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The Series Cynic: Braves win battle of coastal powers

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The Braves (56-39) reclaimed the National League's best record following their midweek series win over the San Diego Padres (55-39) on Thursday afternoon.

In what very easily could have been a three-game sweep for Atlanta, had it not been for Billy Wagner's fourth blown save of the season, the Braves more or less dominated the weak-hitting Padres who managed to score only seven runs throughout the series.

With the series victory, Atlanta also increased its division lead to seven games over both the Mets and Phillies.

That's the good news.

However, All-Star second baseman Martin Prado continues to see his average plummet as it has dropped nearly 20 points in the last 11 games—.336 down to .317 to be exact.

Thankfully Atlanta is 7-4 over that stretch and has been able to offset Prado's recent drought at the plate, but getting their leadoff hitter back on track is essential if the Braves want to remain atop the division standings.

"I feel frustrated," Prado said after Thursday afternoon's series-clinching win. "But we're winning so it doesn't matter. It would be worse if we were losing...then I would be pissed."



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