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Atlanta encouraged by pitching staff's performance

Atlanta encouraged by pitching staff's performance

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Atlanta encouraged by pitching staff's performance

PHILADELPHIA -- Much of the focus surrounding the Braves this week has centered around an offense that completed a perfect seven-game homestand by totaling 40 runs and producing a .999 OPS during a four-game sweep of the Rockies.

But the Braves were every bit as encouraged about the fact that their pitching staff posted a 2.25 ERA against the Cardinals and the Rockies -- two of the National League's top three teams in terms of runs scored.

Seven of the 16 runs the Braves surrendered during that seven-game stretch were charged to Brandon Beachy, who struggled on Monday in his first start back from Tommy John surgery.

When Tim Hudson sustained a season-ending injury to his right ankle on July 24, manager Fredi Gonzalez said he hoped his club would rally around the loss of the veteran pitcher.

In the eight games that have been played since Hudson went down, Gonzalez has seen his starters compile a 3.45 ERA. Fourteen of the 18 earned runs the rotation has surrendered during that stretch were charged to Beachy and rookie Alex Wood, who provided some encouragement when he completed seven strong innings while making just his third Major League start in Tuesday's win over the Rockies.

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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