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Norton unconcerned about road woes

Norton unconcerned about road woes

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MILWAUKEE -- While some might believe the Braves' road woes can't get any worse, Greg Norton says that he's actually experienced much worse, and sees no comparison between his current team and the former ones that experienced said road futility.

Entering Thursday's series finale against the Brewers at Miller Park, the Braves had lost 10 of their past 12 road games. They have also tasted victory in just six of the 24 games that they've played outside of Atlanta this season.

No matter how bad that might seem, Norton experienced much worse with the 2006 Rays, who won just three of the 36 road games that they played after July 1.

"This is a much different team," Norton said before starting in left field for the Braves during Thursday's game.

Two years ago, the Rays weren't expected to do much. However, their 41-40 record at home made their road woes seem even more perplexing.

For Norton, this wasn't completely foreign territory. While with the Rockies in 2002, he was part of a team that went 47-34 at home and 26-55 on the road. One year later, he and his Rockies teammates went 49-32 at Coors Field and 25-56 away from it.

At some point during those two seasons, Norton remembers Rockies management employing sports psychologists to figure out what might be causing the team's schizophrenic play.

Through his experiences, Norton has come to believe that the best way to put an end to these kinds of inconsistencies on the road is to simply not talk about it.

While the media has provided plenty of questions, Norton says he hasn't heard any of his Braves teammates talking about their road woes.

"This is a great team for that," Norton said. "There are a lot of professionals and a lot of guys who have been in the playoffs. There's just a lot of experience here."

Since being claimed off waivers from the Mariners earlier this month, Norton hasn't provided the consistency the Braves were envisioning. After recording two hits in his first three at-bats with the Braves, he had just one hit in his past 19 at-bats (entering Thursday).

Even though Norton is admittedly not a skilled defensive outfielder, Cox gave the veteran a chance to start in left on Thursday. The veteran manager might have been second-guessing himself when Norton ended the first inning by grounding into a double play with the bases loaded.

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

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