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MLB Team Report - Atlanta Braves - INSIDE PITCH
ATLANTA -- When rookie second baseman Tommy La Stella quickly showed that he wasn't the fix for the Atlanta Braves' leadoff woes, manager Fredi Gonzalez turned to the struggling B.J. Upton.
So far, so good -- at least as far as the Braves' low bar for the spot goes.
The center fielder has put together a nine-game hitting streak since moving to leadoff and is 10-for-37 with three extra-base hits, three RBIs, two walks and seven runs scored during the streak.
Most importantly, the Braves have won all except one of the games with Upton at the top of the lineup.
"He seems to be thriving there," Gonzalez said.
Upton is still hitting just .210 with a .276 on-base percentage, but at least those numbers are on the rise.
"I don't think about it," Upton said about hitting first in the lineup. "I try to keep the same approach and be a table-setter for the hitters behind me."
Upton batted leadoff early in his career with Tampa Bay.
"He's done it before, so he has the experience," Gonzalez said of the move. "Why not try someone who has done it before?"
MLB Team Report - Atlanta Braves - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Won seven
NEXT: Diamondbacks (RHP Josh Collmenter, 7-4, 3.74 ERA) at Braves (RHP Ervin Santana, 6-5, 4.05 ERA)
--RHP Julio Teheran lowered his ERA at home to 1.22 as he allowed just four hits and a run over seven innings while defeating the Mets 3-1 on Wednesday. He was hit in lower right leg by a comebacker in the fourth inning, but shook it off. Teheran (8-5) is 5-1 this season against National League East teams and 12-4 for his career.
--RHP Ervin Santana hopes to build off his last outing as he faces Arizona on Friday night in the opener of a three-game home series. He had lost three straight starts before holding the Phillies to two runs over 6 2/3 innings in a victory at Philadelphia last Saturday while improving to 6-5. Santana is 2-5 over his last nine starts as his ERA has jumped from 1.99 to 4.05.
--C Evan Gattis, on the 15-disabled list retroactive to June 28 with a bulging disk in his thoracic spin, had an epidural injection Wednesday. The Braves have given an estimated timetable for Gattis' return from the injury, which can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to heal assuming surgery isn't needed. Gattis was told that 90-95 percent of patients don't require surgery.
--C Christian Bethancourt caught all three games in the Mets series as C Gerald Laird nursed a sore oblique that would have allowed him to play if needed. The rookie was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on Wednesday 2-for-11 in the series.
--2B Tommy La Stella, who left Tuesday's game with a bruised right foot, was in the lineup Wednesday. The rookie was hitless with two strikeouts, but drew a walk and made the defensive play of the game, diving to his right to spear a grounder and get a force out in the eighth inning.
--RHP David Carpenter, who was sidelined by a strained right biceps, was activated from the 15-day disabled list Wednesday. He had two rehab outings for Triple-A Gwinnett, striking out all three batters he faced in the second. Carpenter has made 34 relief appearances for the Braves, posting a 4.23 ERA while going 4-1 with two saves.
--RHP Juan Jaime was optioned back to Triple-A Gwinnett when RHP David Carpenter came off the disabled list on Wednesday. Jaime had been recalled just the day as bullpen insurance, but wasn't needed. He is has appeared in four games in three stints with the Braves, posting a 2.25 ERA. Jaime, named to the Triple-A All-Star Game, is 1-0 with 13 saves and a 2.30 ERA in 28 relief appearances for Gwinnett.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "(RHP Julio Teheran) is definitely an All-Star." --Braves 3B Chris Johnson after a 3-1 win over the Mets on Wednesday.
MLB Team Report - Atlanta Braves - ROSTER REPORT
--C Evan Gattis (bulging thoracic disk in back) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 29. An MRI exam June 30 revealed the seriousness of the injury, and he will rest after getting an epidural shot. Surgery is not expected to be necessary.
--RHP Gavin Floyd (fractured right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list June 20. He underwent surgery June 24 to insert screws in the elbow.
--RHP Pedro Beato (sore right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list June 19. The injury was believed to be minor.
--LHP Jonny Venters (Tommy John surgery in May 2013) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on March 29. He stopped his first live batting practice session May 14 after 10 pitches because of soreness. He experienced soreness during a May 25 bullpen session, and he was diagnosed with a breakup of scar tissue. The soreness lingered into mid-June, when he received a platelet-rich plasma injection.
--RHP Cory Gearrin (ligament damage in right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 24, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 2. He had season-ending Tommy John surgery April 15.
--RHP Kris Medlen (Tommy John surgery in March 2014) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on March 26. He will miss the entire season.
--RHP Brandon Beachy (Tommy John surgery in March 2014) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on March 29. He will miss the entire season.
RHP Julio Teheran
RHP Aaron Harang
RHP Ervin Santana
LHP Mike Minor
LHP Alex Wood
RHP Craig Kimbrel (closer)
LHP Luis Avilan
RHP David Hale
RHP Anthony Varvaro
RHP Shae Simmons
RHP Jordan Walden
RHP David Carpenter
C/OF Ryan Doumit
1B Freddie Freeman
2B Tommy La Stella
SS Andrelton Simmons
3B Chris Johnson
INF Ramiro Pena
INF Dan Uggla
LF Justin Upton
CF B.J. Upton
RF Jason Heyward
OF Jordan Schafer