Atlanta Braves: Something magical is happening in Atlanta

The mood might have been spoiled if not for an encouraging report on Kris Bryant, the Cubs' 2016 NL MVP who left the game with a sprained left little finger in the first inning.

That was then. A 34-25 run, with eight wins in their past 12 games, is now. Control issues and a big fourth inning propelled the Chicago Cubs to a 5-1 victory over the Braves on Tuesday night.

The first homer was something Dickey had never seen before.

Minor head and neck pain caused by a head-first slide almost two years ago caused Cubs slugger Kris Bryant to reconsider his preferred sliding method.

The loss ended Atlanta's three-game winning streak.

"And, I should say, there are a lot of really talented players still down on the farm who we believe in who are going to play for the Cubs". It's much tougher to tag someone with a head-first slide than feet first.

"I don't know if there's any sports science on it", Bryant said after wincing in pain when Braves third baseman Johan Camargo stepped on his hand on his unsuccessful attempt to advance on a wild throw. He pitched the ninth inning and gave up a run in his return after missing 11 games.

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Right-hander Jason Hursh and infielder Jace Peterson were optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett.

Fans need to remember the starter that Teheran has been at his best at Turner Field before embracing the trade rumors that seem to surround him. However, only once did he allow multiple runners to reach base, and twice the first hit of an inning came with two outs.

"The bases were empty", Dickey said. Give me the Braves. "He had a good swing". "I just have to attack one pitch at a time, not worry about what's about to happen".

Chicago, which scored 27 runs during a three-game weekend sweep of Baltimore, is 4-0 since the All-Star break for the first time since 2009 and has won its last five road games. Their only better second-half start was 7-0 in 1933.

Jake Arrieta (9-7, 4.17 ERA) gets the ball for Chicago against Carlos Martinez (6-8, 3.36 ERA) for the Cardinals.

Lackey has made four career starts against the Braves, going 1-1 with a 2.59 ERA.

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