Road-weary Braves expecting Heyward to come off DL
ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Braves are ready to put their suitcases away and take their first look at the lineup they envisioned before the season.
General manager Frank Wren says Jason Heyward is expected to be activated from the disabled list for Friday night's series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers. It would be Atlanta's first chance this season to have both Heyward, recovering from an appendectomy, and catcher Brian McCann, who made a recent return from shoulder surgery, in the same lineup.
The Braves have played only 14 home games, the fewest in the major leagues. They are coming off a 4-6 road trip, their second 10-game trip of 2013, but still lead the NL East.
They will play 14 of their next 19 games at home.
Braves' Venters undergoes 2nd Tommy John surgery
ATLANTA (AP) - Atlanta Braves reliever Jonny Venters has undergone the second major elbow operation of his career and will miss the rest of the season.
The Braves say the left-hander had Tommy John surgery Thursday to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. The procedure was performed in Gulf Breeze, Fla., by Dr. James Andrews.
Andrews also performed the first Tommy John surgery on Venters when he was a minor leaguer in 2005.
Venters was 1 of Atlanta's most effective relievers over the last three seasons, serving as a setup man to closer Craig Kimbrel.
But Venters began experiencing pain in spring training and was shut down at the beginning of the season after receiving an injection in what was described as a sprained left shoulder.
Sheriff: Ex-NASCAR driver Dick Trickle dead at 71
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) - Authorities in North Carolina say former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle has died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 71.
The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office says authorities received a call believed to be from Trickle on Thursday saying that "there would be a dead body and it would be his." Authorities tried to call the number back, but no one answered.
The sheriff says Trickle's body was found near his pickup truck at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Boger City, N.C., about 40 miles northwest of Charlotte. Sheriff's Lieutenant Tim Johnson says foul play is not suspected.
Trickle was the Winston Cup series rookie of the year in 1989 but never won a Cup race. He won two Busch Series races.
Stolen team trailer leads to Truck Series feud
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) - Truck Series driver Jennifer Jo Cobb says she feels "in danger" of racing Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway against another NASCAR driver who was arrested for stealing her team trailer this week.
Cobb reported she had a trailer and its contents, valued at $279,000, taken from her shop Saturday.
Fellow NASCAR driver Mike Harmon says he turned himself into the Cleveland County Sheriff's Department after a warrant was issued for his arrest on charges of felony larceny. He posted $10,000 bond. Harmon says he's innocent of all charges, claiming he was in Darlington, S.C., when the trailer was taken.
He plans to race Friday.
There's some discrepancy over who owns the trailer - Cobb or David Novak, her business partner until last December.
The trailer hasn't been located.
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