PHILADELPHIA - Jayson Werth almost ruined a strong hitting performance with an untimely miscue in the field. Brad Lidge bailed him out.
PITTSBURGH - Atlanta ace John Smoltz is throwing again and hopes his injured rotator cuff heals enough to let him move into the Braves bullpen later this month.
PITTSBURGH - Tim Hudson showed again that a well-pitched game is the easiest and best way to end an extended streak. Or, on this day, a number of streaks.
PITTSBURGH - Proof that baseball is indeed a very funny game: The Atlanta Braves suddenly can't win on the road. And Jason Bay, usually a good road hitter, is discovering a power stroke at home.
PITTSBURGH - Freddy Sanchez insists he doesn't care where he hits in the Pittsburgh lineup.
ATLANTA - The Atlanta Braves waited until the last inning of a memorable homestand to put an end to a streak of one-run futility they hope to forget.
ATLANTA - Atlanta Braves closer Rafael Soriano can resume his throwing program after tests on his sore right elbow Wednesday revealed no major injuries.
ATLANTA - Greg Norton was brought to Atlanta to provide some punch in a pinch.
ATLANTA - The Atlanta Braves are proving tough to beat at home, and rookie starter Jair Jurrjens is leading the way.
ATLANTA - As manager of the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and now the Cincinnati Reds, Dusty Baker has had a front-row seat for many of Chipper Jones' career highlights.
ATLANTA - The Braves acquired first baseman-outfielder Greg Norton from the Seattle Mariners on Monday, giving their bench a boost after placing infielder Martin Prado on the 15-day disabled list.
ATLANTA - The Atlanta Braves made the most of their last chance to take advantage of the Cincinnati Reds' road futility.
ATLANTA - The Atlanta Braves' three-game sweep of Cincinnati didn't mask manager Bobby Cox's increasingly difficult challenge of dealing with injuries to his pitching staff.
ATLANTA - Mike Hampton's long procession of comeback attempts is taking an emotional toll that forced him to at least briefly consider retirement.
ATLANTA - Now that John Smoltz is going to be a closer when healthy, the Braves will need to find another starter for the rest of the season.
Second baseman Elliot Johnson, third baseman Paul Janish and right-hander Cristhian Martinez became free agents when the Atlanta Braves failed to offer 2014 contracts on Monday night.
NEW YORK - Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas are among 19 newcomers on this year's Hall of Fame ballot, joining a collection of steroid-tainted holdovers that include Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.
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