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Atlanta Braves news and links: Hey, they finally won a game again!

As enticing and beneficial-to-the-future as tanking is, let's be honest: Winning is a lot more fun than losing, and the Braves finally won a game after losing seven straight.

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Braves break seven-game losing streak with 5-3 victory

Our long, national nightmare is over: The Braves finally won a game! Granted, this was a case of the Braves finally getting to pick on someone their own size in the form of the Colorado Rockies (plus being back at home helped), but at this point, I'm not going to complain about how my favorite baseball team picks up victories. A win's a win! Julio Teheran only gave up four hits in seven-and-a-third innings of work, but two of those hits were solo homers. Fortunately, Adonis Garcia and Jonny Gomes were able to power the Braves into the lead and an eventual victory.

Christian Bethancourt returns to the major league squad

On Monday, the Braves made an interesting call-up, but it wasn't the one that most fans were expecting. Instead, hristian Bethancourt made his return to the major league squad. Bethancourt did well during his time in Gwinnett, and surely the Braves are hoping that the extra time spent honing his craft in the suburbs can lead to results in the bigs.

Gonzalez said Gwinnett manager Brian Snitker reported that Bethancourt was "running the game and running the pitching staff as good as anybody he’s seen" in Triple-A.

"Get ready with the pitcher and the relievers and going through their lineup, stuff that I needed to learn and needed to get done, and I think I did that," Bethancourt said.

Andrelton Simmons misses second straight game with knee ailment

Defensive maestro Andrelton Simmons missed another game on Monday, and that was the second straight game that the shortstop missed. Fortunately, the injury appears to be minor, so we'll probably see Simba back in the lineup for tonight's game.

Melvin Upton admits that he struggled under weight of big contract

After crushing the Braves' hopes and dreams last week with a two-homer performance against his former team, this apparently gave Melvin Upton Jr. some time to reflect on his time with the Braves. As it turns out, the Padres outfielder admitted that he had trouble dealing with the expectations that came with the big-money contract that he signed, and as such, he wilted under those lofty expectations, which led to an absolutely atrocious stint with the Braves. While he hasn't reached his Tampa Bay form in San Diego, he admits that he's enjoying life in California right now.

While Upton had demonstrated above-average power and impressive speed in Tampa Bay, his production waned once he put on a Braves uniform. In two seasons with Atlanta, Upton hit .198/.279/.314 with 21 home runs, 61 RBI, and 32 stolen bases in 267 games.

Upton exceeded all those figures except for stolen bases in his final year with the Rays, in which he hit .246/.298/.454 with 28 home runs, 78 RBI, and 31 stolen bases.

"There's not much to read into it, but I will say this: I was trying to live up to the contract," Upton said. "In Atlanta, they gave me all that money and I tried to play up to it. It didn't work. It just got worse and worse. Getting here gave me a fresh start. Nobody here expects me to be anything else but myself."

Check out the minor league report


Mets hit eight (8!) homers in victory over Phillies

The current NL East leaders experienced a major power surge on Monday night. The Mets beat the Phillies 16-7, and they did so thanks to eight homers from their players. That's right: The Mets hit eight dingers in one game. There was a time where we'd joke about the Mets hitting eight homers in one month. Clearly, times have changed for New York, who now enjoy a five-and-a-half game lead on the Nationals.

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Cubs pick up baseball-leading 12th walk-off victory of the season

While the Houston Astros might be the walk-off heroes of the moment, the Cubs decided to remind everybody that they've been doing this all year. The Cubbies actually blew a 1-0 lead in the eighth inning, which is when Jon Lester ended a gem of a performance by giving up an RBI single that allowed Cleveland to tie the game. Fortunately for Chicago, Kris Bryant was there to lift his teammates up and send the Cubs to a 72-51 record.

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