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News » BRAVES REPORT: Arch-nemesis Pujols returns to Turner Field


BRAVES REPORT: Arch-nemesis Pujols returns to Turner Field


BRAVES REPORT: Arch-nemesis Pujols returns to Turner Field
Cincinnati --- The Braves might not have to deal with Barry Bonds again, but someone just as imposing will step into the batter's box the next three nights at Turner Field.

King Albert. The Menace from St. Louis.

Albert Pujols leads the National League with seven home runs and 25 RBIs, and the Braves are quite familiar with the first baseman's illustrious body of work --- an average of 40 homers and 122 RBIs in eight previous seasons.

The Cardinals arrive for a three-game series against the Braves that starts tonight.

Few teams outside the NL Central have been punished more by Pujols than the Braves . His .744 slugging percentage against them is his highest among 17 teams he has played more than 10 games against in his career.

quot;He's more dangerous than Barry,quot; Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said, comparing Pujols with the all-time home run leader. quot;Barry only hit homers on balls right down the middle, because that's where you had to throw it to get a called strike against him. Pujols will go out of the strike zone to hurt you.quot;

Pujols has hit .372 with 15 homers and 44 RBIs in 49 games against the Braves , and .379 with 21 extra-base hits (10 homers) and 26 RBIs in 26 games at Turner Field.

Bonds has a .352 average with 19 extra-base hits (14 homers), 28 RBIs and .800 slugging percentage in 34 games at Turner Field.

Braves manager Bobby Cox disagreed about Bonds only hitting homers on pitches down the middle, citing a game-ending, 10th-inning homer Bonds pulled to right on an outside pitch by former Brave Trey Hodges several years ago.

Cox speaks in a tone similar to Jones about Pujols, however, widely regarded as Baseball's best hitter. In his past 30 games against Atlanta, he has hit .419 with 13 homers, 34 RBIs, 26 walks, a .534 on-base percentage and a .924 slugging percentage.

Good day at plate for both Joneses

Sunday wasn't good for the Braves , through no fault of their Joneses, who had half of the team's 10 hits in an 8-2 loss at Cincinnati.

Left fielder Brandon Jones went 2-for-3 with an RBI single and a walk in his season debut. He arrived from Class AAA Gwinnett on Friday after Garret Anderson (quadriceps strain) went on the disabled list.

Chipper Jones went 3-for-4 with a double to raise his average to .333.

Etc.

The Braves scored all but five of their 32 runs on the road trip with two outs. They began Sunday with a majors-leading .403 average with runners in scoring position and two outs. Boston (.369) was the only other team as high as .330. ... Kelly Johnson is 4-for-36 with no extra-base hits and two RBIs in his past 10 games. ... Jordan Schafer went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and was replaced in the seventh inning. He has struck out 22 times in 62 at-bats.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 27, 2009

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