Heyward could wreak havoc on basepaths
Cox believes rookie phenom could steal 20 bases for Braves
MILWAUKEE -- After reaching base with a single in the fourth inning of the Braves' 11-3 victory over the Brewers on Tuesday, rookie right fielder Jason Heyward recorded his first career stolen base.
Heyward stole second without a throw from Brewers catcher Gregg Zaun, who opted to hold onto the ball rather than risk throwing it away.
When asked about Heyward's running ability before Wednesday's series finale, Braves manager Bobby Cox said he believed the 20-year-old had the potential to steal 20 or more in a season.
"Easily," Cox said. "We just haven't been able to run much. We're always down. And they slide-step him and all that, too."
If the Braves continue to swing the bats the way they did over the first two games at Miller Park, Heyward should see his stolen-base opportunities increase, especially with the way he's been getting on base.
Heyward leads the Braves with a .423 on-base percentage, while batting .300 with eight home runs, 27 RBIs and a .611 slugging percentage.
Red-hot Glaus in a groove at plate
MILWAUKEE -- Troy Glaus insists he is not doing anything differently at the plate, even though the Braves first baseman has been as hot as anyone on the team offensively of late.
Glaus, who is batting .371 with two home runs, three doubles and 15 RBIs over his last 18 games, extended his hitting streak to eight games on Wednesday with an RBI single. Over the hit streak, Glaus is batting .375 (12-for-32).
Still, Glaus said he hasn't changed a thing.
"It's still the same swing I've had the last 15 years," Glaus said. "Now I'm finding some holes and earlier I wasn't. I've felt good all year, it's just a matter of being productive. Lately, I've had opportunities with guys in scoring position, and I was able to come through."
Glaus, who played just 14 games all of last year with the Cardinals after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, has been contributing defensively, as well.
His current streak of 26 straight errorless games at first base is the best on the team, dating back to April 15. In two games against the Brewers at Miller Park this week, Glaus has made a few spectacular plays on throws from across the diamond.
"He's been incredible on scoops," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "I don't know how he does it. He's really taken to it. He's a good target, too."
Chipper expected to return to lineup on Friday
MILWAUKEE -- Third baseman Chipper Jones was out of the Braves lineup for the second straight day on Wednesday, giving him a couple extra days to recover from a sore groin.
Jones, who originally tweaked the groin on Saturday in Philadelphia, has sat out three of the Braves last four games, while leaving in the sixth inning of the fourth on Monday.
With an off-day scheduled Thursday for the Braves, manager Bobby Cox expects two more days of rest to be ample time for Jones to recover and return for Friday's series opener in Atlanta against the D-backs.
"We're going to rest him today, and we got an off-day, so that'll be three days in a row," Cox said. "Hopefully he'll be good. I would say he should be back Friday."
Escobar to rehab with Triple-A Gwinnett
MILWAUKEE -- Before he's eligible to return to the Braves lineup on Saturday in Atlanta, shortstop Yunel Escobar will play a rehab assignment later this week.
Escobar, who has been out since April 30 with a left adductor strain, will suit up for the Braves' Triple-A affiliate before returning to the club.
"He's going to play Friday in Gwinnett," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "Then he can play for us on Saturday."
Cox did not specify who would be sent down upon Escobar's return, though Brandon Hicks -- who was called up when Escobar went down -- is the most likely candidate.
Braves remain confident in Kawakami
MILWAUKEE -- Despite a difficult 0-6 start to the season, Braves manager Bobby Cox remains confident in right-hander Kenshin Kawakami, who is scheduled to start Friday's series opener in Atlanta against the D-backs.
Kawakami, 34, has lost each of his first six starts this season, despite allowing just an average of 3.5 earned runs per start over a total of 33 innings pitched. He has failed to go five innings just once this season, while going a season-high 6 2/3 innings on Sunday in the Braves' 5-3 loss to the Phillies.
Of the six, Kawakami's best performance was his first, when he allowed three runs (two earned) on just five hits over six innings pitched on April 11 in San Francisco. Kawakami left with the Braves trailing by a run before the bullpen let the game slip away, 6-3.
Still, Cox remains positive about Kawakami's performance.
"I just keep encouraging him," Cox said. "In my mind, he's thrown some really nice games."
Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.