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Braves notebook: Perry joins hometown Braves

POSTED: July 9, 2008 5:01 a.m.
The Associated Press/

Atlanta Braves' Jason Perry connects for an RBI triple in the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros in Atlanta on Friday. The hit was Perry's first in the major leagues. Perry was called up from AAA Richmond to replace Jeff Francoeur after he was demoted to AA Mississippi.

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ATLANTA — Jeff Francoeur was sent to the minors but was replaced in right field by another former Atlanta area high school star.

Francoeur, who signed with the Braves from Parkview High, was optioned to Double-A Mississippi on Friday and replaced on the roster and in right field by Jason Perry, from Jonesboro High and Georgia Tech.

"I’ve definitely been here before — in the stands," Perry said of his first game at Turner Field. "It’s pretty cool."

The local kid had a "pretty cool" debut with a run-scoring triple in his first major league at-bat against the Houston Astros on Friday night.

With Brian McCann on first base in the second inning, Perry hit a triple to the right-field wall off Brian Moehler and was safe at third without a slide.

Perry hit .314 with 13 homers and 41 RBIs in 137 at-bats at Mississippi this season before he moved up to Triple-A Richmond, where he hit .302 with five homers and 14 RBIs.

"He’s had a terrific first half," said Braves general manager Frank Wren, who said Perry was recommended by scouts and the Richmond staff.

Perry, 27, took an unpredictable path to the Braves, his fourth organization.

Perry was drafted by Toronto in 2002 out of Georgia Tech, where he played with Braves first baseman Mark Teixeira.

He began the 2006 season with Double-A Midland of the Oakland organization. He was traded to the Detroit Tigers and hit only .184 in 16 games with Toledo. He was released by the Tigers on March 28 and was signed by the Braves to a minor-league contract on April 10. Suddenly, Perry is back in Atlanta.

"It’s a dream come true," he said. "The Fourth of July in Atlanta, my hometown. I’ve just got to have fun with it and make the most of it."

Perry said he doesn’t consider himself to be anything but a temporary fill-in for Francoeur.

"I’m not taking over for anyone," Perry said. "He’s a proven player. Everybody has their ups and downs and he’s just a little down right now."

Perry was born in Fremont, Neb., but grew up in Jonesboro. He played at Georgia Tech for three years, beginning in 2000 and said he spent some time at first base when Teixeira played third base.

Busy bullpen

Braves relievers Blaine Boyer and Will Ohman are among the busiest pitchers in baseball.

Boyer and Ohman were two of five pitchers tied for second in the National League with 45 appearances, entering Friday’s games, one behind Washington’s Luis Ayala, who has appeared in 46 games.

Boyer, 2-5 with a 4.27 ERA, and Ohman, 3-0 with a 3.06 ERA, say Braves manager Bobby Cox does a good job keeping relievers fresh.

Ohman says a key is Braves relievers aren’t asked to frequently warm up only to sit down again without being used in games.

"The other component of frequent use is the times you work that are unseen by most fans," Ohman said.

"Bobby gets guys up and gets them in better than anybody I’ve played for. ... I’ve said 85 games is easy to do as long as you’re not warming up up 150 other times. Some managers will have you warm up three or four times a game."



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