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Braves notes
Ledezma roughed up in first month with Braves

PHOENIX - Wil Ledezma sat slumped in his chair Friday night, staring dejectedly into his locker after giving up a walk-off home run to the Diamondbacks' Tony Clark.

"I'm not talking anymore," he said, brushing off questions from reporters he had hardly talked to since arriving in a trade from the Detroit Tigers last month.

On Saturday, the Braves reliever was more talkative. But he was no less discouraged about the first impression he has given the team.

The left-hander has had trouble locating both his visa and his pitches. The result: Ledezma is 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA since the June 20 trade, and missed a week when he got stuck home in Venezuela during the all-star break.

"It's been a tough month," Ledezma said. "This month is the worst I've had in all my career."

The Braves sent Augusta, Ga., native Macay McBride to the Tigers to get Ledezma, citing Ledezma's up side as a potential starter. But the 26-year-old hasn't inspired much confidence in his bullpen role, never mind a future starting job.

He has been ineffective against left-handed batters, who are hitting him at a .317 clip. That's partly why the team is looking to acquire another left-handed reliever before Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline.

Pitching coach Roger McDowell said he still sees plenty of potential in Ledezma. It just hasn't been evident on nights such as Friday, when Clark's solo home run to lead off the bottom of the 10th inning gave Arizona an 8-7 win.

"With younger players, trades sometimes have a way of affecting the mental part," McDowell said. "Obviously, coming to a new team, you're trying to do well, trying to impress, and he might be pressing just a little bit."

McBride has fared better with Detroit so far, having allowed five earned runs in 10 innings with the Tigers entering Saturday (4.50 ERA). But Ledezma is hoping he can show the Braves that first impressions are not always the most telling ones.

"I'm pitching just OK right now," he said. "I know I don't pitch like that. I know it's not me. I can do better."

Diaz still slugging

Left fielder Matt Diaz went 1-for-4 with a two-run double in Saturday's 4-3 loss to Arizona, and his hitting a team-high .344. His platoon status prevents him from getting enough at-bats to win a batting title, but Diaz has given every indication he would stack up against the National League's best in an everyday role.

His .372 average since April 30 leads all major-league hitters since that date. And he is by far the majors' most prolific pinch hitter, going 12-for-33 (.364) in that role.

Game time change

The Braves' next road trip will last just a little bit longer now that their Aug. 12 game against the Philadelphia Phillies has been moved from 1:35 p.m. to 8:05 p.m. The game - at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park - was pushed back to accommodate ESPN.

The network has already irked players this season by moving their July 22 game against the St. Louis Cardinals into the night slot, forcing them to fly overnight to San Francisco for Monday's game. The Aug. 12 game will be the fifth and final "Sunday Night Baseball" appearance for the Braves this season.

On deck

The Braves will wrap up a seven-game west coast swing today against the Diamondbacks at 4:40 p.m. at Chase Field. Tim Hudson (10-5, 3.24 ERA) will start for Atlanta and will face Arizona right-hander Livan Hernandez (6-6, 4.59 ERA).