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Braves seek better results with RISP

ATLANTA -- The Braves are getting runners on base and getting them over, but several batters in the lineup are struggling to bring them in. Atlanta entered Saturday batting .212 (41-for-193) with runners in scoring position, which ranked 27th in the Majors.

"I feel like we haven't got a whole lot of hits with runners in scoring position, and that's evident to us," said Jason Heyward, who is batting .250 (4-for-16) with runners in scoring position. "That's no secret."

Freddie Freeman, Evan Gattis and Dan Uggla have been the exception with runners on second and third. Freeman is batting a team-best .391 (9-for-23), Gattis is 4-for-11 (.364) and Uggla is hitting .278 (5-for-18) compared to .194 (18-for-93) overall this season.

Meanwhile, other regulars have brought the team numbers down. Chris Johnson is batting .111 (2-for-18), Andrelton Simmons is hitting .143 (2-for-14) and B.J. Upton sports a .105 (2-for-19) clip with runners in scoring position.

For comparison's sake, starter Julio Teheran is 2-for-6 with two sacrifice bunts and a strikeout with runners in scoring position.

"That's baseball. That's the crazy game that we play and love," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I think you just keep putting people on base and keep getting a base hit and sooner or later, we'll get a crooked number up there."

Atlanta's numbers are down with men in scoring position, but Heyward likes the odds of the club's numbers improving with more such chances. The Braves' 227 plate appearances with runners in scoring position are the second fewest in the Majors.

"I feel like we've lined out, we've hit a ball hard, we've hit it right at people," Heyward said. "We haven't just given up at-bats, basically, in those situations."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for
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