Bourn at the center of all the action

Bourn at the center of all the action

PHOENIX -- The Braves have won nine of their last 10 games and Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez believes leadoff hitter Michael Bourn is big reason for the success.

Entering Saturday's game against the D-backs, Bourn was hitting .349 with eight runs scored, four RBIs and five walks in his last 10 games. He also had 11 hits in his last six games.

Overall, the center fielder was hitting .293 in his first 14 games.

"I think there is a lot of coincidence that we have played good baseball as soon as he started hitting the ball," Gonzalez said. "I think there is a big correlation there between us growing offensively and him getting on base and creating havoc."

The Braves scored 50 runs in their last six games and outscored their opponents by 28 runs during that stretch. They also outscored their opponents 78-36 in their last 10 games.

It's hard to blame Bourn for the big smile on his face at Chase Field during the past few days. His team had won four in a row, he provided some comic relief when delaying action because he was in the bathroom earlier in series and he's also had a chance to visit with a good friend, D-backs center fielder Chris Young. Young, like Bourn, is from Houston.

Bourn's childhood ties run deep. He played youth league baseball in Houston with Boston outfielder Carl Crawford and Kansas City outfielder Jason Bourgeois. Bourn can still recall the youth league team names and players as if he played there yesterday. He and Crawford played for the Mount Zion Angels, while Bourgeois played for the Mount Zion Twins.

"I will never ever forget those times. Ever. I can guarantee you that," Bourn said. "That's when I started playing baseball. That's where I learned my competitiveness. I don't care if I live to be 150 years old, I am never going to forget those days."