Kimbrel's wild pitches, Salty's hit downs Braves

Craig Kimbrel is virtually lights-out when the Atlanta closer enters the game with a two or three run lead. But with a one run lead or in a tie game, Kimbrel often has difficulty. Last night was an example. Kimbrel came into the game in the top of the ninth with the game tied at 2-all, and gave up the go-ahead run to the Marlins, aided by a pair of wild pitches and the third hit of the game by former Brave Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Aaron Harang, seeking his tenth win of the season, let a 2-run lead get away when he gave up a pair of runs in the fifth inning. Chris Johnson drove in both Atlanta runs on a second inning home run with Jason Heyward on base following a fielder's choice. Justin Upton had three of the Braves' six hits. Alex Wood will be Atlanta's starting pitcher in tonight's series opener with the Padres.

Once a popular Brave, Francoeur returns to Atlanta tonight with Padres

Former Atlanta Brave Jeff Francoeur, whose big league career has taken a nosedive in the past couple of years, will be back in Atlanta this weekend as a member of the San Diego Padres. Signed to a minor league contract by the Padres earlier in the year, Francoeur hit fifteen home runs before being called up this week. In yesterday's game against the Cubs, Francoeur batted twice after coming into the game as a pinch hitter. He was oh-for-one with a walk. Francoeur was a fan favorite in Atlanta after a brilliant high school baseball and football career at Parkview High School in Lilburn. He turned down a college offer from Clemson after being drafted by the Braves.

Former Braves Francoeur will visit Atlanta with Padres this weekedn

When the Braves host the San Diego Padres this weekend at Turner Field, there will be a familiar face in the opposing dugout. The Padres have called up Jeff Francoeur from the minor leagues, and the former Parkview standout will join the team in Chicago today and make the trip to Atlanta. Last night's win over the Marlins and Washington's 6-4 loss to Colorado, pulls the Braves to within a game of the Nats in the NL East. Aaron Harang will close out the Miami series tonight as he seeks his tenth win of the season.

Freeman, Santana lead Braves over Marlins 6-1

Freddie Freeman hit a 3-run homer in the second inning last night, leading the Atlanta Braves to a 6-1 win over Miami in the third of a four-game series at Turner Field. Freeman's second inning shot came after the Braves staked starter Ervin Santana to a 1-0 lead with a run in the first inning. Santana picked up his ninth win of the season with seven and a third strong innings, allowing just six hits and the Marlins' only run which came in the third inning. The veteran righthander struck out ten Marlins.

Minor hit hard again, Braves lose 6-5 to Marlins

Mike Minor was hammered again last night in Atlanta's 6-5 loss to the Marlins at Turner Field. The lefty allowed a run in the first inning, as he is prone to do, but Atlanta tied the game with a run in the bottom of the inning, but failed to take advantage of a potential big inning when Evan Gattis grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded. Three more runs in the third, and two in the fourth without retiring a batter, ended the night for the struggling Minor, who gave up ten hits and six runs in three official innings, raising his earner run average to a disappointing 5.32. Atlanta did rally for three runs in the eighth inning, but came up a run short. Ervin Santana gets the call tonight on the mound for the Braves.

Giants sign Uggla to minor league contract

The San Francisco Giants have signed Dan Uggla to a minor league contract, the club announced yesterday. According to the news release, Uggla will report to Triple-A Fresno after passing a physical. Uggla was released by the Atlanta Braves last Saturday. Atlanta still owes Uggla nearly $19 million. The 34-year old second baseman was hitting just .162 with just two home runs when he was released. He lost his starting job in late May to rookie Tommy LaStella, and hat batted just three times in July, striking out twice and walking once. He hit just .179 in 2013, but did manage 22 home runs.

Marlins beat Braves 3-1 in ten innings

Atlanta starter Julio Teheran gave up four hits and one run in seven innings last night, but lack of run support cost him a shot at his tenth win. With Atlanta leading Miami 1-0 on Justin Upton's second inning run, former Brave Jarrod Saltalamacchia touched Teheran for a game-tying home run. It stayed 1-1 until the tenth when Shea Simmons gave up a pair of runs on a Garrett Jones single with the bases loaded in Miami's s 3-1 win. Atlanta managed just six hits off five Miami pitchers, including two each by Justin Upton and Jason Heyward.

LaStella, Wood, Johnson spark Braves win over Phillies

Alex Wood won his seventh game of the season and rookie second baseman Tommy LaStella provided some early offensive spark as the Braves came back from a disappointing Saturday loss to beat the Phillies yesterday at Turner Field to remain in a tie with Washington atop the NL East standings. LaStella drove in a pair of runs with a third inning with the first of his two hits. It was LaStella's sixth hit in seven opportunities with the bases loaded since he became the regular second baseman in late May. Chris Johnson added a home run and Justin Upton was 2-for-2 with a pair of runs scored before leaving the game after being hit by a pitch. Wood gave up three hits and one run in six innings of work.

It's back to business for major league baseball

The media circus called the All-Star game is over, and baseball gets back to business tonight with leaders in four of the six divisions separated by one and a half games or less. Atlanta opens a weekend series with the Phillies tonight with Ervin Santana facing A.J. Burnett in a match-up of veteran pitchers. Atlanta is in a virtual tie with Washington for the NL East lead (Washing leads by one percentage point). Milwaukee leads St. Louis by a game and Cincinnati by a game and a half in the NL Central, while the Dodgers are a game ahead of the Giants in the West. In the American League, there's a little breathing room in the East, where Baltimore leads Toronto by four games, and in the Central, where Detroit is up by six and a half games over Kansas City. In the West, Oakland leads Los Angeles by a game and a half.

Jonhson, LaStella lead Braves to 10-7 win over Cubs

Chris Johnson hit his third home run in two days, collecting three hits and three runs batted in yesterday in Atlanta's 10-7 win over the Cubs. Tommy LaStella also had three hits and three RBI. Julio Teheran wasn't at his best, allowing home runs in the sixth and seventh innings, but picked up his ninth win of the year as he heads to Tuesday's All-Star game. Freddie Freeman and Craig Kimbrel will also make the trip.

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