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Braves looking for offensive spark

The Sports Xchange
Roster Report · Notes, Quotes · Braves looking for offensive spark

Flash back to May 10, 2010.

The Braves had been anemic on offense. They were last in the National League East at 13-18. After several lineup configurations, manager Bobby Cox settled on second baseman Martin Prado in the second spot in the order. That night in Milwaukee, Prado hit a grand slam, and the Braves beat the Brewers 8-2.

Looking back on it, the players agreed that was the turning point in their season.

Now jump ahead to Tuesday.

The Braves had been anemic on offense. They were next to last in the National League East at 7-9. Manager Fredi Gonzalez had made only minor adjustments to the lineup, but Prado had played every day, either in left field or at third base. That night in Los Angeles, Prado led off with a hit and then homered in the sixth inning to give the Braves a slender 2-0 lead over the Dodgers. The rest of the lineup started hitting, too, culminating in an eight-run top of the ninth, giving the Braves a 10-1 win.

Is this destined to be the turning point this season?

Not yet: Prado hit a sacrifice fly Wednesday to drive in the Braves' only run in a 6-1 loss to the Dodgers. Nate McLouth was the only offensive bright spot, going 2-for-3 and scoring Atlanta's run.

McLouth was batting eighth in the lineup, but he might be better suited for second, where his speed and ability to get on base would be useful. But moving McLouth down to the eighth spot was not done on McLouth's account. It was an attempt to get Jason Heyward jump-started. Heyward has started the past four games as the No. 2 man. He went 2-for-4 with a homer Sunday, but since then, he is a combined 0-for-13. Heyward struck out three times in four hitless at-bats Wednesday.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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