Confident Foltynewicz K's 9 in dominant start

Right-hander allows one run over seven innings as Braves fall to Phillies

Confident Foltynewicz K's 9 in dominant start

PHILADELPHIA -- If Mike Foltynewicz continues to make strides this season, the Braves might recall their current frustrating stretch as when they gained a legitimate frontline starter.

Building off Tuesday's seven-inning start against the Nationals, Foltynewicz took the mound at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday afternoon in a relaxed mood. He confidently spun his slider during a nine-strikeout effort that went for naught. The Phillies recorded back-to-back-to-back home runs in the eighth vs. the Atlanta bullpen to claim a 5-2 win over the Braves, who have lost six straight.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Paul Hagen

Braves-Phillies' similarities could lead to rivalry

Rebuilding franchises on parallel track toward contending in NL East

Braves-Phillies' similarities could lead to rivalry

PHILADELPHIA -- Some baseball rivalries have historic foundations that survive the ages. Dodgers-Giants. Yankees-Red Sox. Cardinals-Cubs. Others are more temporal, based on trends that pull franchises toward each other.

That might just be happening right now with the Braves and Phillies. And just because the competition doesn't have deep roots doesn't make it any less compelling.

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Paul Hagen is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wisler called up to provide fresh arm out of 'pen

Wisler called up to provide fresh arm out of 'pen

PHILADELPHIA -- As the Braves adjust to their transition to a seven-man bullpen that is stacked with relievers who are out of Minor League options, they may attempt to keep their relief corps fresh by routinely promoting Luke Jackson, Aaron Blair or Matt Wisler to experience short stints on the big league roster.

It was Wisler's turn on Sunday, as he was called up to fill the roster void created by Blair being sent back to Gwinnett to get a chance to resume serving as a starting pitcher. Blair did not pitch during the three games he spent on Atlanta's roster after being called up on Thursday to replace Jackson, who was sent down because he had pitched each of the previous three days.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Foltynewicz solid though 7; bullpen falters

Foltynewicz solid though 7; bullpen falters

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies are not a home run-hitting team, but they showed some serious muscle late in Sunday afternoon's 5-2 victory over the Braves at Citizens Bank Park.

They hit back-to-back-to-back home runs to break a tie and sweep the Braves. Cesar Hernandez hit a two-run home run off Arodys Vizcaino to hand the Phillies a two-run lead. Aaron Altherr followed and ripped a solo homer into the Phillies' bullpen in center field, and Odubel Herrera hit a solo shot to left-center field against Ian Krol to make it a four-run game. The Phillies have won six of their last eight games to improve to 9-9.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Allard hurls five scoreless frames for M-Braves

Allard hurls five scoreless frames for M-Braves

It seems like every time he takes the mound, Kolby Allard keeps showing why the Braves drafted him No. 14 overall two years ago.

The 19-year-old left-hander, already pitching for Double-A Mississippi, has a 1.29 ERA through his first four starts of 2017 after tossing five scoreless innings against the Montgomery Biscuits on Sunday. Allard scattered five hits, walked one and struck out five.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Teheran looks to extend dominance vs. Mets

Teheran looks to extend dominance vs. Mets

When the Mets welcome the Braves to Citi Field for the opener of a three-game series on Tuesday night, they will attempt to prevent Julio Teheran from extending a dominant stretch that has spanned nearly two full calendar years.

Teheran has posted a 0.63 ERA over his past six starts against the Mets, a span that dates back to June 21, 2015. The Braves' ace has allowed one earned run and 10 hits over his past 22 innings (three starts) at Citi Field. His latest outing here occurred on Opening Day, when he scattered four hits over six scoreless innings.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hard-hit balls not falling for Swanson

Hard-hit balls not falling for Swanson

PHILADELPHIA -- What had the makings of a night when Dansby Swanson could jubilantly walk out of the clubhouse feeling like the tide had just turned, instead turned into one that none of the Braves want to relive any time soon.

After a leadoff single in the top half of the 10th inning Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park to help give the Braves the lead, Swanson was involved in one of the tough-luck ground balls that closer Jim Johnson induced during the bottom half of the 10th before Maikel Franco's two-out, two-run single that gave the Phillies a 4-3 win.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillips extends streak, but Braves fall

Phillips extends streak, but Braves fall

PHILADELPHIA -- How in the world did the Phillies win Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park?

They blew a one-run lead in the ninth inning and allowed the go-ahead run in the 10th, but they scored twice in the bottom of the 10th in improbable fashion for a 4-3 victory over the Braves.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Colon never shy about going after strike zone

Colon never shy about going after strike zone

PHILADELPHIA -- As Braves catcher Tyler Flowers sat behind the plate for Bartolo Colon's start against the Phillies on Friday night, he certainly wasn't reminded of any of those days when he was with the White Sox serving as Chris Sale's batterymate.

Per Statcast™, among the 73 Major League pitchers who have thrown at least 5,000 pitches since the start of the 2015 season, Sale ranks fifth with a 14.32 missed swing-and-miss rate. Colon ranks last as opponents have missed with only 6.76 percent of the swings they have taken against him within this span.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jackson slugs sixth homer for Fire Frogs

Jackson slugs sixth homer for Fire Frogs

Clint Frazier has had Yankees fans abuzz since New York traded for him last July, but he hadn't gotten off to the hottest start to the 2017 season at the plate. As of Saturday, that looks like it might be changing.

One of the team's two uber-prospects along with shortstop Gleyber Torres, Frazier went 2-for-3 with a solo home run for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, accounting for the only offense in the RailRiders' 1-0 win over the Indianapolis Indians.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves hope offense clicks to join Freeman

Braves hope offense clicks to join Freeman

ATLANTA -- As Freddie Freeman continues to produced incredible statistics through this season's first three weeks, the potential value of his contributions has been diminished by the lack of consistent production created within the first two spots of the Braves' lineup.

When Freeman drilled a mammoth solo homer during the sixth inning of Friday night's 4-3 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, he found himself with seven homers and a total of just nine RBIs. Six of his seven homers have been solo shots and he has totaled just four at-bats with a runner in scoring position over this season's first 16 games.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Garcia's late homer not enough vs. Phils

Garcia's late homer not enough vs. Phils

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Pete Mackanin combed through the batter-pitcher matchups hours before Friday night's game against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park and found only limited success against Bartolo Colon.

But the Phillies picked up 11 hits and four runs in seven innings against Colon in a 4-3 victory. Colon had been 10-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 14 starts against the Phillies the previous three seasons with the Mets. The Phillies had picked up more than six hits against him in just four of those 14 starts. They had never had more than 10, which happened once, in July 2014.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gohara goes 7 scoreless, drops ERA to 1.29

Gohara goes 7 scoreless, drops ERA to 1.29

No pitcher has been more dominant than Class A Columbia's Merandy Gonzalez to begin the season. That trend continued on Friday night, as the Mets' No. 14 prospect extended his scoreless innings streak to 20 2/3 by tossing seven frames in a win against Lexington.

Gonzalez allowed just three singles and struck out a season-high seven batters en route to his third win in as many starts for the Fireflies. He retired nine consecutive batters at one point before setting down the final seven he faced to finish with 88 pitches (64 strikes).

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dickey duels with Strasburg, but Braves fall

Dickey duels with Strasburg, but Braves fall

ATLANTA -- Ryan Zimmerman foiled R.A. Dickey's bid for a gem and Stephen Strasburg kept Freddie Freeman's bat quiet as the Nationals completed a three-game sweep with Thursday night's 3-2 win over the Braves at SunTrust Park.

"All games in our division are important," Zimmerman said. "They're a good, young team that's going to continue to get better. This year, there's really no easy games in our division. So any time you can go on the road and take three, it's a plus."

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dickey understands pinch-hit decision vs. Nats

Righty was in good shape after 7 innings in matchup with Strasburg

Dickey understands pinch-hit decision vs. Nats

ATLANTA -- It has not been surprising to see the Braves' bench struggle to begin the season. But manager Brian Snitker still opted to take the conventional route when he pulled an efficient R.A. Dickey during the seventh inning of Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Nationals and gave Emilio Bonifacio another chance to deliver as a pinch-hitter.

"You can go either way," Snitker said. "If I did it 10 times, I'd probably be half and half. I was kind of thinking offensively right there. Boni could put one in the gap or put one in the hole, and we've got first and third and could have had a big inning."

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Snitker: No concern over Swanson's slow start

Snitker: No concern over Swanson's slow start

ATLANTA -- After Dansby Swanson batted .302 through the first 129 at-bats of his Major League career last year, the Braves anticipated their young shortstop would experience a learning curve once enough data was collected for opposing pitchers to make their necessary adjustments.

That doesn't mean the Braves expected Swanson would exit Wednesday night's loss to the Nationals with a .131 (8-for-61) batting average. But it's not like this slow start has created great concern for Atlanta manager Brian Snitker, who opted to keep his rookie shortstop out of the starting lineup for Thursday night's series finale at SunTrust Park.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kemp activated; Blair added for long relief

Kemp activated; Blair added for long relief

ATLANTA -- The Braves activated Matt Kemp from the 10-day disabled list and placed him back in the middle of their lineup Thursday with the hope he will pick up where he left off before he strained his left hamstring on April 7.

Before Thursday night's series finale against Washington, Atlanta also recalled right-hander Aaron Blair from Triple-A Gwinnett. Infielder Johan Camargo and right-handed reliever Luke Jackson were optioned to Gwinnett.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Freeman sets Atlanta record on home run

Braves 1B reaches safely in 12 straight plate appearances

Freeman sets Atlanta record on home run

ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman can now lay claim to having done something never previously accomplished in Atlanta Braves history. As for what he has achieved over the past 10 days -- or even the past 10 months -- there are countless Major Leaguers who only dream of generating that kind of production.

Freeman extended one of the most impressive hot streaks of his career and secured another spot in the record book during Wednesday's 14-4 loss to the Nationals at SunTrust Park. His third-inning solo homer off Joe Ross made him the first player in Atlanta Braves history to reach safely in 12 consecutive plate appearances.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Teheran burned by Harper HRs in loss

Teheran burned by Harper HRs in loss

ATLANTA -- The Nationals clubbed two grand slams in the same game for the first time since 2009 thanks to Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman as part of an offensive outburst in a 14-4 victory over the Braves on Wednesday night at SunTrust Park.

Washington collected a season-high 20 hits and continued its dominance over Atlanta, improving to 31-9 against its National League East rival since the start of the 2015 season.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Poised Foltynewicz shows frontline potential

Poised Foltynewicz shows frontline potential

ATLANTA -- Mike Foltynewicz might not have won the battle, but the Braves' right-hander took another positive step in the war he is waging this year against those emotional reactions that have adversely affected him in the past.

As Foltynewicz completed seven strong innings during Tuesday night's 3-1 loss to the Nationals at SunTrust Park, he kept himself composed during similar situations that previously disrupted his psyche and served as reminders that he possesses the physical talents and vast arsenal necessary to develop into a legitimate frontline starting pitcher.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Late rally falls short as win streak snapped

Late rally falls short as win streak snapped

ATLANTA -- It was a new setting but a familiar result for Max Scherzer and the Nationals, who used a two-run fifth inning to mar Mike Foltynewicz's strong start and claim a 3-1 win over the streaking Braves on Tuesday night at SunTrust Park.

Scherzer extended his early-season success as he recorded seven strikeouts and allowed just two hits over seven scoreless innings. His effort helped the Nationals improve to 16-4 since the start of 2016 against the Braves, who had won five straight games, including each of the previous four played within their new ballpark.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Allard throws well in no-decision

Allard throws well in no-decision

Any lingering concerns regarding Lewis Brinson's health were quashed by his performance on Tuesday night. Playing in just his fifth game since returning from a dislocated pinky finger, the Brewers' No. 1 prospect recorded four hits, including his second home run, and five RBIs to pace Triple-A Colorado Springs in a 14-4 win over Memphis.

Brinson, ranked 16th on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, flied out in his first at-bat before giving the Sky Sox the lead with a run-scoring double in the bottom of the second inning. He connected on a three-run home run to left field off of Redbirds right-hander Chris Ellis (Cardinals' No. 28 prospect) in the following frame and then tacked on a pair of singles in the seventh and eighth innings to finish 4-for-6 at the plate.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Swanson's walk-off hit secures sweep

Swanson's walk-off hit secures sweep

ATLANTA -- After Austin Hedges quieted SunTrust Park on Monday night, Freddie Freeman capped a memorable two-homer game and Dansby Swanson halted his early-season woes with a two-out, ninth-inning single that gave the Braves a 5-4 win over the Padres.

Swanson's bases-loaded walk-off single to left field against Brandon Maurer enabled the Braves to open their new stadium with a four-game sweep and even their record to 6-6 with a fifth straight win.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Freeman joins elite company with 4 XBHs

Freeman joins elite company with 4 XBHs

ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman finished the first series in SunTrust Park history with the distinction of having accomplished something that had been done just four times in Braves franchise history.

As the Braves remained perfect through four games at their new stadium to run their winning streak to five games with Monday's 5-4 walk-off victory over the Padres, Freeman recorded two home runs and two doubles. It marked the 10th time in Atlanta Braves history that a player notched four extra-base hits in a game.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Acuna hits first homer of season

Acuna hits first homer of season

After an impressive spring in big league camp, Andrew Stevenson hasn't skipped a beat to begin the season. On Monday, the Nationals' No. 5 prospect collected a career-high five hits to help lead Double-A Harrisburg past Harford, 16-14, in 13 innings.

Stevenson flew out in his first at-bat, but collected singles in his next two trips to the plate. He would then notch RBI singles in the eighth and ninth innings before doubling in the 12th to finish 5-for-7 and improve his average to .381.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bats back Colon as Braves win fourth straight

Bats back Colon as Braves win fourth straight

ATLANTA -- Bartolo Colon surrendered one hit over seven dominant innings and the Braves erased Trevor Cahill's no-hit bid with a middle-inning offensive flurry that propelled them to Sunday afternoon's 9-2 win over the Padres at SunTrust Park.

On the way to winning their fourth straight game and remaining undefeated in their new stadium, the Braves saw Colon surrender Ryan Schimpf's solo homer in the second inning and then retire 16 of the final 17 batters he faced. The 43-year-old right-hander gained his first lead of the day courtesy of Tyler Flowers' go-ahead, two-run single in the fifth inning.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Colon has fun in clubhouse, then on mound

Veteran right-hander keeps mood light on and off the field

Colon has fun in clubhouse, then on mound

ATLANTA -- As Jose Ramirez and Adonis Garcia were shooting pool in the middle of SunTrust Park's home clubhouse Sunday morning, Bartolo Colon loosened the mood and startled everybody within earshot by loudly smacking a flexible foam roller against a leather chair, creating what sounded like a gunshot or small explosion.

Nervous laughter ensued as Colon sported an ornery grin and prepped for the gem he would create just a few hours later, while helping the Braves extend their winning streak to four games with a 9-2 victory over the Padres. The youthful 43-year-old hurler faced one over the minimum and surrendered just one hit, Ryan Schimpf's solo homer in the second inning.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Suzuki improving at catching Dickey's knuckler

Veteran catcher adapting to his first knuckleball pitcher

Suzuki improving at catching Dickey's knuckler

ATLANTA -- As R.A. Dickey divvied out credit after helping the Braves claim a 4-2 win over the Padres on Saturday night at SunTrust Park, the veteran knuckleballer made a point to first compliment his catcher, Kurt Suzuki, who had just experienced a night that was less frustrating than the one he'd had exactly one week earlier.

Dickey has gained an appreciation for the challenge presented to his catchers like Suzuki, who before this season had never caught a knuckleballer.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.