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Braves Daily News Digest: 5/12

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Your morning/afternoon stop for all the latest Braves news and other top stories around the league.

Scott Cunningham

For the mothers in the park at Turner Field on Sunday it was a very special day, as they were able to spend time with family and see the Braves complete a three game sweep of the Chicago Cubs with a 5-2 win. Jason Heyward crushed a two-run home run into the home bullpen using a pink bat and Aaron Harang picked up his fourth win of the season while striking out nine. The series sweep, which is the Braves third of the season, puts them ahead of the second place Miami Marlins by two games. The sweep couldn't come at a more perfect time, especially after just coming off a seven-game losing streak.

Lord BABIP, otherwise known as Chris Johnson, is on an absolute tear right now with six multi hit games already in the month of May after having just four of such in the first month of play. The newly extended third baseman seems more relaxed and comfortable at the plate and is 15-for-38 (.395) this month at the dish and is up to a .279 batting average on the season. With as inconsistent as the offense has been up to point this season so far, as they are last in all of baseball in runs scored (115), it is a great sign to see their third baseman for the next three seasons get back to the form he displayed for nearly all of last season.

Five starters in the Sunday game between the Cubs and Braves used pink bats that featured the MLB breast cancer awareness logo on them. Those players to use them were: Jason Heyward, Aaron Harang, Nate Schierholtz, Anthony Rizzo, and Ryan Kalish. All of the bats will be auctioned off on to help raise money to help the fight against breast cancer.

The Braves can't let jet lag faze them too much as they get to action tonight away from home against the San Francisco Giants who are tied for the best record in all of the National League with the Milwaukee Brewers. Gavin Floyd will get the call and go up against Tim Linccecum who has great numbers against current Atlanta hitters. In 156 at-bats against the former Cy Young award winner no one on the roster has ever hit a home run against him and they have struck out in 40 of those plate appearances. While Timmy continues to see his career numbers fluctuate he still has the Braves number for the time being.

While B.J. Upton made a fantastic play to end the game in center field it was Jordan Schafer who received the start on Sunday and hit in the nine hole with the Braves still batting their pitcher in the eight spot. Of course Schafer could not complain after having seen limited time this season. He went 0-for-2 at the plate and laid down a successful sac bunt that moved Dan Uggla into scoring position who scored on Heyward's two-run bomb.

After a run in with Anthony RIzzo and being hit by a pitch in the back on Saturday the team hopes that Justin Upton will be ready to go tonight for 10:15 p.m. ET first pitch. Despite feeling some soreness yesterday he thinks there's a good chance he will be ready to go but won't know until pre game.


This season MLB players and teams in general are punching out at a record rate. It is more common to see a high strikeout rate these days for a player instead of a very low one. That is what makes the Colorado Rockies lineup so unique, as Charlie Blackmon, Troy Tulowitzki, and Nolan Arenado have only struck out 52 times this season in 424 at-bats. The Rockies have scored 33 more runs than any other team in the Majors and they have struck out the seventh fewest times in the league. Contact is everything.

Aroldis Champman struck out the side and converted his first save of the season in his first appearance back to the BIGS after needing facial surgery after being struck by a line drive in Spring Training. He looks to be right back in form as he hit the triple digits regularly with every fastball, including a 102-mph four seamer which makes his 87-mph curveball even harder to hit.

Derek Norris didn't take long to make sure the Nationals were way out of reach as he hit two three-run homers in the first and second inning of the game against Gio Gonzalez. The A's went on to win the game 9-1 against an injury plagued Washington team that sits third place in the NL East and 2.5 games back of the Braves.