May 21, 2013, 4:42 PM EST
|Photo by USA Today|
Atlanta Braves (26-18)
The Braves have turned in four straight wins after sweeping the Dodgers and taking the first of a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins. They are now 3.5 games ahead of the Nats in the N.L. East as Washington is headed in the other direction with three consecutive losses. Freddie Freeman and Justin Upton have led the way on offense with five RBI each in their last six games. Julio Teheran made two solid starts recently, allowing just three runs through 14 1/3 innings against Minnesota and Arizona.
While they are winning on the field, the Braves were dealt some more bad news regarding their bullpen. Lefty setup man Eric O'Flaherty is scheduled to have Tommy John surgery this afternoon, keeping him out at least a calendar year. They also lost another lefty out of the bullpen in Jonny Venters who had the same procedure last week. Jordan Walden, who would be their next setup option, also remains out with shoulder inflammation.
Player of the Week: 1B Freddie Freeman – 6 H, 2 2B, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 2 R
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
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