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Albies uses speed, smarts to boost Braves

MLB.com @mlbbowman

MILWAUKEE -- Possibly attempting to make one more strong impression on All-Star voters, Ozzie Albies added to his National League-leading extra-base hit total and then made a heads-up dash that helped the Braves produce a two-run first inning in Thursday night's 7-2 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park.

After Jhoulys Chacin hit Ender Inciarte on the left foot with a pitch, Albies followed with an RBI triple to the right-field corner. Chacin then made a mental error that allowed the exciting Braves second baseman to score in uncontested fashion. The veteran pitcher lobbed a throw to first base after fielding Freddie Freeman's comebacker.

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MILWAUKEE -- Possibly attempting to make one more strong impression on All-Star voters, Ozzie Albies added to his National League-leading extra-base hit total and then made a heads-up dash that helped the Braves produce a two-run first inning in Thursday night's 7-2 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park.

After Jhoulys Chacin hit Ender Inciarte on the left foot with a pitch, Albies followed with an RBI triple to the right-field corner. Chacin then made a mental error that allowed the exciting Braves second baseman to score in uncontested fashion. The veteran pitcher lobbed a throw to first base after fielding Freddie Freeman's comebacker.

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Video: ATL@MIL: Albies races home on comebacker to the mound

"That was very good baserunning," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Obviously, Jhoulys didn't throw the ball over there very hard, but it was also heads-up baserunning. Most guys, on a ball back to the pitcher, kind of shut it down as baserunners. I give Albies a lot of credit there. That was really heads-up baserunning."

Albies started the season strong and then hit .182 with a .533 OPS over a 26-game span from May 23-June 20. The 21-year-old infielder has since batted .448 (26-for-58). He leads the NL in doubles (27), extra-base hits (49), runs (67) and total bases (192).

When the final All-Star ballot update was announced on Thursday morning, Albies was the leading NL second baseman. But the Cubs' Javier Baez and the Reds' Scooter Gennett were within striking distance. Balloting is now closed. The National League starters and roster will be announced Sunday.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves, Ozzie Albies