ATLANTA, GA - JULY 5: Jason Heyward #22 of the Atlanta Braves hits a first inning home run against the Chicago Cubs at Turner Field on July 5, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Cubs Vs. Braves: Atlanta Earns Split With Cubs After 7-3 Win

Jason Heyward was one of four different Braves to homer as Atlanta defeated the Cubs 7-3.

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Atlanta Braves Split Series With Chicago Cubs At Turner Field

The Braves had a chance to capitalize on their first weak opponent in months, and they failed to do so against the Cubs. Atlanta won just two of the four games, and neither of their losses were very closely contested. They're now 3-4 against Chicago in 2012, who entered the series with the worst record in baseball.

Jeff Samardzija dominated the opener on Monday night as the Cubs went on to win by a score of 4-1. Tommy Hanson pitched well, but the offense simply did not step up.

Game two was a different story for Atlanta. The club raked out 10 hits for 10 runs, headlined by Chipper Jones' 5-for-5 night as they won 10-3 in convincing fashion.

Chicago won game three 5-1, aided greatly by another disastrous performance from Jonny Venters out of the bullpen.

The Braves used the long ball in the series finale on their way to a 7-3 victory. Mike Minor pitched well as Jason Heyward, Brian McCann, Freddie Freeman and Juan Francisco all homered.

Atlanta will now head north to take on the last place Phillies for their final series before the All-Star Break.

For more on the Braves be sure to check out Talking Chop.

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2012 MLB Standings: Braves Still Third In NL East After Split With Cubs

The Atlanta Braves salvaged a split in their four-game series with the Chicago Cubs and remain in third place and six full games behind the Washington Nationals. The Nationals have won four straight and seven of 10 to open up a 4.5 game lead over second place New York.

The Mets host the Cubs over the weekend while Atlanta heads to Philadelphia to take on the last place Phillies who have lost seven of their last 10 to fall 13 games back in the division.


NL East Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Washington 48 32 .600 0 Won 4
New York 45 38 .542 4.5 Won 1
Atlanta 43 39 .524 6 Won 1
Miami 40 42 .487 9 Won 2
Philadelphia 37 47 .440 13 Lost 1

(updated 7.5.2012 at 10:38 PM EDT)

For more on the Atlanta Braves head over to Talking Chop. For more Major League Baseball news and notes head over to Baseball Nation.

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Cubs Vs. Braves Final Score: Atlanta Plays Long Ball In 7-3 Win

The Atlanta Braves salvaged a split in its four-game series with a 7-3 win over the Chicago Cubs Thursday night at Turner Field. The Atlanta offense woke up and busted out the long ball belting four homers on the night and two in the first inning.

Jason Heyward put the Braves on the board early with a two-run homer to right off of Cubs starter Matt Garza. Two batters later Brian McCann followed with his two-run homer and Mike Minor had an early 4-0 lead.

That was plenty enough for Minor who allowed three hits and two earned runs in 6 1/3 innings of work to pick up his fifth win of the season. Matt Garza takes the loss after giving up five hits and five runs in just four innings.

Heyward, McCann, Martin Prado and Freddie Freeman all had two hits each for the Braves. McCann drove in three runs in the game and Juan Francisco added his sixth homer of the season in the eighth to give Atlanta some insurance.

Atlanta will open a three-game set in Philadelphia on Friday before heading into the All-Star break.

Read more on the Braves at Talking Chop and head over to Bleed Cubbie Blue for the Cubs fans' perspective. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Cubs Vs. Braves Starting Lineups: Chipper Jones Gets Day Off On Thursday

Chipper Jones will get a day off on Thursday as the Atlanta Braves try to salvage a split in its four-game series against the Chicago Cubs. Juan Francisco will play third and bat eighth in the lineup in place of Jones. Brian McCann also returns to the lineup after sitting out against Paul Maholm on Wednesday.

Here is a look at the full lineups for Thursday's series finale between the Braves and the Cubs:

Atlanta Braves

1. Michael Bourn (L) CF
2. Martin Prado (R) LF
3. Jason Heyward (L) RF
4. Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
5. Brian McCann (L) C
6. Dan Uggla (R) 2B
7. Andrelton Simmons (R) SS
8. Juan Francisco (L) 3B
9. Mike Minor (R) P

Chicago Cubs

1. David DeJesus (L) CF
2. Starlin Castro (R) SS
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Alfonso Soriano (R) LF
5. Bryan LaHair (L) RF
6. Geovany Soto (R) C
7. Darwin Barney (R) 2B
8. Luis Valbuena (L) 3B
9. Matt Garza (R) P

Read more on the Braves at Talking Chop and head over to Bleed Cubbie Blue for the Cubs fans' perspective. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Jonny Venters Injury: Braves Place Struggling Reliever On Disabled List

The Atlanta Braves have placed struggling relief pitcher Jonny Venters on the disabled list with an elbow injury, as the team tries to figure out why the once dominant reliever has struggled so much in 2012.

The move may have been prompted by Venters' disastrous outing in Atlanta's 5-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, where Venters allowed a run on a wild pitch and gave up a home run in two consecutive pitches.

On the season, Venters is 3-3 with 4.45 ERA in 32 innings, a far cry from the pitcher who dominated the NL in his first two seasons in MLB. In 2010 and 2011, the 6'3 lefthander had a 1.89 ERA in 164 appearances.

Many speculated that the relief patterns of Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez contributed to Venters struggles at the end of last season, which have been repeated in 2012. However, pitching injuries are still an inexact science, and there's no way to exactly pinpoint why a pitcher heads to the disabled list.

To replace Venters on the roster Atlanta has called up left handed reliever Luis Avilan who spent one day at Triple-A Gwinnett after being promoted from Mississippi.

Read more on the Braves at Talking Chop and head over to Bleed Cubbie Blue for the Cubs fans' perspective. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Braves Vs. Cubs: Game 4 Preview, TV Info And More

There was very little offense - yet again - in the Braves' 5-1 loss to the Cubs on the 4th of July, but two Braves hitters - Martin Prado and Chipper Jones - are working consecutive game hitting streaks of ten and 11 games, respectively, as Atlanta enters the final game of their series with the Cubs on Thursday.

The Braves will look to close out of the first half of the 2012 season with four remaining games (one vs. Chicago, three at Philadelphia) left to try and make up ground in the NL East. Atlanta has fallen to third place in the division, trailing the Mets by a game and a half.

Date / Time: Thursday, July 5, 7:10 p.m. ET

Location: Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia

TV: Sports South

Radio: WNNX 100.5, WCNN 680

Probable Starters: Matt Garza (4-6) vs. Mike Minor (4-6)

Read more on the Braves at Talking Chop and head over to Bleed Cubbie Blue for the Cubs fans' perspective. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Braves Fall To Last Place Cubs (Again), Offense Fails To Show Up (Again)

The Chicago Cubs entered this series with the worst record in baseball. Against the Braves in 2012, they are now 4-2 following a 5-1 victory on Wednesday night. The Braves have now lost five of their last seven games, and are now six games back of the Nationals in the NL East.

It was more of the same for Atlanta's lineup, swinging at bad pitches and failing to capitalize with runners in scoring position. And of their three hits with runners in scoring position, only one run scored.

The Cubs struck first in the first inning on a delayed double steal that brought Starlin Castro home from third. The Braves tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the third with an RBI single from Martin Prado.

Bryan LaHair promptly sent a ball over the wall in the next half-inning, giving Chicago a 2-1 lead once again. A wild pitch from Jonny Venters brought home a run in the seventh to make it 3-1, and then Jeff Baker homered to make it 4-1. Anthony Rizzo hit his second home run in three days to give the Cubs a 5-1 lead they would not relinquish.

The Braves are now 0-5 in Randall Delgado's last five starts.

For more on the club, check out Talking Chop.

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Braves vs. Cubs Lineups: Brian McCann Sits Against Tough Lefty

The Atlanta Braves are looking to win consecutive games for the first time in a week, and they'll turn to one of their struggling young pitchers in order to do so. Randall Delgado started off the season nicely, but he's fallen apart in recent weeks and might be pitching to save his job with Ben Sheets now waiting in the wings.

The Braves will use a similar lineup to the one that scored 10 runs on Tuesday evening, although Brian McCann will get the night off against a tough lefty-handed pitcher in Paul Maholm. Here's tonight's lineup:

Michael Bourn - CF
Martin Prado - 3B
Jason Heyward - RF
Chipper Jones - 3B
Freddie Freeman - 1B
Dan Uggla - 2B
David Ross - C
Andrelton Simmons - SS
Randall Delgado - P

And here is the Cubs lineup:

First pitch from Turner Field is set for 7:10 p.m. ET. There will be a fireworks show after the game.

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Ben Sheets To Make First Start For Mississippi Braves Wednesday

Ben Sheets will begin his road back to the majors on Wednesday when he takes the mound for the Mississippi Braves as they open a series with the Jackson Generals.

Sheets is scheduled to throw about five innings or 75 pitches depending on which comes first. He will make another start for Mississippi on Monday and stretch out to around 90 pitches. First pitch for Wednesday night's game is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.

Witnesses of Sheets side session at Georgia Tech last week report that the former All-Star's velocity was clocking in the low 90s which is close to where he was at before elbow surgery. Barring a setback Atlanta thinks that Sheets could be ready to join the rotation shortly after the All-Star break.

If Sheets is promoted then it will likely come at the expense of either Mike Minor or Randall Delgado.

For more on the Ben Sheets and the Atlanta Braves check out Talking Chop. For more news and notes from Major League Baseball head over to Baseball Nation.

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Braves Vs. Cubs: Game 3 Preview, TV Info And More

Randall Delgado will take the hill for the Braves' annul 4th of July home game, hoping that the ballyhooed fireworks display is held until after the game, or at least to the bottom of the frame. Delgado has lost his last three starts, and made it past the fifth inning just once in his last four starts.

After his amazing five-hit performance on Tuesday, Chipper Jones needs only three RBIs to reach 1,597 in his career, which would pass Mike Schmidt and George Brett for all-time RBIs by a third baseman.

Date / Time: Friday, July 4, 7:10 p.m. ET

Location: Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia

TV: Sports South

Radio: WNNX 100.5, WCNN 680

Probable Starters: Paul Maholm (5-6) vs. Randall Delgado (4-8)

Read more on the Braves at Talking Chop and head over to Bleed Cubbie Blue for the Cubs fans' perspective. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Chipper Jones' Five Hits Leads Atlanta Braves To 10-3 Victory Over Cubs

On the day he was named to the 2012 All-Star Game, Chipper Jones turned in one of the greatest nights of his career. Jones recorded five hits --two doubles and three singles -- and even stole a base as the Braves went on to win 10-3 over the Cubs. It was the third five-hit game of Chipper's career, his first in nearly 10 years.

Atlanta trailed early on Tuesday night after some poor defense in the third inning, but things really got going in the fifth. Brian McCann and Andrelton Simmons led off the inning with a single, and Eric Hinske drew a walk to load the bases. Michael Bourn then ambushed a first-pitch fastball down the right field line to clear the bases on a three-run triple.

Martin Prado drove Bourn home with a sacrifice fly, and then Jason Heyward deposited a ball into the center field seats to give the Braves a 6-3 lead.

Prado came up once again with the bases loaded in the sixth and drew a walk to score another run. Heyward flew out for the second out of the inning, brining up Jones once again. Chipper belted a ball into right field for a three-run double, which was his fourth hit of the night at the time.

Jones recorded his fifth hit with two outs in the eighth inning, a single to right. He exited to a standing ovation at Turner Field.

Jair Jurrjens continued to pitch well since his call up to Atlanta, working five innings of three-run ball. None of the runs were earned. While he did surrender nine hits, quite a few of them were a product of prolonged innings due to errors in the field. He only struck out two batters, but also did not walk any. That's a very encouraging sign.

The Braves and Cubs will meet yet again on Wednesday night for a Fourth of July special. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.

For more on the Braves, check out Talking Chop.

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Braves vs. Cubs Lineups: Atlanta Looks To Get On Track Behind Jair Jurrjens

The Atlanta Braves have lost four of their last five games, and they're in danger of falling too far back of a solid Nationals team in the standings. Fredi Gonzalez has changed up his lineup a bit in recent weeks, but tonight he'll go with the same group that scored one run against the Cubs on Monday.

Here is the Braves lineup for Tuesday evening.

Michael Bourn - CF
Martin Prado - LF
Jason Heyward - RF
Chipper Jones - 3B
Freddie Freeman - 1B
Dan Uggla - 2B
Brian McCann - C
Andrelton Simmons - SS
Jair Jurrjens - P

And here is the Cubs lineup.

First pitch from Turner Field is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET. Head on out to the ballpark and support the boys if you can.

For more on the Braves be sure to check out Talking Chop. Head over to Bleed Cubbie Blue for Cubs news.

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Braves Vs. Cubs: Game 2 Preview, TV Info And More

The Braves are now trying to fight off a Cubs team that just happens to be rolling at the moment. The North Siders of Chicago are winners of four straight after sweeping a home series against the Astros, and then taking the series opener against the Braves on Monday night.

Atlanta, still fighting for position in the NL East standings, is trying to avoid dropping another game to the Cubs, which would extend the Braves' current losing streak to three games and make them losers of five out of their last 11 games.

Jair Jurrjens (1-2, 6.07 ERA) will face Chris Volstad (0-6, 7.46 ERA) in the matchup between starting pitchers on Tuesday. Take a look at the game schedule and broadcast information:

Date/Time: Tuesday, July 3, 7:10 p.m. ET

TV: CSN, SPSO

Online streaming: MLB.tv

Read more on the Braves at Talking Chop and head over to Bleed Cubbie Blue for the Cubs fans' perspective. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Braves Must Consider Financial Aspects With Zack Greinke

The Braves have some very big decisions to make in the coming weeks.

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Braves vs. Cubs Score: Jeff Samardzija Leads Chicago To 4-1 Victory

The Chicago Cubs have been the worst team in baseball this season, but don't tell that to them when they face the Braves. The club improved to 3-1 against Atlanta this season with a 4-1 victory on Monday night. With the loss, the Braves have now scored five runs in 36 innings against the Cubs.

The story of the night was Jeff Samardzija, who worked seven masterful innings. He surrendered just one run on four hits and a walk, striking out 11 in the process. He snapped his four-game losing streak with the win.

Anthony Rizzo hit his second home run of the season off of Tommy Hanson, a deep homer over the center field wall. The Braves tied the score at 1-1 in the sixth on a two-out single from Martin Prado that drove Michael Bourn home.

As has been the case with Atlanta in recent weeks, the club promptly surrendered runs after scoring in the previous half inning. Hanson loaded the bases, and Luis Valbuena cleared them on a three-run double down the right field line.

The Braves put a runner on base in the eighth and ninth innings, but they were unable to do anything with it. As has seemingly been the case with them the past month, it's all-or-nothing with this team offensively.

Atlanta will look to even the series on Tuesday night at 7:10 p.m. ET.

For more on the Braves, check out Talking Chop.

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Braves Vs. Cubs: Game 1 Lineups Announced

The lineups for the Braves and Cubs series opener have been announced. The Braves face a not so good Cubs team that is coming off a series sweep against another not so good Astros squad. Check out the lineups that are projected to start Monday's game between the Braves and Cubs:

Atlanta Braves

1. Michael Bourn (L) CF
2. Martin Prado (R) LF
3. Jason Heyward (L) RF
4. Chipper Jones (S) 3B
5. Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
6. Dan Uggla (R) 2B
7. Brian McCann (L) C
8. Andrelton Simmons (R) SS
9. Tommy Hanson (R) P

Chicago Cubs

1. Tony Campana (L) CF
2. Starlin Castro (R) SS
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Alfonso Soriano (R) LF
5. Bryan LaHair (L) RF
6. Steve Clevenger (L) C
7. Darwin Barney (R) 2B
8. Luis Valbuena (L) 3B
9. Jeff Samardzija (R) P

Read more on the Braves at Talking Chop and head over to Bleed Cubbie Blue for the Cubs fans' perspective. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Atlanta Braves Welcome In Struggling Cubs To Turner Field

Baseball's worst team will be in town for four games, including a night game on the Fourth of July.

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