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    Tuning up for the playoffs, the Washington Nationals reached all sorts of personal milestones. For Max Scherzer, it was another 250-strikeout season. For Ryan Zimmerman, it was 100 RBIs. For Trea Turner, it was Washington's most stolen bases since the team moved from Montreal. 'Guys are having good years,' said manager Dusty Baker, whose team already clinched the NL East. 'It's especially nice when you're getting wins while guys are putting up those numbers.' The Nationals gained another victory Tuesday night, beating the Atlanta Braves 4-2 as Scherzer pitched seven innings, Zimmerman drove in a pair of runs and Turner stole two bases. Scherzer (15-6) bounced back from his worst start of the season, also against the Braves last week, when he walked six and was roughed up for seven runs in an 8-2 loss. This time, the right-hander allowed five hits, struck out seven and walked one while throwing 83 of 112 pitches for strikes. He has fanned 253 this season, only the fourth player in big league history to reach that figure in four straight seasons . The others are Ferguson Jenkins, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson — all Hall of Famers. 'You've got to be durable to accomplish that,' Scherzer said. 'I've been able to get my 30-plus starts every year.' Zimmerman had three hits and raised his RBIs total to 101. After three injury plagued years, he's shown what he can do when he's on the field. 'Obviously, 100 RBIs is kind of the benchmark,' Zimmerman said. 'It's nice to be able to stay healthy and be part of this lineup.' Turner missed a good chunk of the season with a fractured right wrist. He still reached 42 stolen bases , topping Alfonso Soriano for the team's high since arriving in Washington. 'Usually if a person is fast, he's not the best baseball player,' Zimmerman said. 'Trea is a baseball player who happens to be fast.' The Washington bullpen, a huge liability early this season, continued to excel . Ryan Madson pitched around trouble in the eighth, and Sean Doolittle finished with a perfect ninth for his 22nd save, his 19th in as many chances since the Nationals acquired him from Oakland on July 16. Rookie left-hander Luiz Gohara (1-2) surrendered four runs and 11 hits in 6 1/3 innings. 'I like the fact he got us into the seventh inning,' Braves manager Brian Snitker said. 'You can see when he's out there, he's pitching to win. I like everything about this kid.' Washington took a 2-0 lead in the third, sparked by Matt Wieters' leadoff double. Turner and Zimmerman had run-scoring singles.. Scherzer retired his first 11 hitters before Freddie Freeman reached on a bloop single to right in the fourth. Kurt Suzuki dumped a 3-2 pitch in front of left fielder Howie Kendrick to bring home Atlanta's first run. Zimmerman added another RBI single in the fifth and Washington finished off Gohara in the seventh. Rendon ripped a double just inside the third-base bag to drive in Turner. ANOTHER LOSING SEASON With the setback, the Braves (67-82) are assured of their fourth losing season in a row. It is Atlanta's longest such streak since seven consecutive seasons finishing under .500 from 1984-90. That was followed by a record streak of 14 straight division titles. TRAINING ROOM Nationals: 2B Daniel Murphy was scratched shortly before the first pitch because of hamstring tightness and replaced by Wilmer Difo. Baker said it was nothing serious and he expects Murphy to be back in the lineup Wednesday night. 'We need him in there to be sharp and stay sharp,' the manager said. Braves: CF Ender Inciarte left after the fourth inning with a sore left thumb. It's been a lingering problem for the speedy outfielder, who was listed as day to day. Lane Adams moved from left field to center after Inciarte departed. UP NEXT Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (14-7) gets the nod in the second game of the series. He is 0-2 with a 6.48 ERA in three starts against Atlanta this season, which includes his most recent appearance last week in Washington when he surrendered seven hits and five runs in five innings of an 8-0 loss. Braves: RHP Lucas Sims (2-5) will fill in for Mike Foltynewicz, who won't make his scheduled start after lacerating his right middle finger in his last appearance. Sims has made his last four relief appearances since starting the first seven games of his big league career. ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry ___ For more AP baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • The Atlanta Braves have received final approval for a new spring training complex near Sarasota, Florida. The team plans to break ground next month after city commissioners in North Port voted 3-2 Tuesday to approve the $100 million complex, which was initially estimated to cost $75-80 million. The facility is set to open in 2019, meaning the Braves will spend one more year at their current Disney World complex where they have trained since 1998. The team said it needed a new facility closer to other Grapefruit League sites, which are now largely bunched along the Gulf Coast and in South Florida. The Detroit Tigers' facility in Lakeland is the only one within an hour's drive of Disney World. The Braves' new facility will be near the Baltimore Orioles' complex in Sarasota and Tampa Bay Rays' facility in Port Charlotte. It will be less than an hour's drive from Fort Myers, where both the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins train, as well as the Pittsburgh Pirates complex in Bradenton. According to financing documents, Florida taxpayers will provide about $40.4 million toward the project, plus interest. A private developer will contribute $4.7 million, with the Braves picking up the remaining $55.5 million. The team expects to offset some of its costs by selling naming rights to the 8,000-capacity stadium. ___ For more AP baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • Robert Gsellman is trying to impress manager Terry Collins and the Mets front office and earn a rotation spot for 2018. 'Just trying to finish strong for these guys so we can have some good momentum heading into next spring,' he said. 'Just trying to keep it rolling.' Gsellman didn't allow an earned run over seven innings, pinch-hitter Asdrubal Cabrera had a two-run homer and New York beat the Atlanta Braves 5-1 on Sunday. Atlanta (67-81) was eliminated from postseason contention and must win its remaining 14 games to avoid a losing record in four straight seasons for the first time since it had seven in a row from 1984-90. Gsellman (7-7) scattered three hits and struck out three for his best outing since June 10, when he pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings to beat Atlanta. It marked the third time this year and first since May 29 that he lasted seven innings. Julio Teheran (11-12), who had won his previous four starts, allowed two runs, three hits and four walks in six innings. He became the first Braves pitcher since Greg Maddux from 1996-2003 to make 30 starts in five consecutive seasons. 'Even though I got the loss, I thought I did pretty good,' Teheran said. Despite winning the last two games of the series, the Mets have lost 14 of their last 20 road games. New York took a 2-0 lead in the first when Jose Reyes hit an RBI triple and scored on Amed Rosario's groundout. Phil Evans, who made his major league debut Sept. 8, hit a run-scoring double in the ninth for his first big league RBI, and Cabrera followed with his 13th homer . Rosario made a pair of errors in the seventh. He bobbled and dropped Johan Camargo's one-out grounder to shortstop when pulling the ball out of his glove, then three pitches later let Dansby Swanson's potential double-play ground bounce under his glove. Jace Peterson followed with an RBI grounder to second, and Kurt Suzuki popped out. 'I thought I worked well out of it,' Gsellman said. 'I tried to pick up Rosario. We all make mistakes.' Norichika Aoki had three hits, including a triple, and has reached safely in 18 straight games dating to Aug. 20. Reyes is hitting .341 with 14 RBIs and 22 runs scored over his last 21 games since Aug. 13. His triple gave him 470 extra-base hits with the Mets, surpassing Darryl Strawberry for the No. 2 spot in franchise history. Mets closer A.J. Ramos had a shaky outing in a non-save situation for the second straight day, allowing a hit and a walk before Suzuki's game-ending grounder. CLOSE CALL Teheran fell to his rear after catching Juan Lagares' hard liner to end the sixth after snagging a drive toward his face . He pointed to the sky and walked slowly to the dugout. Teheran was lifted for reliever Sam Freeman to begin the seventh. TRAINER'S ROOM Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard still doesn't know whether he will pitch again for the Mets this season. The 2016 All-Star has been sidelined since tearing a lat muscle in April, and the team had hoped he could pitch this weekend. But after a medical examination on Saturday, Syndergaard was told that he will pitch in a simulated game before the team decides whether he will face Washington this weekend at Citi Field. Braves: LF Matt Kemp missed his second straight game with recurring hamstring soreness. Kemp will be reevaluated Tuesday. He is hitting .184 with four homers and 11 RBIs in 13 games this month. UP NEXT Mets: RHP Matt Harvey (5-5, 6.14 ERA) starts Monday at Miami. He has lost two of three starts this month with a 12.19 ERA and 20 hits allowed. Braves: RHP Luis Gohara (1-1, 6.30 ERA) is to make his third big league start Tuesday at home against the Nationals. He won at 8-2 last Wednesday at Washington. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • Mets manager Terry Collins loves watching Jacob deGrom pitch. 'He's a tremendous competitor,' Collins said. 'He deserves everything he's got. He's got two starts left. I hope he wins them both.' DeGrom set a career high in wins, Dominic Smith and Gavin Cecchini each drove in two runs and the New York Mets snapped a five-game skid with a 7-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night. DeGrom (15-9) allowed five hits, one run and two walks in seven innings. He struck out seven while topping his personal mark of 14 victories in 2015. Needing just 4 2/3 innings to reach 200 for the first time in his career, deGrom will likely cross that threshold with two more starts slated for this season. 'The plan for next year is that everybody's hopefully healthy and to go to a World Series again, so getting this amount of innings is something that I want to do in the next few years,' he said. 'Getting there and seeing what it's like is definitely a big plus for me.' The Mets had lost eight straight on the road and had just four wins in their last 18 games away from Citi Field, but they led 5-0 by the fourth inning. Cecchini and Juan Lagares had RBI singles in the second, Brandon Nimmo and Asdrubal Cabrera had RBI doubles in the third and Cecchini doubled again in the fourth. Freddie Freeman hit his 27th homer for Atlanta to make it 5-1 in the sixth, but the Mets tacked on two more runs in the seventh on Smith's two-run double. The Braves had won seven of nine but they couldn't overcome a third straight poor start by R.A. Dickey (9-10). The 42-year-old knuckleballer is 0-2 with a 10.05 ERA since beating Philadelphia on Aug. 30. Smith went 2 for 4 and is hitting .315 with 14 RBIs in 15 games this month. Cabrera is hitting .408 over his last 21 games. Following an eight-start winning streak that ended on July 29, deGrom went 2-6 with a 4.45 ERA over his last nine starts, but he improved to 5-3 with a 2.19 ERA in 11 career starts against the Braves. 'He had the backdoor slider working, was throwing 97-98-99 mph,' Freeman said. 'He was on tonight.' The Mets are 17-13 when deGrom pitches. New York doesn't have a winning record with any other starter this season. 'Tonight I felt like my mechanics were the closest to where I want them to be and I was able to field some ground balls back at me,' deGrom said. 'Normally those are getting past me. I wasn't falling off as much, and I think things are starting to fall in place where I want them.' A.J. Ramos gave up two runs in the ninth on Lane Adams' single. TRAINER'S ROOM Mets: Collins said RHP Noah Syndergaard, sidelined since April 30 with a torn lat muscle, might not return until next week. The team had earlier hoped Syndergaard would be able to pitch against the Braves, but that was scrapped after he was examined Saturday by the team medical staff. He threw a bullpen session with no restrictions on Thursday. Braves: LF Matt Kemp was out of the lineup with a sore left hamstring, an injury that's bothered him frequently in the second half of the season. Manager Brian Snitker indicated it's too early to tell if Kemp will play again this year. Atlanta has 15 games remaining. UP NEXT Mets: RHP Robert Gsellman (6-7, 5.58 ERA) has had plenty of success in day games, going 3-2 with a 1.88 ERA in six starts and two relief appearances. Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (11-11, 4.57 ERA) will try to win his fifth straight start. In 19 career starts and one relief appearance against the Mets, Teheran is 8-4 with a 2.56 ERA. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • The MLS single-game attendance record belongs to a first-year expansion club. Atlanta United's crowd of 70,425 Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium had everyone buzzing about the new game in town. 'It's incredible,' MLS commissioner Don Garber said. 'I think it says that there are really no limits. We never really expected this to happen.' Breaking the MLS mark of 69,225 set at the Rose Bowl by the Los Angeles Galaxy in 1996, Atlanta hosted the most attended U.S. soccer game since the New York Cosmos sold over 77,000 tickets for a North American Soccer League playoff game at Giants Stadium in 1977. United drew over 150,000 fans to its first three games this week at the new $1.5 billion stadium, which will host another sellout Sunday night when the Atlanta Falcons play the Green Bay Packers. Falcons and United owner Arthur Blank told Garber that soccer would be a big draw in Atlanta, a city known mostly for its affinity for college football, the Falcons and Braves. Garber took a wait-and-see approach, but he started being convinced when United played before sellout crowds earlier this year at Georgia Tech while Mercedes-Benz had construction delays. 'We've been in the soccer business for a long time and we're continuing to have experiences like this that are defying everyone's expectations and my expectations,' Garber said. 'When I look at all this, I want to remind myself to suck it in, take a deep breath and remember that this is a beginning for even greater things to happen in our league.' For Jonathan Rivera, who grew up in Spain and moved to Atlanta 20 years ago, United's 3-3 draw with Orlando City took no luster off the big day. Rivera, 38, was hoarse from yelling in the supporters' section. He arrived to tailgate at 9 a.m., walked into the stadium about an hour before the match and spent the first half bouncing around on the front row of the lower level. 'This is one of the best things to happen to Atlanta,' he said. 'I've been here for a long time and I plan to be here for a long time. I've got season tickets for the Falcons, but you never see people happy like this. If the Falcons don't win tomorrow, you won't see very many people smiling.' Part of Saturday's appeal was getting a chance for a first-time experience at the stadium — even if that meant sitting in the top row of the upper level. Regina Montgomery, 58, of Atlanta, doesn't describe herself as a soccer fan, but she climbed 56 steps up to her corner perch in section 334 so she could take in the atmosphere from the nose bleeds. She's been a Falcons season-ticket holder for 16 years and will be much closer to the action in section 105 on Sunday. 'I certainly won't be up here,' she said. 'But even in these seats you really can see pretty well. The whole field's right here in front of you. You feel pretty close even though you're not.' Aaron Popkin, 53, grew up in Atlanta as a Braves and Falcons fan and never gave soccer much thought until his four boys started playing. The family persuaded him to buy United season tickets, and they watched the match from section 232. 'If you remember, back the first time when they tried the MLS, it didn't work,' Popkin said. 'This time it just works. I think we have more kids growing up not playing football and, unfortunately, not playing baseball, which I love. But they all can play soccer.' His son, Reece, 12, was having the time of his life. 'I just like the action of it,' he said. 'There's no stopping. Everything just keeps going.' Carolina Rollins, 27, didn't know what to expect when she and her friend Laura Cunningham headed downtown for the match. Now she's sold. 'Being born and raised here, I'm very avid Braves and Falcons fan, but now it's so exciting for the Atlanta United to be in town,' she said. 'I'm more of an American football fan, but the atmosphere here is great.
  • Sean Newcomb kept striking out Mets batters even when he couldn't rely on his big curveball. For Braves manager Brian Snitker, that was an encouraging sign about the rookie left-hander's future. Newcomb recorded eight strikeouts, including five straight, and Atlanta beat Rafael Montero and the New York Mets 3-2 on Friday night. Newcomb (6-5, 255 pounds) relied on his strong fastball. When he didn't have a good feel on his curveball, he had to put a bigger emphasis on his changeup. It was a confidence-building night for the 24-year-old and his manager. 'You see what the kid is capable of,' Snitker said. 'He's getting better.' Newcomb (3-8) gave up two runs on six hits and one walk in 5 1/3 innings. His eight strikeouts fell one shy of his career high. 'I am getting a better grip with it,' Newcomb said of his changeup. 'I'm a lot more comfortable with it than I was last year.' The Mets have lost five straight. Newcomb's run of five strikeouts began after he allowed a run-scoring double to Dominic Smith in the fourth that gave New York a 2-1 lead. Montero (5-10) was lifted with two outs in the fifth after throwing 108 pitches and allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks. He had walked 14 in his previous three starts. Montero faced seven batters in the fifth before manager Terry Collins pulled him. 'I really don't have an answer,' Collins said. 'He was sailing along. Maybe a few too many pitches early.' The Braves scored two runs in the fifth to take the lead. David Freitas doubled and scored on Ender Inciarte's single. Montero walked Ozzie Albies and issued an intentional walk to Freddie Freeman, loading the bases. Left fielder Brandon Nimmo made a diving catch on Lane Adams' fly ball to the gap in left-center, driving in Inciarte. Adams replaced left fielder Matt Kemp, who had tightness in his left hamstring, to start the inning. Arodys Vizcaino pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 13 opportunities. TRAINER'S ROOM Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (torn lat muscle) could be nearing his first appearance since April 30. Collins said Syndergaard will be evaluated on Saturday after throwing a bullpen session without restrictions on Thursday. The Mets will 'then make the next step, whether it's another bullpen or use him in a game,' Collins said. ... SS Amed Rosario (pulled hip flexor) and C Travis d'Arnaud (twisted right knee) were held out and are day to day after leaving Thursday's game against the Cubs. Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz is expected to miss a start. He left Thursday's game at Washington with a cut on his right middle finger. ... C Tyler Flowers, hit by a pitch on his left hand Wednesday, is expected to be held out until Tuesday. ... RHP Jason Motte (right oblique strain) was activated off the 10-day DL. MR. RBI Since making his debut on Aug. 11, Smith leads the Mets with 20 RBIs. ANOTHER SHORT START Montero became the fourth straight Mets starter pitcher to fail to complete five innings. 'We can't get five innings out of a starting pitcher,' Collins said. 'That's what has hurt us.' ANOTHER HONOR FOR ACUNA Outfielder Ronald Acuna was announced as the Braves' organizational player of the year in a pregame ceremony. The 19-year-old Acuna rose from Class A to Triple-A Gwinnett this season and hit a combined .325 with 21 homers, 82 RBIs and 44 steals. Earlier this month, Acuna was chosen as the minor league player of the year by Baseball America. UP NEXT Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (14-9, 3.63) is 4-3 with a 2.29 ERA in 10 career starts against Atlanta. He has 10 games with at least 10 strikeouts this season, the fifth-highest total in team history. Braves: RHP R.A. Dickey (9-9, 4.28) will look for his third win of the season against the Mets on Saturday night. He is 2-0 with a 4.09 ERA in two starts against New York this season and is 4-0 with a 2.57 ERA in five career games against the Mets. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • The Washington Nationals turned down trade offers for top prospect Victor Robles this summer, instead dealing other minor leaguers to fortify their roster for the postseason. Robles provided his latest glimpse of why Washington insisted upon keeping him Thursday, using his speed to spur a pair of two-run rallies to lead Washington to a 5-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves. 'You've got to like what you see,' Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. 'You can see why everyone wanted to trade for him and you see why we didn't want to give him up and include him in those trades. He can be an impact player.' Tanner Roark (13-9) pitched six strong innings, Sean Doolittle earned his 18th save in as many opportunities since Washington acquired him in a trade from Oakland in July, and the Nationals salvaged the final game of the three-game set to earn their first victory since clinching the NL East on Sunday. Making his second career start, the 20-year-old Robles tripled to right-center in the fourth off Mike Foltynewicz (10-13), showing no interest in settling for a double as he zipped around second. He scored two batters later on Pedro Severino's fielder's choice grounder to make it 3-0. 'I'm always thinking third base unless coach stops me,' Robles said. Foltynewicz departed after four innings with a cut on the tip of his right middle finger. That forced Atlanta manager Brian Snitker to use his youthful bullpen earlier than anticipated, and Robles instigated another two-run inning in the sixth. Braves third baseman Johan Camargo overthrew first on Robles' infield single with a man on, allowing both runners to move into scoring position. Adrian Sanchez then delivered a two-run double. 'That sixth is a big inning when you lose your starter,' Snitker said. 'That's the big thing. Folty was throwing the ball good and doing great, and it's just unfortunate that happened because we needed him to get through that inning right there. If he'd done that, things were lined up pretty good.' Roark (13-9) at one point set down 12 in a row and did not yield a hit until the fifth. He struck out seven over six innings, giving up four hits and two runs. Atlanta's Ozzie Albies hit a two-run homer to left-center just beyond the reach of center fielder Michael A. Taylor in the sixth to briefly pull the Braves within 3-2. The blast, Albies' fourth of the season, extended the rookie's hitting streak to 12 games. After waiting out a 30-minute rain delay at the start of the game, Foltynewicz allowed three runs in four innings. 'I kind of felt it a little bit (in the fourth) and didn't think anything of it,' Foltynewicz said. 'When I continued to throw and once I got into the dugout and looked at it, it was just bleeding. ... There was nothing I could really do about it.' CATCH OF THE DAY CF Ender Inciarte robbed Washington's Jayson Werth of an extra-base hit in the third when he raced across left-center and leaped against the wall to make the catch. Inciarte showed no ill effects from the jammed left thumb that sidelined him Wednesday. TRAINER'S ROOM Braves: 1B/OF Matt Adams (right hamstring tightness) struck out as a pinch hitter in the seventh. Adams had not played since Sunday. Nationals: C Jose Lobaton departed in the second inning with a left ankle contusion after he was hit by a pitch. X-rays were negative. 'He'll be hobbling for a couple of days,' Baker said. ... 2B Daniel Murphy (neck stiffness) was out of the lineup for the second consecutive day. ... 3B Anthony Rendon, C Matt Wieters and 1B Ryan Zimmerman received routine days off. UP NEXT Braves: LHP Sean Newcomb (2-8, 4.38 ERA) draws the start against the New York Mets as Atlanta begins a nine-game homestand Friday. Nationals: RHP Edwin Jackson (5-5, 3.88 ERA) gets the nod Friday as Washington remains at home to face the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-game series between playoff-bound teams. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • It was part of the Washington Nationals' plan to push Max Scherzer's pitch count deeper than usual on Wednesday. The Atlanta Braves' plate discipline and timely hitting in the seventh inning wasn't in the script. Dansby Swanson smacked a bases-loaded, go-ahead two-run single off Scherzer, Matt Kemp hit a grand slam two batters later and Atlanta beat Washington 8-2. Atlanta scored six runs in the seventh, and five were charged to Scherzer (14-6), who walked the bases loaded and remained in the game despite having thrown 114 pitches. Swanson then hit a 1-0 pitch to left to make it 4-2. 'We were just able to string good at-bats together,' Swanson said. 'Good pitchers like that, it's hard to be able to do that. It kind of gets magnified when you are able to do it.' The Nationals intentionally walked Freddie Freeman before manager Dusty Baker went to the bullpen. Kemp then drilled Brandon Kintzler's first offering to left for his seventh career grand slam and first since 2011. Scherzer finished with 116 pitches, his most since July 7. 'With an extra day coming up, I thought it would be a good idea to try to get me into the 110, 115, 120 pitch count range tonight,' Scherzer said. 'I thought that would benefit me going forward and then looking into the postseason, pitch with some extra fatigue.' Scherzer, who had not lost since June 21 and had won six decisions in a row, allowed seven runs over six-plus innings — the most he has yielded since giving up seven to the Chicago Cubs on May 6, 2016. He walked six batters, his most in nearly five years. Manager Dusty Baker said he was weighing the long-term benefits of stretching Scherzer out when he opted to leave him in. Washington clinched the NL East on Sunday, but has since dropped back-to-back games. 'That was the game plan before the night started,' Baker said. 'I know it looked ugly. It looked ugly to you, it looked ugly to us, and the fans and everybody else. But if you have a game plan, then you want to stick with it as much as and as long as you can.' In his second start since his call-up from Triple-A Gwinnett, Atlanta rookie Luiz Gohara (1-1) needed only 71 pitches to complete six innings and secure his first major league victory. He allowed six hits and two runs while striking out six. 'The kid gets locked in and really competes,' Braves manager Brian Snitker said. 'That's what I heard about him, from the guys that played with him, had him, been around him. They say once he gets out there, he's trying to beat you. That's legit stuff there, too.' TRAINER'S ROOM Braves: OF Ender Inciarte (jammed left thumb) was out of the lineup, but was available to pinch run and serve as a defensive replacement. Inciarte was hurt when he dove into first avoiding a tag on Tuesday. ... Snitker said 1B/OF Matt Adams was available to pinch hit. Adams left Sunday's game with right hamstring tightness and did not play Tuesday. Nationals: 2B Daniel Murphy was out of the lineup with a stiff neck. ... Baker said OF Bryce Harper, out since Aug. 13 with a hyperextended left knee, has done some hitting off a tee, soft toss and light running. ... OF Jayson Werth started in right after missing five games with a shoulder injury. Werth doubled in his first plate appearance and went 1 for 3. LEADING MAN With Inciarte out, rookie 2B Ozzie Albies batted leadoff. He walked twice and extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single in the fifth. 'That kid is way above his years,' Snitker said. TURNER THE BURNER Nationals SS Trea Turner stole his 40th base of the year in the first inning. He became only the second player since the franchise moved to Washington to reach that plateau, joining Alfonso Soriano (41 in 2006). UP NEXT Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (10-12, 4.74 ERA), who is 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA against Washington this season, takes the mound Thursday as Atlanta seeks a three-game sweep. Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (12-9, 4.48) starts for Washington. He is 5-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 17 career games against Atlanta. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • The Atlanta Braves have made two additions to their front office, hiring Adam Fisher as assistant general manager and Perry Minasian as director of player personnel. General manager John Coppolella announced the moves Wednesday. Both will officially join the Braves next week. The 39-year-old Fisher has been with the NL East rival New York Mets since 2003. He was promoted to senior director of baseball operations this season under GM Sandy Alderson, focusing on roster management as well as helping to manage contracts, arbitration and analytics. The 37-year-old Minasian comes to Atlanta from the Toronto Blue Jays, where he spent the last nine seasons. In 2017, he was special assistant to the general manager. Coppolella says both new hires 'will play big roles as our organization continues to evolve and grow stronger.' The Braves are headed to their fourth straight losing season in what has been a massive rebuilding job. ___ For more AP baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • When Darnell Wood was released from prison a year ago, he immediately started looking for a job. As the weeks dragged on — two weeks, four weeks, six weeks, Wood was no closer to securing employment. Staying in a homeless shelter, Wood received letters from staffing agencies telling him that his criminal record made him a poor candidate for jobs. He had served close to 17 years for an armed robbery of a pawn shop. Feeling despondent and defeated on a warm fall day last September, Wood sat slumped in a chair outside in Little Five Points, and burst into tears and started sobbing. But then, his luck — and life — started to change. An acquaintance from the shelter approached Wood, offered a cigarette, and said, If you are looking for a job, all you have to do is go to First Step. First Step — Staffing for Good — is a local nonprofit staffing agency that helps find jobs for people with “barriers for employment,” which include people who are homeless or without a permanent residence, people who have been incarcerated, and struggling veterans. Wood walked directly to First Step offices. He passed a drug test on the spot, and started working the very next morning at 7:30 a.m. unloading crates of beer off a delivery truck. He’s been working full time ever since. This past spring, Wood started working at SunTrust Park, the new home of the Atlanta Braves, in janitorial services. He was recently named employee of the month, and was recently promoted to a supervisor role, which came with a raise and full benefits. Wood, now 48, is now renting a house in McDonough and plans to buy a car during the coming days. “This is a dream job,” Wood said on a recent afternoon standing under wispy clouds at SunTrust Park during a afternoon game. “My life has changed 100 percent.” Wood is one of about 80 employees brought in by First Step who work at every home game at SunTrust Park. They work primarily in janitorial services. First Step works with over 70 social services organizations, including shelters and the Salvation Army, to help connect with men and women who are struggling and need help to get a job and get back on their feet. “First Step starts with the belief that individuals who have been homeless in many cases can be good employees and want to contribute and just need the opportunity,” said First Step CEO Dave Shaffer. “That job is very much a dignity thing for the individual and that opportunity is life-changing, and starts there with the job.” He went on to say, “We move people to the front of the line who are always moved to the back of the line.” Another way First Step is different from other staffing agencies is the organization provides support services including job training and transportation help, which can be something as simple as having someone help a new employee map out his or her first day on MARTA or providing a ride to a job. First Step also provides counseling to help employees stay motivated or resolve the normal stresses and challenges of a new job that they may not be used to handling. Wood said First Step helped him obtain a state identification card and a Social Security card, and made sure he saw a doctor for a checkup. Wood referred to Andrew Roden, an area manager for First Step, as “his coach.” (Roden is also a former employee with the Braves, having worked on the ticket event team and as a ticket sales trainee about six years ago.) “Andrew was someone I could call when I needed help,” Wood said. “Once I was stranded and I called him and he sent me an Uber, and when I first started my job and had no money for food before I got my first paycheck, he brought me meals.” And while Wood no longer works for First Step but is now employed by a company that works directly for the Braves and SunTrust Park, he said Roden still calls him occasionally to check in. During a recent week, 1,035 men and women worked through a job placement with First Step. More than half of the workers are homeless or staying in shelters or transitional housing. Several others are staying with friends and have no permanent residence. Mike Plant, Braves president of development, said he was happy to see the Braves play a role in helping the community. “We are passionate about this team, so we are looking for opportunities for people who need a chance in a structured foundation,” Plant said. “We feel good about this, and this is not charity. The people who work these jobs take a lot of pride in these jobs.” As far as Wood’s success as an employee and recent promotion, Plant said he’s seen Wood’s strong work ethic and professionalism. “He’s earned this,” Plant said. “He took this opportunity and made something out of it.” First Step finds jobs in five general categories with warehouse and distribution jobs the most common jobs. Other jobs include hospitality, food processing, commercial printing and commercial restoration. According to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs’ 2015 Report on Homelessness, there are more than 4,000 homeless people in the city of Atlanta. That doesn’t include those in Atlanta’s surrounding suburbs. The average wage starts at $9.75 an hour, and employees average 35 hours a week. By comparison, Georgia’s minimum wage is $5.15 an hour, and the federal minimum wage is $7.25. Every employee is drug-tested before the First Step team matches them with a potential employer. They also undergo background checks. Like other staffing agencies, First Step allows its customer to set the pay rates for their respective jobs and then bills the customer based on a percentage markup. After paying the employee, First Step invests the profits back into the organization to cover the costs of the services. RELATED:First Step: Staffing for Good finds jobs for Atlanta’s homeless First Step was founded by Greg Block, an entrepreneur. After selling a consumer products company more than a decade ago, Block met with then-Mayor Shirley Franklin and other local leaders to discuss ideas for starting a new company that would have a social impact and fill a need for the city. Franklin and others stressed homelessness and jobs were pressing issues, which was a spark for this innovative staffing agency. On a recent afternoon, wearing khaki pants, a polo shirt and a Braves cap, Wood said, “I feel like I am floating. … It’s hard to explain the feeling, but if you are trying to do something with your life, First Step will help you. For me, it’s been a complete transformation.” Freddie Freeman’s ‘wet newspaper’ is not pitcher-friendly

News

  • As more information becomes available about the Equifax breach scandal, U.S. consumers are still searching for answers on whether they are vulnerable to identity fraud.  So that is why WSB Radio, Channel 2 Action News, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Consumer Adviser Clark Howard teamed up Monday morning to answer your questions.   Clark Howard was joined by Channel 2 Action News anchor Craig Lucie LIVE in Team Clark Howard's Consumer Action Center. They fielded questions and talked about the breach for over an hour.   The Facebook Live of the event reached more than 400,000 people worldwide:
  • Want to request a credit from Comcast for missed Xfinity cable, internet and phone service due to Hurricane Irma? The company has set up two ways to ask for it. Customers can either call its customer service line at 1-800-391-3000 or fill out a short online form at xfinity.com/florida-form. The online way is likely faster, since it doesn’t require customers to log in. >> Read more trending news Those without internet at home may be able to use their smartphone or find a place with available Wi-Fi.  A Comcast employee will respond, and credits may take one to two billing cycles to be posted to your account, according to the company. As of Monday, there were nearly 900,000 cable customers without service in Florida. That number includes a number of internet provider, not just Comcast. A Comcast spokeswoman said Tuesday that 97 percent of its customers have had their service restored. AT&T’s U-verse cable service has also been hit hard by outages, but the company has been mum about whether they will offer credits. It’s not mentioned on AT&T’s Irma support page. When reached for comment about the issue last week, a spokeswoman never responded to Palm Beach Post. “Unfortunately our equipment that services internet and TV took a hit,” a post on the AT&T support forum said. Due to the nature of the equipment, it can take time to replace or repair depending on the damaged caused by the water. Also power may not have been restored to our equipment as residential areas take priority. Just because you have power at your home, does not mean power has been restored in other areas that push the signal to your home. “We do have many crews out there trying to restore service to get everyone back up. I know this is a stressful time for everyone out there. Please know that AT&T is doing what we can to help. “ U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, D-Fla., asked the CEOs of America’s largest cell service and cable providers last week to waive late fees and issue rebates for victims of Irma. Hardly any of the companies responded. Comcast is also waiving a variety of fees, including late payment fees, early termination fees and fees for requipment that has not been returned.
  • President Donald Trump has made airlines' longtime goal of privatizing air traffic control a key part of his agenda to boost America's infrastructure. But his prospects for closing the deal with Congress appear slim. A House bill that would put the aviation industry in charge of air traffic control has repeatedly stalled and prospects appear even worse in the Senate, where there has been no effort to take up the issue. While the White House and airline lobbyists have pushed for privatization, there has been fierce opposition from private pilots, corporate aircraft owners and others who fear they will have to pay more to use the system and would lose access to busy airports. Airlines have pushed for getting the government out of air traffic operations for decades and seemed to have the brightest prospects after meeting with Trump early this year. Trump embraced the idea as part of his overall plan to boost infrastructure — a big part of his campaign promise to create jobs. While Trump has offered few other specifics about his overall infrastructure plans, he put the spotlight on air-traffic privatization at a White House infrastructure event in June. Three weeks later, the House transportation committee approved a bill by its chairman, Pennsylvania Republican Bill Shuster, to spin off air traffic control from the Federal Aviation Administration and place it under the authority of a private, non-profit corporation run by aviation interests, including airlines. But the bill still hasn't come to the House floor. Trump's special assistant for infrastructure policy, D.J. Gribbin, told an airline industry conference last week that House leaders are planning a vote in early October. But the bill's supporters acknowledge the vote would have already happened if there was enough support to pass it. 'We're working on it,' Rep. Paul Mitchell, R-Michigan, told reporters. 'We don't have all the votes yet.' Lawmakers in both parties have expressed concern about Congress losing oversight of such an important, traditionally government-run function. The handover of about 300 airport towers and other flight tracking centers would be one of the largest transfers of U.S. government assets ever. About 35,000 workers would be affected. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, the senior Democrat on the Commerce Committee, which oversees the FAA, called the House plan 'a classic case of a costly solution looking for a problem.' 'It's an idea that went nowhere in the Senate last year and is destined to meet the same fate this year,' he said. Airlines say the FAA has shown itself incapable of executing its plan to use technology to transform America's air traffic system, saving time, fuel and money and increasing the system's capacity to handle more planes as air travel grows. Part of the FAA's problem is that the vagaries of the government's budget process have limited the agency's ability to commit to long-term contracts and raise money for major expenditures. Placing the system under a corporation that can borrow money against future revenue would lead to greater efficiency and more reliable funding, airlines say. Many countries have separated air-traffic operations from their safety regulator in recent years, with most creating government-owned corporations, independent government agencies or quasi-governmental entities. The House bill is modeled after Canada's air traffic corporation, Nav Canada, the only clearly private nonprofit air-traffic corporation. Privatization supporters say Nav Canada has made smart decisions that have enabled it to adopt more advanced technology while reducing fees to airlines and other users. But opponents fear privatization will give airlines too much power over the aviation system. 'This is a monopolization bill,' said Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-Louisiana. The corporation's 13-member board, as outlined in the bill, 'is definitely stacked to favor the big airlines,' he said. The airline industry has faced the lobbying muscle of private pilots and other 'general aviation' users in the past, and lost. People who can afford their own plane tend to be well-heeled and know how to get lawmakers' attention. They are an especially important constituency in rural districts and states, where people depend more on small aircraft. Opponents also have enlisted the support of several aviation heroes, including astronaut Jim Lovell, the commander of Apollo 13. Retired Capt. Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger, the pilot who landed an airliner in the Hudson River without the loss of a single life made a commercial for opponents, saying not to trust 'the keys to the kingdom' to 'the people who make your airline seats smaller.' White House and airline officials have pushed hard, but say offers to adjust the bill to address opponents' concerns have been rebuffed. General aviation groups have told bill proponents they fear that any protections in the legislation would be inadequate. 'We could literally never get past that concept,' said the White House's Gribbin.
  •   It’s one of a woman’s worst fears, to attend a party or event and run into someone else wearing the same thing. >> Read more trending news That not only happened at a wedding on Saturday, it happened to six women, who all showed up at the reception wearing the same dress.  One of the women, Debbie Speranza, posted a photo of the women on Facebook saying, “Imagine the odds.”  'My cousin and I walked into the reception and saw each other [in the same dress] and started laughing, but then another walked in … then another one … and another one,” Speranza told the Telegraph. The group was photographed with the bride at one point and actually looked like they could be her bridesmaids. The dress was sold by Forever New for $160, and Speranza had some advice for the company. “You really should start a bridal registry so that your customers can inquire whether anyone else has purchased one of your dresses for the same event,” she said on Facebook.  
  • When it comes to scary things in the Upside Down, it turns out that a Demogorgun is no match for intellectual property lawyers. >> Read more trending news “The Upside Down,” A “Stranger Things”-themed pop-up bar in Chicago, has been hit with a cease-and-desist letter from Netflix after it was found in violation of intellectual property laws because it never received Netflix’s blessing. But Netflix didn’t sent just any cease-and-desist letter. No, they got in on the spirit of the show with a nerdy, yet firm, directive for the bar’s owners: The bar, designed by the same folks that created the Windy City’s Emporium Arcade Bar, debuted on Aug. 18 in Logan Square. According to Eater Chicago, patrons of “The Upside Down” can order show-themed drinks, such as “Eleven’s Eggo’s,” served with a waffle wedge; and a drink named for the Demogorgun, the show’s big monster. Fans of the show’s theme music from Austin band S U R V I V E can indulge in a few kegs of Goose Island’s GI5-5538, a red ale that was brewed specifically for the band.  The bar is also decorated with a ton of “Stranger Things” memorabillia, including a huge mural of Eleven, the Byers family couch, Christmas lights (complete with the alphabet), an A/V rig and some props designed to look like the Hawkins Energy Department. Check out photos of the bar here. As one might guess, having all of this out in the open without permission would be cause for some concern from Netflix. The bar was originally scheduled to close after a six-week run, with plans for an extension if it was profitable. As it stands now, the bar will close on Oct. 1. Nevertheless, this looks like a win-win for the bar and the streaming service. The second season of “Stranger Things” debuts next month, and the letter does leave future pop-ups open to consideration, so both groups get publicity. So, Chicago, start pedaling your bikes over to the bar before the portal to the Upside Down closes. And Austinites, you’ve got 10 days to get yourself a flight to Chicago. 
  • Everyone says freezing your credit after the Equifax breach is the best way to protect yourself, but there's one thing it won't protect you from. “Ninety seven percent of our calls right now are related to the Equifax breach,” said Lori Silverman, who runs Team Clark. Here in Georgia we have a privilege nearly unique in the country to protect your return. Silverman says one of the best ways to protect yourself this tax season is by applying for an IP PIN from the IRS.  “No one, unless they have that PIN number, can file in your name,” she explained. RELATED STORIES: Clark Howard: Everything you need to know about the Equifax data breach You can sue Equifax if your data was exposed – Here's how Major Equifax breach may have exposed 143 million people Another way to avoid hardship is to reduce your withholding at work, because if a criminal has messed around with your tax return you'll have to wait 10 to 14 months typically to get your refund. “If you have an accountant speak with your accountant, look at what your previous income was the previous year and what you did and adjust it that way,” she said. When it comes time to file, choosing a trustworthy tax preparer is key. “For individuals who have simple tax returns they can go to AARP. It's regardless of age,” she explained. Silverman says it's important to take data breaches like this seriously. “This is not a joke and to be honest the few minutes that you take the time to freeze your credit will then prevent you from something that's far worse which is identity theft,” she said.