DEC. 16, 2004: The Braves acquire Tim Hudson from Oakland for Juan Cruz, Dan Meyer and Charles Thomas. Hudson wins 14 games while the trio the Braves gave up spends most of the season in the minors.
MARCH 31, 2005: The Braves get reliever Jorge Sosa from Tampa Bay for popular infielder Nick Green. Atlanta thinks it's bolstering its bullpen, but injuries force Sosa into the rotation and he steps up. Sosa goes 10-3 as a starter; Green hits .239 with five home runs and 29 RBI in 111 games.
APRIL 5: John Smoltz makes his much-anticipated return to the starting rotation, but he lasts only 1w innings and gives up seven runs in a 9-0 loss to the Florida Marlins. Smoltz regroups by winning eight consecutive decisions in June and July, and finishes with 14 victories.
MAY 14: Mike Hampton leaves his game against the Dodgers in the third inning, beginning his lengthy ride on the disabled list. He is able to make only four more starts the rest of the season, and ends up needing elbow ligament replacement surgery that could keep him out until spring 2007.
MAY 16: Another starter, John Thomson, leaves his game against the Padres in the fifth inning, after a violent injury to his right middle finger that Adam LaRoche said he heard pop at first base. The injury knocks Thomson out nearly three months.
MAY 21: Georgia native Kyle Davies (above) debuts for Atlanta and blanks Boston for five innings to help counter a miserable 4-8 road trip that includes the injuries to Hampton and Thomson.
MAY 29: Kelly Johnson, a 23-year-old outfielder, replaces struggling Raul Mondesi, who the Braves had signed during the off-season. Johnson starts 1-for-30, but finds his groove and wins NL player of the week honors in mid-June.
JUNE 6: Chipper Jones (above) goes on the DL with a bad left foot, leaving the Braves without one of their most feared hitters. Enter Andruw Jones - who hits 15 home runs and leads the team to a 22-15 record during Chipper's absence.
JUNE 15: Atlanta is 33-32 and in fourth place in the NL East. That night, the Braves start 10 homegrown players, including seven rookies, at Texas. Atlanta loses, but it shows the club's youth and commitment to its player development program.
JULY 6: Highly touted prospect Jeff Francoeur (above) is promoted after Brian Jordan goes on the DL. Francoeur debuts the next day and gets his first hit - a three-run homer - in Game 2 of a doubleheader vs. the Cubs.
JULY 20: The Braves move into a first-place tie with the Nationals. Six days later, the Braves sweep Washington to take over first place for good.
JULY 31: GM John Schuerholz pulls off another deadline deal, acquiring Kyle Farnsworth from the Tigers for Zach Miner and Roman Colon. Farnsworth takes over as team closer on Aug. 24 and converts 10 consecutive saves to finish the regular season.
SEPT. 14: In Philadelphia, Andruw Jones (above) hits his 50th home run of the year a few days after he passes Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews' franchise record of 47 homers. Jones hits 51 homers on the season to become the first Brave ever to lead the majors.
SEPT. 27: Atlanta clinches its 14th consecutive division title after the Phillies lose to the Mets. The Braves, for good measure, rout the Rockies, 12-3.
SOURCES: MORRIS NEWS SERVICE; BRAVES.MLB.COM; WIRE REPORTS
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