Hampton cautious in comeback

ATLANTA --- Mike Hampton is still a bit timid about his long-delayed comeback.


The Braves left-hander, who hasn't pitched in the majors since 2005, had another stint in the bullpen prior to Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Hampton threw about 50 pitches, with no pain in the pectoral muscle that sent him to the disabled list before he made it to the mound this season. Now he's trying to get over the doubts in his head.

"Facing competition, I'm going to think about it," Hampton said. "It's not an overnight thing. I've just got to get to where I just worry about getting hitters out. Mentally, I'm just a little timid maybe. I'm still trying to feel my way through it."

During his latest bullpen stint, Hampton worked in a few curves and cutters. He hopes to throw even more at his next bullpen session on Tuesday.

INJURY REPORT, PART II: Omar Infante , sidelined with a broken hand, continues to take batting practice, and the Braves are hopeful he'll be ready to join the team in about two weeks.

Manager Bobby Cox said Infante will do a rehab stint in the minors before he's added to the 25-man roster.

Cox also is optimistic about reliever Mike Gonzalez , whose comeback from major elbow surgery continues to move along ahead of schedule. The left-hander may be ready to go by next month, which would be a major boost to the injury depleted pitching staff.

TOUGH TO TAKE: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Braves have the worst record in one-run games (37-65) of any team over the past three years. They have seven such losses this year.



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