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Braves' struggles against lefties influence lineup

ATLANTA -- A day after losing 4-1 to the Padres and soft-tossing left-hander Eric Stults, the Braves will face Clayton Richard, another lefty starter. The Braves are 19-25 in games started by left-handers this season, compared to 47-24 against right-handers.

The Braves winning percentage against left-handers (.431) is worse than the National League's total against lefties (.501). And of teams with overall winning records, the Braves' struggles against lefties stand out even more. They are the only NL team with a losing record against lefties.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said this has been a recurring problem in his managerial career.

"It seems like every team that I've been involved in has trouble against left-handed starters," Gonzalez said. "And the slower, the worse."

Four of the Braves regulars are left-handed, making them more susceptible to lefty pitchers. Gonzalez put another right-handed bat into the lineup Tuesday by giving right fielder Jason Heyward a day off and starting Reed Johnson instead.

ATLANTA -- A day after losing 4-1 to the Padres and soft-tossing left-hander Eric Stults, the Braves will face Clayton Richard, another lefty starter. The Braves are 19-25 in games started by left-handers this season, compared to 47-24 against right-handers.

The Braves winning percentage against left-handers (.431) is worse than the National League's total against lefties (.501). And of teams with overall winning records, the Braves' struggles against lefties stand out even more. They are the only NL team with a losing record against lefties.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said this has been a recurring problem in his managerial career.

"It seems like every team that I've been involved in has trouble against left-handed starters," Gonzalez said. "And the slower, the worse."

Four of the Braves regulars are left-handed, making them more susceptible to lefty pitchers. Gonzalez put another right-handed bat into the lineup Tuesday by giving right fielder Jason Heyward a day off and starting Reed Johnson instead.