Hot bat keeping Gosselin in lineup

Atlanta Braves' Phil Gosselin (15) and Oakland Athletics catcher Derek Norris watch Gosselin's first major league home run which also scores Jason Heyward during the sixth inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Tulis)

Credit: Dave Tulis

caption arrowCaption
Atlanta Braves' Phil Gosselin (15) and Oakland Athletics catcher Derek Norris watch Gosselin's first major league home run which also scores Jason Heyward during the sixth inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Tulis)

Credit: Dave Tulis

Credit: Dave Tulis

Phil Gosselin has the hot hand – and it’s keeping him in the Braves’ lineup.

Gosselin started at second bat and batted second in Sunday night’s series-finale against the A’s. He played second Saturday and shortstop Friday and is a combined 4-for-8 with three runs scored and two RBIs. He hit his first career home run Friday while subbing for Andrelton Simmons, who missed the game following a dental procedure.

For the second straight game Gosselin replaced Tommy La Stella in the lineup.

“He is swinging the bat well,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “Keep riding him out a little bit and see where it goes.”

Both Gonzalez and La Stella said there in no injury keeping him out of the lineup the past two games. La Stella was involved in a pickoff at second base Friday night but remained in the game after appearing momentarily shaken up.

La Stella has provided the Braves clutch hitting and defense since he was called up from Triple-A. He has appeared in 69 games and his hitting .274 (68-for-248) with one home run and 27 RBIs.

Gosselin appeared in 14 games prior to Sunday and hit .320 (8-for-14). He has played solid defense, recording seven assists and five putouts in the past two games.

Gonzalez said he will “play it by ear” in determining how he will use Gosselin and La Stella.

“Sometimes you talk about bring a little bit of that energy and he has done that,’ Gonzalez said of Gosselin. “Nothing against Tommy. I’m sure he will run in there again soon enough.”

About the Author

Editors' Picks