The Braves Report - May 5

Here are some news and notes on the Atlanta Braves.

LAST GAME

BRAVES 14, REDS 7: The Braves scored a season-high 14 runs -- seven in the second inning -- and LHP Tom Glavine did not get a win. Glavine gave up four runs in the fourth and had the bases loaded with two outs in the fifth when manager Bobby Cox lifted Glavine. 3B Chipper Jones drove in five runs and CF Mark Kotsay drove in three.


INSIDE PITCH

It isn't often that manager Bobby Cox sees a glass as anything but half-full.

At least relatively speaking, Cox sounded none too content when the Braves got back to Turner Field after the off day May 1. And he didn't bother to hide it, saying on his radio show, "We know we blew a few games on the road. The road trip was not fun."

He was counting both the one-run losses and the loss of right-hander John Smoltz, on the 15-day disabled list with a severely inflamed biceps tendon and inflammation of the rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

Cox was looking unusually pensive as the team gathered for a pregame meeting prior to facing the Reds. But the cause is not the rash of pitching injuries, rather that hitters were not doing the little things they need to do to win games.

Cox is not alone. Both Smoltz and third baseman Chipper Jones have been spreading the same message.

"We all know we can do the other things a little bit more," Smoltz says, noting that the pitchers who have had to fill in for veterans Smoltz, left-hander Tom Glavine and left-hander Mike Hampton have held up their end of things.

"It's pretty much been illustrated at various points in the year what we can do as a team to win ball games and what we can't so as a team when we lose," Jones says. "Guys putting up consistent at-bats, pitchers executing pitchers consistently, defenders making the plays 99.9 percent of the time, good things will happen."


NOTES, QUOTES

SS Yunel Escobar was scratched moments before the game after succumbing to a virus that's been running through the clubhouse since spring training. UT Martin Prado started at short but Escobar replaced him in the seventh inning after Prado sprained his left thumb.

RHP Peter Moylan (strained right elbow) had to shut down Saturday's bullpen session after only seven pitches. His next step is meeting with team trainers and doctors.

INF Omar Infante (broken left hand) is ready to begin a rehab assignment with Class AAA Richmond after finally hitting in his last two extended spring training starts, going 2 for 6.

2B Kelly Johnson's three-double day gives him five doubles in his last two games.

SS Martin Prado badly sprained his left thumb on a play at first base in the fifth inning. X-rays were negative; he is day to day.


BY THE NUMBERS

0-9 -- Braves record in one-run games in April.


QUOTE TO NOTE

"I've always been a gunshot away from the glue factory."
-- RHP John Smoltz, on the number of times observers believed his career might be over.


MEDICAL WATCH

John Smoltz (severely inflamed right biceps tendon and right rotator cuff inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 28. No timeframe has been given for his return.

Peter Moylan (bone spur in right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 12. He attempted to throw a bullpen session on May 3, but stopped after seven pitches. He might need surgery.

Rafael Soriano (right elbow tendinitis) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 7.

Mike Hampton (strained left pectoral muscle) was hurt while warming up for the April 3 game. He went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 29. He left a rehab start with Class AAA Richmond on April 30 due to continuing discomfort in the pectoral muscle, though surgery was ruled out when no tearing was discovered on an MRI.

Mike Gonzalez (Tommy John elbow surgery in May 2007) was not expected to be ready to pitch until after the All-Star break, but he hopes to return in May. His velocity is back in the 90s. He went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21.

Omar Infante (broken left hand) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21. He started working out at extended spring training in late April. Infante was expected to begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Richmond on May 5.

Anthony Lerew (Tommy John elbow surgery in July 2007) went on the 60-day disabled list retroactive to March 21.



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