Freeman relieved to deliver 5-RBI night

Braves' first baseman also matches career high with 4 hits

Freeman relieved to deliver 5-RBI night

MINNEAPOLIS -- Freddie Freeman stole a base, hit his longest home run of the season and recorded career highs with four hits and five RBIs on Wednesday night. But the Braves first baseman seemed to believe the most unique development in a 9-7 win over the Twins came courtesy of the three hits he recorded with runners in scoring position.

"It's actually nice to get some hits with runners in scoring position," said Freeman, who has been frustrated frequently this season in run-producing opportunities. "It's nice to do my job for once this year."

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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.

Let Freeman ring! Braves erupt, hold off Twins

Let Freeman ring! Braves erupt, hold off Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins wanted to commemorate the 25-year anniversary of their dramatic victory over Atlanta in the 1991 World Series, but Freddie Freeman and the Braves decided to crash the party with a 9-7 victory.

Freeman tied career highs with four hits and five RBIs as the Braves chased Twins starter Tyler Duffey in the second inning. Atlanta took an early 7-0 lead before holding off a furious Minnesota comeback for a 9-7 victory at Target Field on Wednesday night, winning both games in a short Interleague series.

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Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis and covered the Twins on Wednesday.

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 thrilled to reel in power prospect

Infielder/outfielder Demeritte acquired from Texas for Harrell, Alvarez

Braves thrilled to reel in power prospect

MINNEAPOLIS -- Braves general manager John Coppolella has long shown a willingness to quickly flip players who have exceeded expectations and gained unexpected trade value. But none of the previous quick flips rivaled the one realized Wednesday, when the Braves traded starting pitcher Lucas Harrell and left-handed reliever Dario Alvarez to the Rangers for Travis Demeritte, who has quickly developed into one of the game's top power-hitting prospects.

"It's a great credit to our pro scouting staff and a great credit to our coaching staff that we were able to get these players who weren't with the Braves nine weeks ago and then put them in spots where they had a lot of success," Coppolella said. "For us to be able to get back somebody we think can become one of our best hitting prospects, that's very satisfying."

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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 aims to get back on track in opener against Phils

Wisler aims to get back on track in opener against Phils

Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola hopes to get back on track Thursday night in a series opener against the Braves at Turner Field.

Nola, who was the team's first-round Draft pick in 2014, has had an interesting season. He went 5-4 with a 2.65 ERA in his first 12 starts, looking like a potential National League All-Star, but he is 0-5 with a 10.61 ERA in his last seven. Nola's calling card has been his pinpoint command, but it has been missing since the middle of June.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pipeline preview: Banuelos featured in duel of the day

Pipeline preview: Banuelos featured in duel of the day

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

Hitter to watch: Dustin Fowler (Yankees' No. 10) Trenton vs. Altoona (7 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)

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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.

Teheran set for return Saturday vs. Phillies

Right-hander exited start Friday with tightness in right lat

Teheran set for return Saturday vs. Phillies

MINNEAPOLIS -- Since providing an initial scare when he made an early exit from Friday's start at Coors Field, Julio Teheran has made a quick recovery and positioned himself to make his next start this weekend.

Taking advantage of Monday's off-day, the Braves have given Teheran a couple extra days of rest and lined him up to start Saturday night's game against the Phillies at Turner Field. The All-Star right-hander has not experienced any lingering effects since he exited Friday's start because of tightness in his right lat -- the large back muscle located behind and below the shoulder.

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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, Riley among top prospect performers Tuesday

Rays' No. 13 prospect knocks in career-high five runs, Reds' No. 18 scores winning run and hits for cycle

Toussaint, Riley among top prospect performers Tuesday

Justin Williams tied his career high for homers in a season and set a career high for RBIs in a game. Not bad for a day's work.

Williams, the Rays' No. 13 prospect, went 3-for-4 with five RBIs Tuesday as he led Double-A Montgomery to a 10-5 win over Pensacola.

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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.

Rangers deal for Harrell, Alvarez from Braves

Atlanta also sends reliever Alvarez to Texas in deal for infielder Demeritte

Rangers deal for Harrell, Alvarez from Braves

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers hit two needs in one trade on Wednesday when they acquired right-handed starter Lucas Harrell and left-handed reliever Dario Alvarez from the Braves for Minor League infielder Travis Demeritte.

The Rangers may not be done in their search for starting pitching, as they continue to scout the Rays and other teams with available starters before Monday's Trade Deadline.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harrell, Braves blank Twins; Garcia goes yard

Harrell, Braves blank Twins; Garcia goes yard

MINNEAPOLIS -- It was the kind of outing by Ervin Santana that showcased why the Twins have been hesitant to trade the 12-year veteran, as he recorded his second complete game of the year. But the Braves pitched out of several jams and did just enough offensively, led by a solo homer from Adonis Garcia, in a 2-0 win over Minnesota on Tuesday night at Target Field.

Braves right-hander Lucas Harrell, who like Santana has also found himself subject to trade rumors, limited the Twins to four hits and three walks over six scoreless frames to get his second win. Relievers Mauricio Cabrera, Hunter Cervenka, Chris Withrow and closer Jim Johnson combined to throw three scoreless innings to preserve Atlanta's seventh shutout of the year.

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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.

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.

Inbox: Would the Braves trade Teheran?

Beat reporter Mark Bowman answers questions from Atlanta fans

Inbox: Would the Braves trade Teheran?

Should we feel confident that the Braves really will not trade Julio Teheran?
-- Jason P., Charlotte, N.C.

Though the Braves might have evaluated potential returns for Teheran, they have now seemingly decided to pair him with Freddie Freeman as essentially the only two "untouchable" pieces on their current big league roster. You've heard them say, "We don't want to trade (fill-in-the-blank)," only to see Craig Kimbrel and Evan Gattis go elsewhere in the past. But this time, they have reason to stick to their word.

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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 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.

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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 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 >

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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.

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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 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."

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

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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.

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."

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.