The Wins Keep Coming As Braves Beat Phils, 6-3

Heyward Collects First Leadoff Home Run

Thursday, August 15, 2013
Jason Heyward round third after his homer.
Jason Heyward round third after his homer.
- photo by Tim Evearitt

ATLANTA -- Jason Heyward's first career leadoff home run sparked the early offensive eruption that provided Brandon Beachy some comfort and propelled the Braves to Wednesday night's 6-3 win over the Phillies at Turner Field.

With Heyward providing a pair of extra-base hits in the first two innings and Chris Johnson capping a three-run second inning with the latest of his clutch two-out hits, the Braves cruised toward their 17th win in their past 19 games and maintained their 14-game lead over the Nationals in the National League East.

The consistent offensive production the Braves have generated over the past few weeks has been significantly influenced by Heyward, who has batted .388 with a .460 on-base percentage in the 18 games he has played since moving into the leadoff spot. Andrelton Simmons produced a .259 on-base percentage in the 62 games he manned the leadoff role.

When the Braves began this impressive run, Beachy was a few days away from taking his lumps during his first start back from Tommy John surgery. At the time there was reason to wonder how dependable he might be down the stretch. But while working at least six innings in each of the three starts that have followed, the 26-year-old right-hander has quieted his doubters.

Riding the momentum created when he tossed eight scoreless innings against the Marlins on Friday, Beachy limited to Phillies to six hits, three of which were produced by Domonic Brown, in six innings. The only two runs he allowed came courtesy of Brown's two-run homer in the sixth inning.

Brown's home run simply dented the five-run advantage the Braves had gained by the end of the second inning. After beginning the game with his 11th homer of the season, Heyward fueled the three-run second inning with a double that followed the six-pitch walk Beachy drew against John Lannan.

After walking Justin Upton to load the bases, Lannan exited with an injury to his left knee. This provided an unenviable challenge for Zach Miner, who promptly allowed Freddie Freeman to produce a sacrifice fly that came within a few feet of being his first career grand slam.

Johnson produced a sacrifice fly in the first inning and then capped the second inning with the two-out, two-run single to center field. On the way to producing a National League-leading .337 average, Johnson has batted .395 with two outs and runners in scoring position.

Second baseman Tyler Pastornicky, called up on Tuesday when Dan Uggla went on the disabled list, left Wednesday night's game with a sprained left knee after colliding with right fielder Heyward under a pop fly. The team plans to re-evaluate the injury on Thursday. 

Veteran outfielder Reed Johnson has taken batting practice and thrown in the outfield over the course of the current homestand, but his return from Achilles tendinitis is still several days off. Johnson has increased his walking elevation on the treadmill but he has not started running. 

The Braves expect one of their most trusted eighth-inning weapons back by the start of this weekend's series against the Nationals. Right-hander Jordan Walden played catch on Tuesday for the first time since taking a line drive off the base of his thumb during Saturday night's 1-0 loss to the Marlins, and two more days without any setbacks should put him back in the bullpen by Friday night.

--- Source: MLB.com


Berean Academy Boys Win State Bastketball Title For 1st Time; Girls Finish 2nd

For the first time in school history, the Berean Academy boys won the Tennessee Association of Christian Schools state basketball championship. The Berean girls finished second in the state. The Berean boys finished the season 26-4 with their victories including over Soddy Daisy, Chattanooga Christian twice, Silverdale and St.Andrews. The starting five of Jordan Long, Matthew ... (click for more)

Dalton State Defeats Brewton-Parker, 64-43

Dalton State basketball captured the Southern States Athletic Conference regular season championship Saturday with a convincing 64-43 win at a packed Mashburn Arena. A sold out crowd of 2,001 arrived early to honor seven players and a cheerleader for Senior Day and many stayed after the game to celebrate. (6) Dalton State jumped out to a 35-10 lead at the half. Every Roadrunner ... (click for more)

Deputy Beaten After Vehicle Crashes In His Yard Sues Officers

A man who was mistakenly beaten by officers who had been pursuing a pickup truck that crashed into his home has sued Hamilton County and the officers for $700,000. Aaron Lucas Shelton and his wife, Heather Nicole Shelton, filed the suit in Circuit Court. Aaron Shelton is himself a deputy sheriff. It names Curtis Brian Killingsworth and unknown officers who allegedly took part ... (click for more)

Signal Council, Residents Concerned About Unsafe Driving En Route To Schools

The town council of Signal Mountain is dealing with a traffic problem caused by increased traffic to and from Signal Mountain Middle High School and Nolan Elementary. Mayor Dick Gee said, “This is a tough issue that we wouldn’t have to deal with if everyone would drive responsibly.” The main concern is for safety and in November the council agreed to try to fix the problem by ... (click for more)

We Ought To Pay Our Own Way

The government is too big. It has never been bigger - by any measure. It spends more money than any other single actor in our society. From Blue Rhinos to providing telecommunications services, our government knows no bounds. We’ve gone from a free enterprise system to a public enterprise system.  I'm not an artist. I'm not terribly tech savvy. The part of government that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden On March 1

As I try to do at the beginning of each month, I stroll through my garden to see the good and the bad. This morning there is still a solid covering of snow but, as usual, there is still a lot to see. March is historically known for “coming in like a lion and leaving like a lamb” so let’s see who gets what: A LAMB to the fact 90-year-old Floyd Hartwig of Easton, Calif., and his ... (click for more)