Originally created 08/22/06

LaRoche is still sorry for bunt



ATLANTA - A day after Adam LaRoche's decision to bunt hurt the Atlanta Braves' chances to sweep Florida, his manager's feelings on the subject had softened. But LaRoche was still pretty hard on himself in hindsight.

"It's a decision I made. I've made bad decisions my whole life," the amicable first baseman said. "That's not the first thing that's gone wrong for me."

With the potential tying and winning runs on base and none out in the ninth Sunday, LaRoche bunted into a double play. The Braves lost by a run.

Bobby Cox was most miffed at the time by the fact that bunting to move the runners to second and third would have been counterproductive because pinch-hitter Brian McCann would have been walked to get to another pinch-hitter, either Ryan Langerhans or Tony Pena Jr.

LaRoche said he's re-evaluated how he'll approach similar situations.

"From now on, I'm not going to do it," he said. "Obviously, if he wanted me to be bunting, he would have given me the bunt sign."

Even if the bunt had succeeded, Cox said, it wasn't the right decision because LaRoche has been so hot at the plate. But it was a different kind of error.

Initially frustrated greatly by the play, Cox softened his criticism Monday.

"He was just doing his best to help the team," Cox said. "I can't fault him for that."

NEW GUY: Martin Prado arrived from Class AAA Richmond just in time Monday to hit leadoff and play second base for the Braves.

Prado was in the lineup in place of Marcus Giles, whose bruised and swollen left hand still isn't feeling any better.

Giles, who hasn't played since Thursday, got a cortisone shot Monday afternoon to decrease the pain and swelling. He won't return until Wednesday at the earliest, Cox said. Pete Orr had been playing in Giles' place. He might again tonight.

Prado took pitcher Lance Cormier's spot on the roster, as the Braves won't need a fifth starter until Sept. 2 because of scheduled off days.

DAVIES UPDATE: Starter Kyle Davies continues to get closer to returning to the Braves after missing more than three months with a groin injury.

Pitching with Richmond, Davies was to throw 90 pitches Monday at Louisville. One Braves official thought he would then be given one more rehab start before making his first start with Atlanta since May.

Reach R. Travis Haney at travis.haney@morris.com.