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BRAVES NOTES: Medlen latest Braves pitcher to homer

The pressure is on Julio Teheran and Paul Maholm. They are the only Braves starting pitchers not to have hit a home run this season.

Kris Medlen joined Tim Hudson and Mike Minor when he connected against the Dodgers in a 2-1 victory on Saturday.

The homer followed one by Dan Uggla in the fifth inning and supplied the decisive run.

"For me to hit my first home run here, it's kind of cloud nine," said Medlen, a Southern California native and former junior college shortstop. "I'm kind of speechless. I've had dreams of doing that for the Dodgers as an infielder, but I'll take it."

But the prime responsibility of Medlen and his rotation mates is to hold down the opposition and they have been doing a good job of that as well -- especially lately.

Braves starters had recorded 12 straight quality starts after Sunday's 8-1 win over the Dodgers, and had allowed just three runs over the past five games.

Teheran, who pitches against the Padres in San Diego on Monday night, flirted with a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates last Wednesday in Atlanta. Then Hudson, Maholm, Medlen and Minor all turned in strong outings against the Dodgers.

The Braves could manage only a split of the four-game series in Los Angeles, but that certainly wasn't the fault of the starters.

With all five pitching well now, the Braves face a big decision soon. Brandon Beachy, coming off Tommy John elbow surgery, is nearing the completion of his minor league rehab assignment and is tentatively set to pitch in a makeup doubleheader against the Mets in Atlanta on June 18.

What happens after that?

"We have to come up with some kind of plan," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "But right now, we don't have one. I don't know what the right answer is right now."

NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 39-24

STREAK: Won two

PAST 10 GAMES: 7-3

NEXT: Braves (Julio Teheran, 4-2, 3.30) at San Diego (Jason Marquis, 7-2, 3.73)

PLAYER NOTES:

--RHP Julio Teheran takes the mound Monday at San Diego for the first time since tossing a gem against the Pittsburgh Pirates last Wednesday. He became just the fourth pitcher under the age of 23 to throw more than eight innings and allow one hit or less and strike out 10 or more in his one-hit, 11-strikeout game.

--3B Ramiro Pena exited the Braves 8-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday after tweaking his shoulder twice diving for the ball. Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said that Pena's injury was not significant and is considered day-to-day.

--2B Dan Uggla still has the power button clicked on, as he smashed two more home runs Sunday against the Dodgers. Uggla, who now has 13 home runs on the year, had a three-run shot in a big third inning for the Braves, though his batting average remains just .193.

--RF Jason Heyward continues to heat up after struggling for much of the year as he battled appendicitis. Heyward had two more hits Sunday, giving him a seven-game hitting streak. He had multiple hits in five of those games and now is batting .200 for the year.

--LHP Mike Minor has been a tear in recent weeks, and he kept up his good fortunes on Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Minor allowed just one run and six hits in six innings in the win, and he's given up just 12 runs in his last seven starts since the beginning of May.

--RHP Brandon Beachy (Tommy John surgery in June 2012) threw 94 pitches over five innings for Triple-A Gwinnett on June 8 and is schedule to make his final rehab starts for Double-A Mississippi on June 13 before rejoining the Atlanta rotation on June 18 for a home doubleheader against the Mets. He is 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA over four starts at three minor league levels.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "You always want to feel like you matter, feel like you're a factor. It sucks when, like I've felt a lot this year, you feel like a non-factor. Get some homers, some runs, it feels good." -- 2B Dan Uggla after a win Sunday.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

--RHP Brandon Beachy (Tommy John surgery in June 2012) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22. He pitched for the first time in an extended spring training May 14, and started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett on May 19. He moved his rehab to Class A Rome on May 28. Beachy pitched five innings for Double-A Mississippi on June 3. He threw 94 pitches over five innings for Triple-A Gwinnett on June 8 and is schedule to make his final rehab starts for Double-A Mississippi on June 13 before rejoining the Atlanta rotation on June 18 for a home doubleheader against the New York Mets

--LHP Eric O'Flaherty (torn ulnar collateral ligament) went on the 15-day disabled list May 19. He underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery May 21.

--RHP Luis Ayala (anxiety) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 25 after suffering anxiety while dealing with high blood pressure. He was sent to Florida for strength and conditioning work after making five minor league rehab appearances with Triple-A Gwinnett and Double-A Mississippi.

--LHP Jonny Venters (torn ulnar collateral ligament) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27. He had season-ending Tommy John surgery May 16.

--INF Blake DeWitt (lower back strain) went on the 15-day disabled list April 20. He missed most of the second half of last season with back issues.

--RHP Cristhian Martinez (right shoulder inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 7.

ROTATION:

RHP Tim Hudson

LHP Paul Maholm

RHP Kris Medlen

LHP Mike Minor

RHP Julio Teheran

BULLPEN:

RHP Craig Kimbrel (closer)

LHP Luis Avilan

RHP Cory Gearrin

RHP David Carpenter

RHP Anthony Varvaro

RHP Jordan Walden

LHP Alex Wood

CATCHERS:

Brian McCann

Gerald Laird

Evan Gattis

INFIELDERS:

1B Freddie Freeman

2B Dan Uggla

SS Andrelton Simmons

3B Chris Johnson

INF Ramiro Pena

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Justin Upton

CF B.J. Upton

RF Jason Heyward

OF Jordan Schafer

OF Reed Johnson

Comments

kevin 10 months, 2 weeks ago

You don't hit "winning" home runs every day, but you can strike out all day long. Sound familiar anyone? Wonder who that would apply to.

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