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This week: Atlanta, Gwinnett return to action
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Two teams entered, and exited, the All-Star break as the unlikely leaders of their respective divisions, and those two clubs meet up this week at Turner Field.

The Braves welcome in the NL West-leading San Diego Padres on Tuesday that may prove to the rest of the league one, or possibly both, are poised to make a run at reaching the World Series.

That goal is still months away, and there are plenty of obstacles in the way, but neither team entered this season with high expectations and whichever one wins the series, will squash any discussions regarding their capabilities to stay in the mix.

The Braves started the second half of the season by winning 2-of-2 from the Milwaukee Brewers, taking the season series 5-2.

The Padres hold a slim lead in the NL West, but opened the latter half of the year by winning 3-of-3 from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

GWINNETT BRAVES: The Gwinnett Braves’ long road trip concludes Friday when the team plays host to the Louisville Bats.

After an eight-game road trip that followed the All-Star break, the G-Braves open an 11-game homestand Friday, which might help the club get back into the playoff hunt.

Gwinnett is 21-26 at Coolray Field this season and need to win the majority of those 11 games to cut into the large deficit it has in the International League South.

Things won’t be easy for the G-Braves to start the week, as they visit first-place Scranton/Wilkes Barre for a four-game series against the Yankees.

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: The regular season might be more than a month away, but teams across the area are still doing what they can to help them succeed in 2010.

One team is taking to the road to make that happen, as the Flowery Branch Falcons will travel to Hoover, Ala. this week to compete in a 7-on-7 tournament.

The Falcons are coming off a season when they reached the Class AAA semifinals, but that was with star quarterback Connor Shaw (now at South Carolina) calling the plays. The trip to Hoover will provide coach Lee Shaw with the opportunity to see how his new quarterbacks stack up against tough competition, which they will need this year when they compete in Class AAAA for the first time in school history.

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