Aug 11, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward (22) celebrates scoring in the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Braves News 8/11

MLB Scores: Miami Marlins 4, Atlanta Braves 9

Aug 11, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) celebrates a three run home run with right fielder Jason Heyward (22)i n the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Marlins jumped out to an early 3-1 lead over the Atlanta Braves in the second inning, and things appeared to be looking good for Henderson Alvarez and the Fish. Alvarez picked up four strikeouts and one walk in six innings, but he made a critical error in the fifth inning. He allowed two straight singles to lead things off, and after a fantastic play by backup catcher Koyle Hill to nab the lead runner on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Justin Upton, Alvarez served up a fat pitch for Freddie Freeman. He launched that pitch out into center field for a three-run homer to take the lead against Miami.

The Fish would bounce back to tie the game on an Ed Lucas sacrifice fly in the sixth inning, but a line drive double play ended that rally. An inning later, the Braves opened the floodgates against relievers Dan Jennings and A.J. Ramos. The Braves scored four runs on three hits and two walks, including two doubles by Evan Gattis and Chris Johnson, and that sealed the Marlins’ fate and finished off a 9-4 loss.

 

Atlanta Braves enjoying ride on, off field

“There are a lot of homegrown guys, people that are comfortable together, and there is just not that game-to-game stress in here,” Medlen says. “You lose a game, you put it behind you, and play the next one.”

The Braves started their 14-game streak July 26 and ran it within one game of the modern-day franchise record set in 2000. They lost 1-0 to the Marlins on Saturday night, then got back on track Sunday behind Jason Heyward’s four hits and Freddie Freeman’s three-run homer.

A new streak? Might they clinch by Sept. 1 and take a month off? “Win the next series,” Johnson says. “That’s all we’re thinking about.”

Manager Fredi Gonzalez says the defining moment of the season could be the 9-8 win vs. the Colorado Rockies on July 29. After a grueling three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Braves were down 5-0 to the Rockies. They rallied with a six-run third inning that featured a sacrifice, a runner scoring on a groundout, a seven-pitch walk, a couple of singles and not one home run.

“Very easily our team could have said, ‘We’re tired, we played the ESPN Sunday night game, we just had a hell of a series, we’re just going to mail it in,’” says Gonzalez, whose team leads the majors with 38 come-from-behind wins. “We came back and won that game.”

 

Rant Sports

Jason Heyward was Apparently Born for Atlanta Braves’ Leadoff Spot

Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez is not always the most beloved manager inMajor League Baseball. For some unknown reason a manager can be blamed for all of a team’s failures but gets zero credit for any good things that happen. That cannot be the case with Gonzalez in at least one area because it was his choice to change the line-up and place Jason Heyward at the top of it. Since that time Heyward and the Braves have come alive in an unbelievable way. Credit should go where it belongs. Gonzalez made a strange and even risky move but it paid off like crazy.

Certainly Heyward would agree that it was good move by his manager to place him at the top of the order. During the recent win streak and even just before it Heyward’s reemergence as a batting threat has been something the offense has keyed on. His great play is joined by the ever-present Freddie Freeman, the also reemerging Justin Upton and the rest of the guys to create a dangerous offense that does not rely on the long ball the way they did early in the season. This is the most dangerous team in baseball right now and it isn’t close.

Some Weekend Twitter reactions from Braves players

Craig Kimbrel ‏@kimbrel46

Great win tonight, what a performance by @Brandon_Beachy and the bats of @JUP_8TL @C_Johnson28 and BMac lets keep it rollin #GoBraves

 

Mike Minor ‏@MikeMinor3623h

New streak starts tomorrow! #Braves

 

Braves Win!

 

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