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Down on the farm: BRAVES MINOR LEAGUE REPORT
Harrison struggling since All-Star start

Matt Harrison started the Southern League All-Star Game, but it has been an up-and-down season for the Mississippi left-hander.

Harrison has lost five straight decisions, falling to 5-6. He hasn't won since June 8.

"He has to trust his curveball and command it for strikes," Mississippi manager Phillip Wellman said. "He has a good changeup, but he needs that curveball to pitch in the major leagues."

"They keep telling me to work on it as a strikeout pitch, but it's hard when you don't really have confidence in it yet," the 6-foot-5 Harrison said. "You don't want to get whacked around."

Harrison, who turns 22 on Aug. 16, came into the season ranked as the Braves' top pitching prospect. But he was soon passed by Jo-Jo Reyes, now Atlanta's fifth starter.

Meanwhile, Harrison is just trying to get back on the winning track in Class AA. He is 1-5 in home games.

The native of North Carolina hasn't pitched horribly, just not good enough to win.

Harrison has a 3.25 ERA in 19 starts with 75 strikeouts to 32 walks in 1102⁄3 innings. He just doesn't have the command of all his pitches yet for the fast-track to Atlanta that some had anticipated.

Harrison was 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA in five April starts, but he hasn't had the same kind of success since.

A third-round draft choice in 2003, Harrison was 12-7 at Rome in 2005 and then the Braves' top minor league pitcher last season, going 11-8 between Myrtle Beach and Mississippi while striking out 114 and walking just 33 in 156 innings.

Richmond (AAA)

Left-hander Dan Smith was rehabbing in the Gulf Coast League after being sidelined by shoulder problems since June 19. He was 3-2 with a 4.78 ERA for Richmond after starting 4-2 with a 1.94 ERA for Class AA Mississippi. . . . Utilityman Brayan Pena, streaking since June, raised his average to .323. . . . Second baseman Martin Prado was hitting .315 and had committed just one error. . . . Richmond has the fewest errors in the International League.

Mississippi (AA)

Outfielder Brandon Jones was promoted to Richmond. He led the Southern League with 74 RBIs and was batting .292 with 15 home runs. . . . Matt Young was moved up from Myrtle Beach to replace Jones. . . . Right-hander Sung Ki Jung, who spent the past three years fulfilling is military commitment in Korea, got a save before being returned to Myrtle Beach, where he had a 1.85 ERA and 12 saves in 20 appearances. . . . Reliever Phil Stockman joined Mississippi on rehab from Richmond.

Myrtle Beach (A)

Left-hander Lee Hyde, who since late April because of elbow problems, came off the disabled list. He was a fourth-round draft pick in 2006 out of Georgia Tech. . . . Third baseman Eric Campbell was hitless in seven games, going 0-for-25. "I've had slumps before, but never like this," he told the Myrtle Beach Sun News. . . . Shortstop Elvis Andrus was hitting just .171 at home, but around .300 on the road. Right-hander Jairo Cuevas (5-8) hadn't lost since May 30.

Rome (A)

Former Parkview and Georgia Tech right-hander Tim Gustafson, who hadn't won since June 4, ended a four-game losing streak. He is 3-8 with a 4.84 ERA and 87 strikeouts to 29 walks in 1001⁄3 innings. . . . RHP Kyle Cofield allowed just one hit over seven inning against Columbus, striking out seven. . . . Second baseman Chase Fontaine, who had raised his average to .286 by hitting .393 in July, had to go on the disabled list. . . . Former South Carolina star Travis Jones, a seventh-round draft choice, was promoted from Danville.

Danville (rookie)

Left-hander Jose Ortegano, 19, pitched six hitless inning, walking one, and was named Appalachian League pitcher of the week. He was 2-0 with a 1.09 ERA. . . . Cole Rohrbough, 22, struck out 11 and allowed just one hit over six innings, lowering his ERA to 0.89. Left-hander was 1-2, but had 31 strikeouts in 211⁄3 innings.