Braves can't overcome Giants' early outburst

Braves can't overcome Giants' early outburst

SAN FRANCISCO -- Creating offense in the first inning has been a particularly difficult task for the Giants this year. That changed Friday, as Brandon Belt and Joe Panik tallied a pair of run-scoring base hits in the bottom of the first that set the stage for a 7-0 win over the Atlanta Braves at AT&T Park.

San Francisco entered the series opener with the fewest runs (44) in the first inning in the Majors this season. But after Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford hit consecutive infield singles with two outs, the Giants finally came through. Belt launched a base hit to center field to score Posey, and Panik lined a ball down the left-field line to score two more. Angel Pagan then added a two-run home run in the second, and thanks to seven scoreless frames from Jeff Samardzija, the Giants cruised to just their third series-opening victory since the All-Star break.

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

Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

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

Foltynewicz looks to shine again vs. Giants

Foltynewicz looks to shine again vs. Giants

Jake Peavy might not be capable of duplicating the late-season dominance he produced in 2014. But after spending the past few weeks as a reliever, the veteran pitcher will once again have a chance to significantly influence a postseason push as a member of the Giants' starting rotation.

Pushed to the bullpen because of the acquisition of Matt Moore, Peavy will now fill the rotation spot created by Matt Cain's back injury. The right-hander will make his first start since July 30 when he opposes Atlanta's Mike Foltynewicz on Saturday night at AT&T Park.

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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.

Allard among top prospect performers Friday

Indians' No. 7 outduels Blue Jays' No. 17 in impressive matchup

Allard among top prospect performers Friday

Fans in attendance for Friday's matchup between Class A Lake County and Lansing were treated to a pitchers' duel between starters Triston McKenzie and Ryan Borucki, who combined for 11 scoreless innings and 18 strikeouts. Ultimately, it was McKenzie, the Indians' No. 7 prospect, who recorded the win as the Captains shut out Lansing, 3-0.

Making his fifth start for Lake County, McKenzie surrendered just two hits and a walk over six scoreless innings. He struck out nine, throwing 57 of his 84 pitches for strikes.

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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 bullpen being taxed since All-Star break

Braves bullpen being taxed since All-Star break

PHOENIX -- After Matt Wisler delivered eight strong innings while making his first big league start in nearly a month during Thursday night's 3-1 win over the D-backs, Braves manager Brian Snitker thanked his young hurler for providing much-needed rest to a bullpen that has been taxed by the starting rotation's second-half woes.

Wisler became the first Braves pitcher to complete as many as seven innings since Mike Foltynewicz and Julio Teheran did so on July 16 and 17. The residual effect of a long stretch of abbreviated starts has been felt by Atlanta's bullpen, which entered Friday having completed the second-most relief innings (140 2/3 innings) in Major League Baseball since the All-Star break.

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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.

Wisler flirts with no-no to lift Braves to series split

Wisler flirts with no-no to lift Braves to series split

PHOENIX -- After making his last four starts with Triple-A Gwinnett, Matt Wisler returned to the Majors with a dominant performance. The Braves right-hander carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning in a 3-1 win over the D-backs on Thursday night at Chase Field.

Wisler (5-11) lost four of his five starts in July, posting an 8.89 ERA for the month, before being demoted. He returned with eight innings of one-run ball, allowing two hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Atlanta scored a pair of runs in the third and Gordon Beckham added an RBI double in the sixth, salvaging a split in the four-game series with Arizona.

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Jake Rill is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.

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.

Freeman takes scary tumble, stays in game

Braves first baseman has sore lower back after win over D-backs

Freeman takes scary tumble, stays in game

PHOENIX -- Freddie Freeman was initially happy he avoided a head injury. After getting a chance to watch the replay of his scary fall over a railing during the second inning of Thursday's 3-1 win over the D-backs, the Braves first baseman also felt fortunate he didn't snap his back.

"I was just glad I was able to get my head out of the way and let the back take the brunt of it," Freeman said. "I'm still young enough that it's not going to hurt too much."

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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.

Bow to the fielding majesty of Dansby Swanson

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Bow to the fielding majesty of Dansby Swanson

Dansby Swanson's  MLB scouting report says a lot about his offense. He's a "a very good hitter," has the potential to be an "on-base machine," should have the "ability to steal bases ..."

But what about his defense? Will he be a Dandy Swanson at shortstop or just another regular ole Dansby Swanson? in the second inning of Thursday's D-backs-Braves game, we learned of his destiny.

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Wisler shows mental toughness in stellar start

Braves pleased with changes in young pitcher since demotion

Wisler shows mental toughness in stellar start

PHOENIX -- Matt Wisler flirted with history as he made his first big league start in nearly a month. More important, the Braves hurler provided a glimpse of his mental strength as he returned from his demotion to the Minors and produced a gem in Thursday night's 3-1 win over the D-backs at Chase Field.

"From the get-go, he just looked really focused," manager Brian Snitker said. "He was locked in and it was just like he was on a mission."

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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 executive witnesses fruits of his labor

Ryan has ties to many players in series against D-backs

Braves executive witnesses fruits of his labor

PHOENIX -- Billy Ryan had a unique perspective as the Braves and D-backs played a four-game series at Chase Field this week. Ryan spent four seasons as Arizona's assistant general manager before becoming Atlanta's director of baseball operations.

"It's kind of an interesting place to be," Ryan said. "You have ties to a lot of the players that are playing in the game. It's exciting to see so many of the players who have changed hands between these two teams go up against each other."

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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.

Touissant, Ruiz among top prospect performers Thursday

Brewers' No. 2 prospect notches first multi-homer game for Sky Sox

Touissant, Ruiz among top prospect performers Thursday

Lewis Brinson seems to be enjoying life in the Brewers' organization.

The No. 18 overall prospect (Brewers' No. 2) has done nothing but rake since he was acquired from Texas before the non-waiver Trade Deadline and that theme continued Thursday night with a pair of homers in Triple-A Colorado Springs' 5-0 win over Oklahoma City.

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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.

Braves rally to tie it in ninth, but fall in 11 vs. D-backs

Braves rally to tie it in ninth, but fall in 11 vs. D-backs

PHOENIX -- After blowing a four-run lead in the ninth inning, the D-backs came back to beat the Braves in the 11th, as Brandon Drury drove in the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly in a 10-9 win on Wednesday night at Chase Field. Jake Lamb hit a one-out double to center, advanced to third on a wild pitch, then came home to score the winning run on Drury's bases-loaded sac fly off Braves reliever Jose Ramirez (1-1).

"We had it all the way," D-backs manager Chip Hale joked. "Very proud of the guys for battling."

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Jake Rill is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.

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.

Francoeur headed to Marlins in 3-team deal

Braves get utility man Moore from Texas, catcher Foley from Miami

Francoeur headed to Marlins in 3-team deal

PHOENIX -- The Braves have discussed bringing Jeff Francoeur back next year, but the veteran outfielder will spend the remainder of this season with the Marlins.

Extending the practice they've used during their rebuilding process of trying to get value for some of the veterans, the Braves participated in a three-team trade Wednesday that sent Francoeur and cash considerations to the Marlins. Atlanta gained a pair of Minor Leaguers -- utility man Dylan Moore from the Rangers and catcher Matt Foley.

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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.

Teheran struggling since coming off DL

Braves ace not the same since lat strain and infection sidelined him

Teheran struggling since coming off DL

PHOENIX -- Julio Teheran might need more time to distance himself from the right lat strain that forced him to spend a portion of this month on the disabled list. But regardless of what transpires over the next few weeks, the Braves ace will still have to wonder what might have happened had these past two months not been plagued by bothersome ailments.

Teheran held himself accountable after he forced the Braves to come back from a significant deficit during Wednesday night's 10-9, 11-inning loss to the D-backs at Chase Field. Making just his second start since returning from the disabled list, the All-Star hurler simply was not as polished as he had consistently been within this season's first three months.

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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 come from behind, derail D-backs

Braves come from behind, derail D-backs

PHOENIX -- The Braves nearly let an early lead go to waste for the second straight night. However, Matt Kemp didn't allow that to happen. The left fielder hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the eighth inning, the key blow in a 7-4 comeback win over the D-backs on Tuesday night at Chase Field.

After Atlanta loading the bases with two outs against Arizona reliever Jake Barrett, Kemp sent a double to right field to plate a pair of runs, with a third scoring on an error by Mitch Haniger to turn the Braves' one-run deficit into a two-run lead. Jose Ramirez earned the win, helping the Atlanta bullpen combine for 6 1/3 scoreless innings.

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Jake Rill is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. He covered the D-backs on Tuesday.

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.

Enjoying Braves tenure, Kemp comes through

Veteran outfielder's go-ahead two-run double first big hit with new club

Enjoying Braves tenure, Kemp comes through

PHOENIX -- Matt Kemp might never again be the MVP-caliber player he was just a few years ago with the Dodgers, but as he continues to acquaint himself to a new environment, the veteran outfielder has allowed the Braves to remain confident they were wise to gamble on his remaining capabilities.

After the Braves stranded runners at a frustratingly alarming pace through the first seven innings at Chase Field on Tuesday night, Kemp delivered the decisive bases-clearing double with two outs in the eighth in a 7-4 win over the D-backs.

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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.

Wentz among top prospect performers Wednesday

Red Sox flamethrower notches 10 K's with career-high seven frames

Wentz among top prospect performers Wednesday

Michael Kopech may be the hottest pitcher in all of Minor League Baseball these days as he continues to shut down opposing lineups with a plethora of strikeouts.

The 20-year-old was on fire once again Wednesday, leading Class A Advanced Salem to a 9-1 win over Potomac.

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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.

Scuffling Vizcaino feeling 'rusty' since return

Roughed up twice in past week, former Braves closer trying to regain form

Scuffling Vizcaino feeling 'rusty' since return

PHOENIX -- Arodys Vizcaino entered June as a dependable closer who was being considered a possible candidate to represent the Braves at the All-Star Game. But as the season's final month approaches, Vizcaino has made it difficult to even consider him a reliable middle-relief option.

While blowing a three-run seventh inning lead during Monday night's 9-8 loss to the D-backs, Vizcaino surrendered four runs for the second time in three appearances since returning from a month-long stint on the disabled list. It would be easy to simply blame his struggles on rust if he had not started to decline as June elapsed.

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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.

Freeman's 2 homers aren't enough in Arizona

Freeman's 2 homers aren't enough in Arizona

PHOENIX -- Paul Goldschmidt delivered a walk-off homer to lead off the bottom of the ninth, lifting the D-backs to a 9-8 win over the Braves in the opener of a four-game series on Monday night at Chase Field.

"I think the tendency in a tied game or extra innings is try to hit home runs, and we've played some extra-inning games and that just has not worked out for me," Goldschmidt said. "I was fortunate to get a pitch up and get it out of there."

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

Jake Rill is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. He covered the D-backs on Monday.

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

Freeman continues to rake at Chase Field

Braves' slugger turns in third career multihomer game at D-backs' park

Freeman continues to rake at Chase Field

PHOENIX -- Upon further review, a trip to Arizona might have been every bit as therapeutic for Freddie Freeman as the cortisone shot he received this past weekend to aid a left finger ailment that certainly wasn't burdensome during Monday night's 9-8 loss to the D-backs at Chase Field.

After Freeman capped the ninth multihomer game of his career with a game-tying solo homer off D-backs right-hander Enrique Burgos in the ninth inning, Paul Goldschmidt opened the bottom half of the frame with a walk-off homer off John Gant, who entered after Arodys Vizcaino extended his recent woes by surrendering four runs in the seventh inning.

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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.

Newcomb among top prospect performers Tuesday

Top Mets prospects continue to show off talent at Double-A

Newcomb among top prospect performers Tuesday

Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith proved worthy of their elite prospect rankings as the duo led Double-A Binghamton to a 9-1 victory over Hartford on Tuesday night.

The duo, ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in the Mets' system, combined to go 6-for-10 with five RBIs in just the latest of several good offensive games for both players.

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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.

Swanson makes fateful Chase Field debut

Braves' top prospect faces D-backs organization that traded him in December

Swanson makes fateful Chase Field debut

PHOENIX -- After learning he had received his first call to the Majors last week, Dansby Swanson immediately looked at Atlanta's schedule to see which pitcher he would face first. During his search he noticed his first road game would be played in Arizona, against the D-backs organization that had taken him with the first-overall pick in the 2015 Draft and then traded him to the Braves last winter.

"We all laughed because of obviously everything that went down," said Swanson, the Braves' top prospect. "It's exciting to be back out here."

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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.

Sore Peterson rests in wake of wall-crashing catch

Sore Peterson rests in wake of wall-crashing catch

PHOENIX -- Jace Peterson felt fortunate to awake on Monday morning without a headache or any other concussion symptoms. But because his face, neck and right shoulder were still feeling the effects of colliding with Turner Field's center-field wall on Sunday, the Braves opted to keep Peterson out of the starting lineup for Monday night's series opener against the D-backs at Chase Field.

"He wanted to play, and he's a tough kid," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "It's probably that football mentality that saved him. But it was almost like he got in a major wreck yesterday."

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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.

Jace up their sleeve: Braves walk off in 10th

Jace up their sleeve: Braves walk off in 10th

ATLANTA -- As Nationals manager Dusty Baker often says, "The Braves never give up." And that was proven once again on Sunday afternoon at Turner Field as Atlanta rallied for a 7-6 win on Jace Peterson's walk-off home run in the 10th inning.

With the score tied at 6, Peterson -- who also crashed into the wall in center to make a catch in the third inning -- swung at a 3-2 pitch off Shawn Kelley and hit the ball into the right-field seats for his seventh home run of the season.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

Pat James is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta.

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

Bruised and battered Jace plays walk-off hero

In first start in CF, Peterson crashes into wall on catch, hits winning HR

Bruised and battered Jace plays walk-off hero

ATLANTA -- For at least the next couple of days, Jace Peterson will be reminded of the game in which he hit his first career walk-off homer every time he looks in the mirror.

Sporting a scar above his nose after colliding with the center-field wall on his third-inning catch, the Braves' utility man capped Sunday's 7-6, 10-inning win over the Nationals when he drove a Shawn Kelley slider over Turner Field's right-field fence.

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

Braves activate Gant to bolster bullpen

Right-hander returns after missing eight weeks with left oblique strain

Braves activate Gant to bolster bullpen

ATLANTA -- When Jeff Francoeur arrived in the Braves' clubhouse Sunday morning, the outfielder barely recognized the bearded pitcher who sat across from his locker.

For nearly eight weeks, John Gant had been sidelined with a left oblique strain. But in the wake of Tyrell Jenkins being optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett on Saturday night, Atlanta activated the now unshaven right-hander from the disabled list.

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

Allard among top prospect performers Sunday

Brewers' No. 4 prospect strikes out 12, White Sox's No. 8 flirts with no-hitter

Allard among top prospect performers Sunday

Finding success at the Triple-A level hasn't come easily for Josh Hader. At least not until Sunday night, when the Brewers' No. 4 prospect set a career high by striking out 12 hitters in six scoreless innings to pace Colorado Springs in a 6-0 shutout of Round Rock. He threw 65 of his 99 pitches for strikes, allowing just two hits and one walk to record his first Triple-A win in 12 starts.

Ranked No. 39 on the Top 100, Hader has pitched better for Colorado Springs than his 1-5 record and 4.79 ERA suggest. With his performance Sunday, the 22-year-old left-hander now has fanned 81 hitters in 62 innings since being promoted from Double-A Biloxi on June 11, and he's yielded just three home runs in that span. Hader has thrown the ball particularly well of late, too, registering a 2.88 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings across his past six turns.

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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.

Jenkins optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett after rough start

Jenkins optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett after rough start

ATLANTA -- With his hands on his hips and his eyes fixated on Turner Field's left-center-field wall, Tyrell Jenkins' gaze could not be broken.

Just seconds earlier, Trea Turner blasted a three-run homer in the direction Jenkins now stared, marking the biggest blow by the Nationals in an eight-run fourth inning against the Braves' rookie right-hander.

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

Rally falls short after 8-run 4th chases Jenkins

Rally falls short after 8-run 4th chases Jenkins

ATLANTA -- It looked like the Nationals were in for a long night on Saturday at Turner Field. Right-hander Max Scherzer was having early problems, while Braves rookie Tyrell Jenkins was having his way with Washington.

By the fourth inning, however, Jenkins lost it by surrendering eight runs in the frame en route to the Nationals' 11-9 win. Washington, which is undefeated in Atlanta this season, improved to 11-1 against the Braves in 2016 and won its third straight, while the Braves have dropped seven in a row.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

Pat James is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta and covered the Braves on Saturday.

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

Braves tie up late, only to fall to Nats

Braves tie up late, only to fall to Nats

ATLANTA -- After surrendering a three-run lead in the eighth inning of Friday night's game at Turner Field, the Nationals halted Jim Johnson's recent dominance and extended their mastery of the Braves with a 7-6 win that was decided by Clint Robinson's two-out single.

Robinson's single ended Johnson's scoreless streak at 10 innings and provided the Nationals their 10th win in 11 games against Atlanta. Robinson went 2-for-3 and has hit safely in 14 of his past 19 starts, driving in runs in 10 of those 19 starts.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

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.