PHOENIX -- The Braves have won nine of their last 10 games and Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez believes leadoff hitter Michael Bourn is big reason for the success.
Entering Saturday's game against the D-backs, Bourn was hitting .349 with eight runs scored, four RBIs and five walks in his last 10 games. He also had 11 hits in his last six games.
Overall, the center fielder was hitting .293 in his first 14 games.
"I think there is a lot of coincidence that we have played good baseball as soon as he started hitting the ball," Gonzalez said. "I think there is a big correlation there between us growing offensively and him getting on base and creating havoc."
The Braves scored 50 runs in their last six games and outscored their opponents by 28 runs during that stretch. They also outscored their opponents 78-36 in their last 10 games.
It's hard to blame Bourn for the big smile on his face at Chase Field during the past few days. His team had won four in a row, he provided some comic relief when delaying action because he was in the bathroom earlier in series and he's also had a chance to visit with a good friend, D-backs center fielder Chris Young. Young, like Bourn, is from Houston.
Bourn's childhood ties run deep. He played youth league baseball in Houston with Boston outfielder Carl Crawford and Kansas City outfielder Jason Bourgeois. Bourn can still recall the youth league team names and players as if he played there yesterday. He and Crawford played for the Mount Zion Angels, while Bourgeois played for the Mount Zion Twins.
"I will never ever forget those times. Ever. I can guarantee you that," Bourn said. "That's when I started playing baseball. That's where I learned my competitiveness. I don't care if I live to be 150 years old, I am never going to forget those days."
Chipper slated to rest in advance of big birthday
PHOENIX -- Braves third baseman Chipper Jones was back in the lineup for the second consecutive day on Saturday and will be given the day off Sunday against the D-backs in the series finale.
Jones, who notched hit No. 2,500 of his career earlier this season, is barreling down on another milestone.
Jones, who is recovering from his surgically repaired left knee, turns 40 on Tuesday. He will likely be given the day off on Monday against the Dodgers in the series opener but will be back in the lineup for the second game of the series.
"I guess it's a milestone to say that I've played this game until I'm 40, but I stopped paying attention after 30," Jones said. "I'm just happy that I'm on the cusp of 40 and can still go out and play at a high level. The body knows that I'm 40. It lets me know every morning when I get out of bed."
Atlanta is 10-2 in Jones' 11 career "birthday" games and the veteran is hitting .435 with 11 runs, four homers and 12 RBIs that day. Last year, Jones went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, two walks and run scored on April 24.
"I can remember some pretty good games, but I remember some stinkers, too," Jones said.
Pitching well may not keep Delgado in Majors
PHOENIX -- Randall Delgado is scheduled to make his third start of the season on Sunday and Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez insists that he is keeping his options open with the young starter.
Injured starter Tim Hudson is scheduled to make his final rehab assignment start on Tuesday and is on track to pitch against the Pirates next Sunday or Monday. The Braves will have to make room for Hudson on the roster and barring any unforeseen circumstances, it is believed that Delgado will be the odd man out.
"If he goes out and throws a no-hitter and that's the decision we have to make to bring in Hudson, then that's the decision we have to make. If he gives up a 100 runs ..." Gonzalez said. "What I am saying is that tomorrow's outing is not going to make or break him. It really isn't it."
Delgado, who is 2-0 with a 4.35 ERA, has won his first two starts of the year and three of four dating back to last season.
"It's all boils down to his development," Gonzalez said. "Do you want him sitting in the bullpen for eight days and being the long guy or going down to the Minor Leagues and pitching every fifth day? Or he could stay up here. Between now and when Huddy comes back is less than 10 days."