Mac Attack: Brian McCann Homers Again As Braves Sweep Phillies

McCann has now homered in four straight games.

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18 Total Updates since July 6, 2012
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Andrelton Simmons Injury: Braves Shortstop Could Miss Significant Time

Rookie shortstop Andrelton Simmons left Sunday's win over the Phillies with a fractured pinkie finger on his throwing hand and is scheduled to see a hand specialist on Monday. According to a report by Atlanta Journal Constitution writer Carroll Rogers injuries like the one suffered by Simmons can take a while to heal.

Injuries of this nature can require four to six weeks to heal and even longer if surgery is required. The Braves wouldn't speculate on a how much time Simmons might miss before he sees Lourie, but given that it's a fracture, it's a significant injury to a player who's become an important part of the team in a short amount of time.

That is terrible news for a Braves team that enters the All-Star break with the momentum of a five-game winning streak. In the short term Atlanta could call up Tyler Pastornicky and split the time between he and Jack Wilson or the team could look to add a shortstop at the trade deadline. Neither situation is ideal but it is a decision that will have to be made after Simmons sees the doctor on Monday.

For more on Andrelton Simmons and the Braves check out Talking Chop. For more Major League Baseball news and notes head over to Baseball Nation.

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Braves Complete Sweep Of Phillies As Brian McCann Homers In Fourth Straight Game

Brian McCann experienced the worst half-season of his career with the Atlanta Braves in 2012. If this last series against the Phillies was any indication of what's to come, he might end up being an MVP candidate when it's all said and done.

McCann hit the go-ahead homer in the seventh inning to give the Braves a 4-3 lead, and the bullpen did the rest to give Atlanta the sweep in Philadelphia.

Jair Jurrjens continued to pitch well since his promotion to the majors. He worked seven innings of three-run ball, allowing six hits and just one walk. Jurrjens struck out four, and his lone mistake came on an elevated fastball that was hit out of the park.

That fastball was to Jason Pridie, who was filling in for an upset Shane Victorino about a demotion in the batting order. Pridie took the pitch and sent it deep into the right field stands, giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second.

Dan Uggla finally broke out of his slump with a monster two-run homer in the fourth, tying the game at 2-2. Pridie then struck again in the bottom of the fourth, doubling home a run.

McCann tied the game in the top of the fifth with an RBI-single to center field, and the score of 3-3 held until the seventh. B-Mac then drove a fastball over the plate deep into center field, bouncing it off the ivy of the backdrop.

Jurrjens, Kris Medlen and Craig Kimbrel all worked perfect innings in the seventh, eighth and ninth, cruising to a much-needed victory before the All-Star Break.

In a bit of bad news, Andrelton Simmons left the game with a broken pinky. He'll miss at least three weeks, and a return in early August seems likely at this point.

For more, check out Talking Chop.

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Andrelton Simmons Injury: Braves Shortstop Has Fractured Finger

Andrelton Simmons left Sunday's win over the Phillies with a hand injury and has been diagnosed with a fracture of the fifth metacarpal on his right hand. He will see a doctor tomorrow where a course of treatment will be decided.

The news certainly doesn't sound good for the Braves who have saw their middle infield defense solidified with the arrival of Simmons. He also hasn't been a slouch at the plate either where he was hitting .292 with three homers and 15 RBIs coming into Sunday's game. Jack Wilson replaced Simmons at short in the sixth inning but if Simmons is out for any length of time it could mean the return of Tyler Pastornicky from Triple-A.

For more on the Atlanta Braves head over to Talking Chop. Philadelphia Phillies info can be found over at The Good Phight. For more Major League Baseball news and notes head over to Baseball Nation.

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Andrelton Simmons Injury: Braves Shortstop Leaves Game In Fifth Inning

Rookie shortstop Andrelton Simmons left Sunday's game against the Phillies with an apparent hand injury of some kind. Simmons appeared to injure himself while sliding into second base on what was a great hustle play. He also hit his mouth on the kneecap of the covering Phillies player, but that doesn't seem to be the main issue.

Those in the TV booth speculated that it was an injury to his pinky, team writers on Twitter suggested it was a thumb issue.

Simmons and the Braves will have four days off for the All-Star Break, so he should have plenty of time to recover. It's not believed at this point that Simmons did any kind of serious structural damage to the hand, but the Braves will likely have him undergo an X-ray this week just to make sure.

UPDATE: It's a pinky injury for Simmons.

Better than a thumb injury, I suppose.

For more on the Braves and Simmons, check out Talking Chop.

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Braves Vs. Phillies Lineups: Chipper Jones Gets Day Off On Sunday

Chipper Jones will get the day off for Sunday's series finale as the Braves go for their first three-game sweep of Philadelphia in five years. Juan Francisco will take Jones' place at third base and will bat eighth in the order. Dan Uggla is in an epic slump going 9 for his last 92 at the plate but is in the starting lineup and will look to shake the slump from the sixth spot in the order.

Here is a look at the complete starting lineups for Sunday's series finale between the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies:

Atlanta Braves

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

Philadelphia Phillies

1. Jimmy Rollins (S) SS
2. Juan Pierre (L) LF
3. Chase Utley (L) 2B
4. Ryan Howard (L) 1B
5. Carlos Ruiz (R) C
6. Hunter Pence (R) RF
7. Shane Victorino (S) CF
8. Mike Fontenot (L) 3B
9. Vance Worley (R) P

For more on the Atlanta Braves head over to Talking Chop. Philadelphia Phillies info can be found over at The Good Phight. For more Major League Baseball news and notes head over to Baseball Nation.

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Braves Vs. Phillies Sunday Preview, Time, TV, Radio Info And More

The Atlanta Braves enter Sunday trying to close out the first half of the MLB season with some momentum and its first sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies in five years would certainly do the trick. Atlanta took Friday's series opener 5-0 behind a solid outing from Tim Hudson and followed that up with a 6-3 win on Saturday.

Jair Jurrjens will take the mound for the Braves and is 2-0 with a 1.47 ERA since returning from the minor leagues. Overall Jurrjens is 2-2 with a 5.19 ERA.

Philadelphia has lost 9 of 10 and will give the ball to Vance Worley on Sunday. Worley gave up six runs in four innings in a loss to the New York Mets last time out but 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA in two career starts against Atlanta.

Game Date/Time: Sunday, July 8, 1:35 p.m. ET

Location: Citizens Bank Ballpark, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

TV: TBS, Fox SportSouth

Radio: 680 The Fan

Online Streaming: MLB.tv

For more on the Atlanta Braves head over to Talking Chop. Philadelphia Phillies info can be found over at The Good Phight. For more Major League Baseball news and notes head over to Baseball Nation.

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Braves Vs. Phillies Final Score: Atlanta Wins 6-3

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tommy Hansen had a stellar outing against the Philadelphia Phillies in their 6-3 win Saturday night. Hansen pitches seven innings, struck out six and allowed only three runs. It was not looking good for Hansen in the second inning as that is where he started off by allowing consecutive hits and having men on second and third with one out.

The Phillies were able to score when Juan Pierre hit a RBI double and there will still men on second and third. Hansen then intentionally walked John Mayberry to load the bases, but that backfired as the Phillies scored a pair of runs when Joe Blanton and Jimmy Rollins each knocked in a run in consecutive at bats. The inning finally came to an end when Rollins was caught stealing second base.

After that second inning the Braves pitching staff was lights out and did not allow a run the rest of the way, and Craig Kimbrel came in and pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn his 24th save.

The Braves retook the lead after scoring a run in the third and then two in the fourth inning. The Braves went up for good after that fourth inning when they scored a pair of runs when Brian McCann and Andrelton Simmons each knocked in a run to give the Braves a 4-3 lead. The Braves put up two more runs in the seventh inning for good measure when Martin Prado hit a two-RBI single which made it a 6-3 game.

For more on the Atlanta Braves head over to Talking Chop. Philadelphia Phillies info can be found over at The Good Phight. For more Major League Baseball news and notes head over to Baseball Nation.

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Braves Vs. Phillies In Rain Delay, Time Unknown For First Pitch

The tarps are on the field in Philadelphia, and the start of the Phillies vs. Braves game will be delayed due to a threat of rain storms in the area. There are some dark clouds hovering over the stadium and the fans at Citizen's Bank Ballpark are being asked to leave their seats and take cover in the concourse.

There has been lightning in the area and there is also a threat of a hail storm hitting in Philadelphia. There is a 50 percent chance of rain through the 9 p.m. ET hour, ad the chances of rain greatly increase around 10 p.m. ET.

Here is the current radar map of the Philadelphia area as of 7:30 p.m. ET, and the storm is heading Southeast and right through Philadelphia:

Screen_shot_2012-07-07_at_5

Currently there is no expected timeframe for when the game will begin.

For more on the Atlanta Braves head over to Talking Chop. Philadelphia Phillies info can be found over at The Good Phight. For more Major League Baseball news and notes head over to Baseball Nation.

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Braves Vs. Phillies: Ryan Howard Will Not Start On Saturday

The Atlanta Braves will look to continue their winning ways as they prepare for game two of their series versus their NL East rival Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves pitching staff pitched a shutout on Friday and Brian McCann blasted a grand slam in the 5-0 victory. Saturday's lineup will stay exactly the same with Tommy Hanson stepping up on the mound. The Phillies will counter with Joe Blanton and John Mayberry will start at first base while Philadelphia takes their time bringing Ryan Howard back.

Here are the starting lineups for both teams.

Atlanta Braves Starting Lineups

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. Brian McCann (L) C
7. Dan Uggla (R) 2B
8. Andrelton Simmons (R) SS
9. Tommy Hanson (R) P

Philadelphia Phillies Starting Lineups

1. Jimmy Rollins (S) SS
2. Shane Victorino (S) CF
3. Chase Utley (L) 2B
4. Carlos Ruiz (R) C
5. Hunter Pence (R) RF
6. Placido Polanco (R) 3B
7. Juan Pierre (L) LF
8. John Mayberry (R) 1B
9. Joe Blanton (R) P

For more on the Atlanta Braves head over to Talking Chop. Philadelphia Phillies info can be found over at The Good Phight. For more Major League Baseball news and notes head over to Baseball Nation.

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Atlanta Braves Vs. Philadelphia Phillies: Saturday Preview, TV Schedule And More

Tommy Hanson has a tough act to follow on Saturday, as the Atlanta Braves continue a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies to close out to the first half of play this weekend.

Tim Hudson dominated the Phillies on Friday, needing just 79 pitches to get through seven innings of work. Hudson allowed just four hits and a walk, helping to spoil Ryan Howard's return to the lineup, as the Braves downed the Phillies, 5-0.

On Saturday, Hanson will look for similar results, as he looks for his 10th win of the year. Hanson brings a 9-5 record into the contest, along with a 3.70 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. Hanson has struck out 87 in 99 and 2/3 innings, and has walked 37.

Hanson's counterpart will be Joe Blanton, who brings a 7-7 record into the game. Blanton's secondary numbers are solid, as well, as he's the owner of a 1.25 WHIP and has walked just 15 in 104 innings. Blanton's ERA sits at 4.85, however, as he's prone to the long ball, having given up 19 already this year.

We'll see if Atlanta's bats can continue the longball assault on Blanton.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. ET. Televised coverage can be found on FOX.

For more on the Braves, head over to Talking Chop and join the discussion.

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Braves vs. Phillies Score: Brian McCann's Grand Slam Leads Atlanta To 5-0 Victory

Tim Hudson and Kyle Kendrick spent the first seven innings putting zeros up on the scoreboard at Citizens Bank Ballpark. When you consider Hudson was pitching through some serious pain in his right ankle, it seemed unlikely the Braves could come out with a win on Friday night. And when it seemed like yet another scoring opportunity was about to slip through their fingers in the eighth inning, Freddie Freeman and Brian McCann came up huge.

Kendrick exited at the start of the eighth in favor of Antonio Bastardo. Matt Diaz led off the frame with a pinch-hit single and he was followed by a Michael Bourn walk. Now in a prime opportunity to score, it was up to Martin Prado and Jason Heyward. Prado lined out softly for the first out, and Heyward popped up on the infield for the second.

Chipper Jones came up and fell behind 1-2 in the count, but he worked the count and eventually drew a walk on eight pitches. With the bases loaded and two outs, Freeman moved ahead 3-0 against Bastardo before drawing a walk. The Braves finally had a 1-0 lead with a struggling Brian McCann coming up to the plate.

McCann took a hanging 0-1 slider and sent it deep into the Philadelphia night, clearing the bases with a grand slam homer. The Braves moved ahead 5-0, and the bullpen would do the rest on way to a huge win on the road.

Hudson was the other story of the night, tossing seven inning of shutout ball. He surrendered just four hits and a walk, and did so on just 79 pitches. Quite the performance for a veteran dealing with a bad ankle.

The Braves and Phillies will meet again on Saturday night for the FOX Game of the Week.

For more on the club, check out Talking Chop.

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Braves Vs. Phillies: Ryan Howard In Lineup For Philadelphia

Ryan Howard will make his season-debut for the Phillies on Friday night, as Philadelphia activated him from the DL today and put him in the No. 4 slot in the lineup. Howard has been out since recording the final out of last season and rupturing his Achilles. His return comes sooner than expected.

The Phillies are in last place in the NL East and will hope for a boost, while the Braves look to take momentum from this weekend's series into the All-Star Break.

Here is the lineup for Atlanta:

1. Michael Bourn CF

2. Martin Prado LF

3. Jason Heyward RF

4. Chipper Jones 3B

5. Freddie Freeman 1B

6. Brian McCann C

7. Dan Uggla 2B

8. Andrelton Simmons SS

9. Tim Hudson P

Here is the lineup for Philadelphia:

1. Jimmy Rollins SS

2. Shane Victorino CF

3. Chase Utley 2B

4. Ryan Howard 1B

5. Carlos Ruiz C

6. Hunter Pence RF

7. Juan Pierre LF

8. Mike Fontenot 3B

9. Kyle Kendrick P

For more on the Atlanta Braves head over to Talking Chop. Philadelphia Phillies info can be found over at The Good Phight. For more Major League Baseball news and notes head over to Baseball Nation.

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Ryan Howard Activated For Phillies Series Against Braves

The Philadelphia Phillies have activated first baseman Ryan Howard on Friday in advance of the opening game of their weekend series with the Atlanta Braves. Howard has been on the shelf since the end of last season, tearing his achilles in the final out of Philadelphia's Game 5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS. He returns much earlier than expected, joining the club in the final series before the All-Star Break. Hector Luna was optioned to make room on the roster for the 2006 NL MVP. The Phils announced the move on their Twitter account:

The Phillies are scuffling, ten games under .500 and in last place in the NL East. Howard has a little over two weeks to perhaps provide a spark, or else the Ruben Amaro may start selling off assets at the trade deadline. The Nationals continue to set the pace in the division with the Mets and Braves above .500 and in pursuit.

For more on the Atlanta Braves head over to Talking Chop. Philadelphia Phillies info can be found over at The Good Phight. For more Major League Baseball news and notes head over to Baseball Nation.

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Braves Vs. Phillies: Game 1 Preview, TV Info And More

The Braves will enter a crucial series with the seemingly done-for Phillies to close the first half of the MLB season starting Friday night, as Atlanta sits in third place, six back of division leading Washington and 2.5 games back of the Mets. Philly took two of three the last time the teams met.

Chipper Jones and Martin Prado will arrive at Citizens Bank Park with 11-game hitting streaks. Jones is now the oldest player in Braves history to carry a hitting streak of 11 or more games.

Date / Time: Friday, July 6, 7:05 p.m. ET

Location: Citizens Bank Park

TV: Peacthree TV, Fox Sports South

Radio: WNNX 100.5, WCNN 680

Probable Starters: Tim Hudson (6-4) vs. Kyle Kendrick (2-8)

For more on the Atlanta Braves head over to Talking Chop. Philadelphia Phillies info can be found over at The Good Phight. For more Major League Baseball news and notes head over to Baseball Nation.

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Braves vs. Phillies Preview: Atlanta Wraps Up First Half Against NL East Rivals

TIm Hudson takes the mound in the series opener on Friday night.

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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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