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Atlanta Braves

Stadium: Turner Field | Manager: Fredi Gonzalez
NL East Division2nd5th2nd2nd
National League 8th13th7th3rd

McLouth showing signs of breaking out of hitting slump

The Sports Xchange
Notes, Quotes · McLouth showing signs of breaking out of hitting slump · Roster Report

.217. That was center fielder Nate McLouth's batting average hitting second in the batting order.

.320. And that was his average in the first week of hitting eighth, where manager Fredi Gonzalez moved him beginning April 17, in a move that was designed mainly to jump-start right fielder Jason Heyward's bat.

Heyward, in fact, didn't spring to life until after he was given the start off last Thursday. McLouth's average took off immediately, and he's had three doubles in the week since the switch.

What that means is that he's on base for the pitcher hitting behind him. It would be a greater advantage if the pitching staff were better bunters, although right-hander Cristhian Martinez laid one down in Monday's 5-3, 13-inning loss to the Padres. Unfortunately, it was a sharp one, and McLouth was thrown out at second on a fielder's choice, leaving Martinez at first.

"The single worst thing that could have happened," Gonzalez said later. Martinez, unaccustomed to being on base, flubbed his base-running and made the final out of what was a promising inning.

But back to McLouth, who is held in disdain by Braves fans for last year's batting slump. One might think his willingness to spend the bulk of 2010 at Class AAA Gwinnett to work on his swing would rate some respect. No.

Nothing against former hitting coach Terry Pendleton, who is now the first-base coach, but McLouth's hitting has looked up since he hooked up with new hitting coach Larry Parrish. They're on the same wavelength; it's that simple.

McLouth came into Tuesday's game hitting .300 (9-30) on the road trip but was only 0-for-4 in the 8-2 win over the Padres.

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

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2014 Team Leaders
AVGFreddie Freeman , 1B.290
HRJustin Upton , LF26
RBIJustin Upton , LF91
OBPFreddie Freeman , 1B.387
SLGJustin Upton , LF.516
RFreddie Freeman , 1B86
SBEmilio Bonifacio , CF20
WJulio Teheran , SP13
ERAJulio Teheran , SP2.90
WHIPJulio Teheran , SP1.08
KJulio Teheran , SP163
SVCraig Kimbrel , RP41
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