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


Friends, Former Players Celebrate Stephenson’s 30 Years In Coaching At GNTC

Friends and former players were among those on hand last Saturday afternoon at the Rossville Athletic Center to pay homage to Georgia Northwestern basketball coach and Athletic Director David Stephenson for his 30 years in coaching. Stephenson has over 500 career wins on the court and has coached over 800 games. He has also served as a coach for soccer and track and field ... (click for more)

UTC's Jim Foster is Quarterback Club Speaker Today

UTC women's basketball coach Jim Foster is the schduled spearer at today's Chattanooga Quarterback club meeting at noon at Finley Stadium. Coach Foster will review the season to date and give a preview of what to expect at this weekend's Southern Conference Tournament in Asheville, N.C.. The Mocs (18-10) are the No.1 seed and play No. 8 Western Carolina at 11:30 a.m. Thursday  ... (click for more)

Feds Say East Ridge Judge, Commissioner Owe Taxes To IRS

A civil suit has been filed in Federal Court by the Internal Revenue Service against East Ridge City Judge Cris Helton and his former wife, East Ridge Commissioner Esther Helton, saying they owe taxes. The suit says Judge Helton, who defeated longtime Judge Arvin Reingold in 2014, owes $408,321.71 in taxes for his Helton Law Firm. It says he and Ms. Helton owe $20,651.69 in ... (click for more)

NASA Employee Gets 10-Year Federal Prison Term After Being Caught In Child Sex Sting In Chattanooga; De Matties Placed Ad Looking For "Petite Young Teenage Slut"

Thomas de Matteis, 54, of Hazel Green, Ala., was sentenced on Monday by Federal Judge Sandy Mattice to serve 10 years in federal prison for coercing or enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity. Matteis entered a guilty plea to the charge in November 2016.   At the time of his offenses, Matteis was employed by NASA in Alabama.  An investigation started by ... (click for more)

Embrace America - And Response

Okay, Hollywierd we get it. The world of entertainment and cinema arts do not support President Trump. But for all their derisive and divisive speech, truth remains. People who support conservative values do not hate children, we do not hate immigrants, we do not hate other races and ethnicities although that is all you trumpet at every opportunity.  What we do support ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Eye Of The Storm

There is a very serious building in Norman, Okla., that houses the nation’s Storm Prediction Center for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service. According to a Four-Day Forecast released on Sunday, north Alabama and the Chattanooga area are in the middle of the bulls eye for the United States. Yes, it was about 40 degrees and sunny ... (click for more)