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Norton misses chance to win it

Norton misses chance to win it
MIAMI --- Greg Norton has had a miserable season as the Braves' primary pinch hitter, but Wednesday night's fruitless at-bat against the Marlins might have been a new low.

Norton, who is hitting only .147 (10-for-68) on the season, had a chance to tie the game in the seventh inning with a runner at third and only one out. Instead of finding a way to get the run in, he struck out against rookie reliever Tim Wood, and the Braves lost 8-7.

Norton took an awkward swing at a 2-1 change-up, getting fooled on what he said looked like a sinker rotation out of Wood's hand. Then with two strikes, Wood had the advantage. Norton struck out chasing a change-up in the dirt.

"The disappointing thing --- and I alluded to it earlier this year --- the whole pinch-hitting thing isn't what your batting average is, which people seem to look at it," Norton said.

"It's how many big hits you have. I was in a situation last night where going home, I felt like I lost the game."

Braves manager Bobby Cox has come under fire from some fans for sticking with Norton. That chorus has grown louder this road trip since with September call-ups giving Cox more options on the bench, such as Brooks Conrad and David Ross, now that Clint Sammons can back Ross as the third catcher.

But Cox said he still has confidence in Norton, a veteran pinch hitter whose 13 career pinch-hit home runs rank 11th all-time. Norton led the majors last season in pinch-hit RBIs (18), pinch-hit homers (3) and pinch-hit walks (17).

Moylan unveils 'Rally Head'

Reliever Peter Moylan has a new look, and it's not pretty.

With so much free time around the clubhouse this week, given Monday's three-hour rain delay, Adam LaRoche got wind that Moylan paid tribute, or poked fun at, John Smoltz last year by shaving his head half bald. The Braves went on to win a couple of games after that.

So after seeing a photo of it in Kelly Johnson's phone, LaRoche dared him to do it again.

"[LaRoche] said let's rally-head it to the playoffs," said Moylan, who smiled when asked how much money he was doing it for and said: "I'm not at liberty to say."

Last year Moylan waited about an hour before he shaved the rest of his head. This time he agreed to go with the half-bald look for more than two weeks, at least until the Braves' trip to St. Louis, where Smoltz is now pitching for the Cardinals.

"When we go to St. Louis, they want me to write Smoltzie on my head," Moylan said.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: September 4, 2009

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