -- The Braves have not embarrassed themselves as they have spent most of this month progressing through the most daunting part of their schedule. But at the same time, they have not improved their positioning in the postseason races or created reason to be buyers before Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.

There is a chance the Braves could add a controllable starting pitcher who could provide value next year and beyond. But for now they can only focus on where they currently stand after Aaron Blair's spot start set an early ominous tone during Wednesday afternoon's 10-3 loss to the D-backs at Chase Field.

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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.

Blair struggles in season debut as Braves fall

Blair struggles in season debut as Braves fall

PHOENIX -- The D-backs offense came alive on Wednesday, as it rode standout hitting performances from J.D. Martinez and Ketel Marte to a 10-3 victory over the Braves at Chase Field. With the win, Arizona took two out of three from Atlanta.

The D-backs took control of the game in the third with a four-run inning that was highlighted by a stand-up inside-the-park home run from Marte. They padded their lead in the fifth when Paul Goldschmidt smashed his second double of the game, and then scored on a two-run homer by Martinez. In the 8th, Martinez added another homer -- a 410-foot, two-run shot -- to add to the lead. Arizona ended the game with 8 extra-base hits.

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

Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix and covered the D-backs on Wednesday.

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

Sources: Swanson will be sent to Triple-A

Sources: Swanson will be sent to Triple-A

PHOENIX -- Instead of continuing to fill the backup role he has manned since the All-Star break, Dansby Swanson is going to get a chance to play on a daily basis at the Minor League level.

A source familiar with the discussions said the Braves informed Swanson after Wednesday's 10-3 loss to the D-backs that he would be optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett. The highly-regarded shortstop entered this season as a top National League Rookie of the Year candidate, but his inexperience has shown, as he has batted .213 with a .599 OPS through 95 games.

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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.

Pipeline Preview: Sims looks to rack up the K's

Pipeline Preview: Sims looks to rack up the K's

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

Hitter to watch: Mauricio Dubon (Brewers' No. 9), Colorado Springs vs. Tacoma (8:40 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)

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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.

Teheran looks to keep rolling, live on Facebook

Teheran looks to keep rolling, live on Facebook

Some non-waiver Trade Deadline buzz will fill the air as the Phillies send right-hander Jeremy Hellickson to the mound to oppose Braves right-hander Julio Teheran in the opener of a four-game series at Citizen Bank Park Friday night.

The game will be broadcast live on the official MLB Facebook page (www.facebook.com/mlb), and will include an exclusive MLB.com pregame show.

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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' 4 HRs back Folty in win over D-backs

Braves' 4 HRs back Folty in win over D-backs

PHOENIX -- Kurt Suzuki hit two of the Braves' four homers and drove in three runs, lifting the Braves to an 8-3 win over the D-backs on Tuesday night at Chase Field.

Suzuki's first homer, a two-run shot in the seventh inning off reliever J.J. Hoover (1-1), broke a 2-2 tie. The veteran catcher added his 10th home run of the season in the eighth. Johan Camargo followed with another homer to give the Braves more insurance.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

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.

Suzuki keeps 'clicking,' hits another two homers

Suzuki keeps 'clicking,' hits another two homers

PHOENIX -- As a catcher at age 33, Kurt Suzuki didn't necessarily expect to suddenly regain the power potential he displayed in his younger days. But he's certainly enjoying this chance to get a feel for how Aaron Judge, Freddie Freeman and the game's other top power hitters feel when they are in a zone.

"I wouldn't put myself in that kind of category, those guys are pretty special baseball players," Suzuki said after Tuesday's 8-3 win over the D-backs. "I just try my best to help the team win. When I run into some, it feels good, because I don't hit many. So, when I do hit some, it feels good, and I feel like I'm floating around the bases."

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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 have MLB-best 9 on Top 100 prospects

Outfielder ranked No. 8, atop deep, talented farm system

Braves have MLB-best 9 on Top 100 prospects

PHOENIX -- During the 40-plus seasons he has spent serving various roles within the Braves' organization, manager Brian Snitker witnessed the development of Tom Glavine, Chipper Jones, Javy Lopez and other homegrown talents who significantly influenced the organization winning 14 consecutive National League East division titles from 1991-2005.

As he now looks on from his big league perch, Snitker believes the organization has a similar crop of high-quality prospects who could provide a similar impact as their predecessors from the late 1980s and early 1990s.

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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.

Inciarte asks Peralta for pregame autograph

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Inciarte asks Peralta for pregame autograph

A group of D-backs fans waiting for David Peralta ahead of Tuesday night's game with the Braves had such an opportunity ... and so did another devoted Peralta fan, Ender Inciarte. 

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Someone fills in for The Freeze in Arizona

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Someone fills in for The Freeze in Arizona

Back in early June, The Freeze made his debut at SunTrust Park, teaching one poor Braves fan a valuable lesson in the perils of complacency.

In the weeks since, The Freeze -- real name: Nigel Talton -- has become a national sensation, accepting all challenges and engaging in all manner of Twitter shenanigans (all while continuing to leave unsuspecting Braves fans in the dust). There was just one problem: Talton didn't travel with the team, denying 29 fan bases the opportunity to see him in action ... until Monday night, that is.

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Braves acquire Huascar Ynoa in Garcia trade

Braves acquire Huascar Ynoa in Garcia trade

PHOENIX -- It took a little longer than desired and some restructuring, but the Braves eventually sent left-handed starting pitcher Jaime Garcia to the Twins.

Garcia and Minor League catcher Anthony Recker were traded to the Twins in exchange for right-handed pitching prospect Huascar Ynoa and cash considerations on Monday afternoon. This was a move that has given Atlanta some financial flexibility to pursue Sonny Gray and other frontline controllable starting pitchers who could provide significant value over the next few seasons.

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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.

Soroka throws seven for Mississippi

Soroka throws seven for Mississippi

Shane Bieber has passed every test the Indians have thrown his way this season, a trend that continued Tuesday with his scoreless debut for Double-A Akron.

Starting for Akron in game one of a doubleheader against Binghamton, Bieber, the Indians' No. 13 prospect, limited opposing hitters to five hits over 6 2/3 innings. He found the zone with 65 of his 94 pitches, striking out five and walking one, and generated another nine outs on the ground.

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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.

Rodriguez's pinch-HR doesn't faze D-backs

Rodriguez's pinch-HR doesn't faze D-backs

PHOENIX -- D-backs right-hander Zack Greinke did a little bit of everything Monday night as he tossed eight quality innings and drove in a run, and J.D. Martinez introduced himself to Arizona with a massive home run in a 10-2 victory over the Braves at Chase Field.

The D-backs jumped on Braves starter R.A. Dickey for three runs in the second inning, the first of which came on Greinke's line-drive double down the left-field line. Dickey (6-7) never seemed to be able to get command of his knuckleball, which he used to easily handle the D-backs 10 days ago, and turned in his shortest outing of the year at 3 2/3 innings.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

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.

Acuna does it all for Gwinnett

Acuna does it all for Gwinnett

In many ways, Monday belonged to Ronald Acuna.

Acuna made the largest jump of any player in MLB Pipeline's freshly revamped Top 100 Prospects list, going from No. 86 all the way up to No. 8, as well as from No. 7 to No. 1 on the Braves' new Top 30 list.

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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 rue missed chances after Kershaw exits

Atlanta, unable to capitalize until 9th, has to settle for series split

Braves rue missed chances after Kershaw exits

LOS ANGELES -- As Clayton Kershaw left the mound with a lower back injury in the top of the second inning of the Dodgers' 5-4 win, the Braves saw an opportunity to strike.

The Dodgers' nearly untouchable ace was gone and what was left was the Dodgers bullpen. But for six innings, the Braves offense was stagnant, only mustering four hits and one run.

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Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prospects Acuna, Albies at Braves' doorstep

Both remain focused on honing craft at Triple-A

Prospects Acuna, Albies at Braves' doorstep

ATLANTA -- Ronald Acuna understands the underlying message when somebody discusses his rapid rise to the Triple-A level and includes something along the lines of "And, he's only 19 years old."

"When people say I'm only 19, I think they're only saying it because they believe I'm too young to be in this league," Acuna said through an interpreter.

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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.

Gohara, Sims impress in upper Minors

Gohara, Sims impress in upper Minors

The Braves' farm system is loaded with talented young arms, and that was easily apparent on Saturday as Luiz Gohara and Lucas Sims led Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett to wins with dominating performances on the mound.

The duo combined for 20 strikeouts over 13 scoreless frames as Mississippi topped Blioxi, 8-0, and Gwinnett held off Indianapolis, 2-1. Whats more, these impressive outings come just a day after Braves No. 11 prospect Touki Toussaint struck out 11 with Class A Advanced Florida

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

Adams' homer not enough as Braves fall in 10

Adams' homer not enough as Braves fall in 10

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers rallied for a wild 5-4 walk-off win over the Braves on Sunday with Logan Forsythe's one-out RBI single in the bottom of the 10th, overcoming the loss of MLB wins leader Clayton Kershaw after two innings to another lower back injury and closer Kenley Jansen's first blown save of the year.

"We won a game, and we've got to make sure Clayton's fine, and we're holding out hope," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles and covered the Braves on Sunday.

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

Teheran hits speed bump in first road loss

Braves right-hander allows three homers against Dodgers

Teheran hits speed bump in first road loss

LOS ANGELES --- Braves righty Julio Teheran has been much more successful pitching on the road than at Suntrust Park this season.

Coming into Saturday night's start at Dodger Stadium, Teheran had produced a 6-0 record in nine road games, had a 2.53 ERA and was one of two pitchers in the Majors to make at least eight starts and not record a road loss. But at home, the righty has a 1-7 record and a 7.05 ERA in 51 innings over 10 starts.

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Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. He covered the Braves on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves overpowered by Dodgers in loss

Braves overpowered by Dodgers in loss

LOS ANGELES -- Corey Seager, Chase Utley and Chris Taylor homered Saturday night at Dodger Stadium as the Dodgers returned to their slugging and winning ways with a 6-2 victory over the Braves, snapping their two-game losing streak.

Dodgers starter Rich Hill (7-4) struck out eight in 6 1/3 innings and is 4-0 in his career against Atlanta. He is 4-1 with a 1.93 ERA since modifying his delivery six starts back. Braves starter Julio Teheran (7-8) is 0-6 in his career against the Dodgers.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles He covered the Braves on Saturday.

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

Jaime slams the brakes on Dodgers' Wood

Jaime slams the brakes on Dodgers' Wood

LOS ANGELES -- Rumored Atlanta trade chip Jaime Garcia pitched seven solid innings and slugged a grand slam Friday night as the Braves handed former teammate Alex Wood his first loss of the year and the Dodgers their second loss in a row, a 12-3 rout at Dodger Stadium.

Garcia's third career homer, on an 0-2 pitch, was the first slam by an Atlanta pitcher since 1966. It capped a five-run fifth inning and ended the night for Wood (11-1), whose ERA jumped from 1.56 to 2.17. Tyler Flowers slugged a three-run homer off reliever Grant Dayton in the sixth inning, also on an 0-2 pitch. Estimated by Statcast™ at 447 feet, it tied Brandon Phillips for the longest Braves home run of the year.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles and covered the Braves on Friday.

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

Grand plan: Garcia lifts Braves amid rumors

Lefty cruises over 7 innings, belts GS off Dodgers' Wood

Grand plan: Garcia lifts Braves amid rumors

LOS ANGELES -- A day earlier, it seemed Jaime Garcia wouldn't be pitching on Friday night at Dodger Stadium. It was even less likely that he would be hitting a grand slam en route to a 12-3 win over the MLB-best Dodgers.

Instead, the 31-year-old veteran was rumored to be headed to Minnesota to help bolster the Twins' rotation as they made a run for the American League Central crown, but those trade talks stalled and the Braves sent their trade chip to the mound to face a red-hot Dodgers squad.

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Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Schuerholz humbled to enter Hall with legends

Schuerholz humbled to enter Hall with legends

ATLANTA -- Those who have had the pleasure of being introduced to John Schuerholz's elegant and substantive communication skills have often said he could roll out of bed and steal the attention of any room with a speech he might not have previously prepared.

Blessed with the ability to educate and lead via the expression of the knowledge he has gained while spending more than a half-century within the baseball world, Schuerholz has established himself as one of the greatest executives in professional sports history. But now that it's time for him to gain his game's greatest honor, Schuerholz admits he was somewhat challenged as he attempted to provide proper thanks and context within the speech he has prepared to deliver on July 30, when he is inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame.

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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 fans 11 in gem for Fire Frogs

Toussaint fans 11 in gem for Fire Frogs

It's not a secret that when Touki Toussaint is right he can miss bats with the best of them.

That was the case on Friday, as the Braves' No. 11 prospect matched his career highs with 11 strikeouts in eight innings as he recorded his second straight double-digit strikeout performance for Class A Advanced Florida.

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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.

Freeman returns from virus, hits 2 RBI singles

Braves infielder says he felt 'terrible' during Thursday's game

Freeman returns from virus, hits 2 RBI singles

LOS ANGELES -- With a mask over his face and a blanket wrapped around his body, Braves third baseman Freddie Freeman tried to sleep away his pain on a cross-country flight from Atlanta to Los Angeles.

One day removed from dealing with a virus that forced an early exit in Wednesday's loss to the Cubs, Freeman prepared for Thursday's series opener against the Dodgers, a 6-3 win that snapped L.A.'s 11-game win streak.

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Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles and covered the Braves on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Suzuki, Braves' offense strike early vs. Dodgers

Suzuki, Braves' offense strike early vs. Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- The Braves crashed the party at Dodger Stadium on Thursday night with a 6-3 victory, snapping the Dodgers' 11-game win streak. It was just Los Angeles' fifth loss in its last 36 games.

Freddie Freeman had two hits and two RBIs, while Kurt Suzuki added a two-run homer to back a strong start from Mike Foltynewicz, as the Braves ended their three-game skid. Foltynewicz allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings, striking out five. The Braves right-hander has gone 5-0 in his last nine starts, striking out 51 and walking 21, while posting a 3.33 ERA and limiting opponents to a .248 average.

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Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles and covered the Dodgers on Thursday.

Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles and covered the Braves on Thursday.

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

Dickey reaches milestone, logs 2,000th inning

Braves knuckleballer is 26th pitcher to accomplish feat since 2001

Dickey reaches milestone, logs 2,000th inning

ATLANTA -- A little more than two decades since seeing his prospect status erased by the revelation of a congenital defect, Braves knuckleballer R.A. Dickey has reached a milestone that highlights the determination and dependability he has shown throughout his professional career.

Dickey could fully appreciate the significance of completing his 2,000th career inning during Wednesday's 8-2 loss to the Cubs at SunTrust Park. But as he accounts for how well he has pitched over the course of the past month, the 42-year-old veteran is not ready to simply reminisce about a career that appears to be far from complete.

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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.

Soroka fans 12 for Mississippi

Soroka fans 12 for Mississippi

Astros prospects Daz Cameron and Ronnie Dawson put up monster numbers to help lead Class A Quad Cities to a 20-3 win over Lansing on Wednesday night.

The duo combined to go 6-for-9 with two triples, three home runs, four runs scored and eight RBIs on a night where everything went right for the River Bandits' offense.

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

Inciarte, Flowers HRs not enough in finale loss

Inciarte, Flowers HRs not enough in finale loss

ATLANTA -- As the early portion of the season's second half has unfolded, the Cubs have altered the National League's playoff picture and begun the surge many have long anticipated they would make. The defending World Series champions captured their sixth straight victory and completed a three-game sweep with Wednesday afternoon's 8-2 win over the Braves at SunTrust Park.

"We won six in row, and we have this momentum," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I guess, synonymously, the vibe has been different. The vibe and energy has been great, and I want to see that continue."

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

Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta.

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