BRAVES NOTEBOOK: Hank Aaron’s home burglarized, cars stolen; Wood making case to be called back up, join rotation

Photo by Mike Phillips

Photo by Mike Phillips

ATLANTA — While baseball legend Hank Aaron and his wife were away, burglars forced their way into the couple's southwest Atlanta home, stealing jewelry and two BMWs, police said late Friday.

Aaron, 79, missed a call from his alarm company Sunday night and asked a neighbor to check his house Monday morning, according to an Atlanta police report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The neighbor saw a broken window at Aaron's house and called police.

Responding officers arrived to find parts of the house ransacked and two BMWs missing from the garage, the police report states.

"On the side of the residence, the electrical panels were on the ground and the wires were cut inside the box," the report states. "The generator was on due to the electrical wires being cut. The wires were cut from a panel located in the rear of the residence as well."

An alarm panel near the home's garage had been pulled from the wall and its wires were cut, according to police. The alarm panel in the master bedroom was damaged, and three closets had been ransacked. Investigators believe assorted jewelry, the cars and their keys were the only items taken.

Shortly before 11 a.m. on Monday, officers found a silver BMW belonging to Aaron a short distance away on Landrum Drive, the report states. Investigators were able to lift fingerprints from the car.

Police said Friday that the second car has also been located, but no arrests have been made.

“We are following significant leads and anticipate an arrest”" Sgt. Greg Lyon said.

As an Atlanta Brave, Aaron broke Babe Ruth's record of 714 career home runs on April 8, 1974. He hit his 755th and final home run on July 20, 1976, a home run record that stood for almost three decades.

Wood to replace Medlen in starting rotation?

ATLANTA — Alex Wood’s five-inning outing for Triple-A Gwinnett could prove to be significant. It all depends on how Braves general manager Frank Wren is able to bolster his team for the stretch run. The season’s second half began with a 6-4 win against the White Sox late Friday.

With the 71-pitch effort Thursday, Wood is stretched out for a possible starting role. That would allow Kris Medlen to move to the bullpen — an area of concern – if the Braves see fit.

Wood, a second-round draft choice in 2012 out of Georgia, was 4-2 with a 1.26 ERA in 10 starts with Double-A Mississippi before being promoted to Atlanta to plug a hole for a lefty reliever after both Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty were lost to Tommy John surgery.

Wood, 22, still sees himself as a starter, and the Braves don’t necessary disagree. He was sent down to clear a roster spot last Sunday after a 3 2/3-inning relief outing the previous day.

“I definitely prefer starting over relieving,” the former Bulldogs standout said after limiting Indianapolis to three hits and a run over five innings. “When you start, it’s more of the mental side. It’s more of a chess game. I am pretty good at that aspect.”

Wood, who had a 2.45 ERA in 16 games for the Braves, is now on schedule to pitch Tuesday. Interestingly, that is the day Medlen is scheduled to start in New York against the Mets.

Medlen, 6-9 with a 3.64 ERA, has relief experience and hasn’t come close to being the same kind of dominant starter this season that he was while going unbeaten in the second half last year.

Brandon Beachy, coming back from Tommy John surgery, also factors into the second-half plans and Wren appears to be closing in on a trade for a lefty reliever.

Beachy, who suffered a setback at the end of his first minor league rehab stint, pitched five innings for Gwinnett on Friday and allowed a run on five hits, throwing 70 pitches.

HEYWARD RETURN CLOSE: Jason Heyward is nearing his return from a right hamstring strain that he injured last Thursday in Cincinnati. Heyward took batting practice Thursday in Chicago and again before a game against the White Sox on Friday and Saturday. He could still feel the injury grabbing a little bit during test runs, however, so he did not start. Heyward did not rule out a return this weekend against the White Sox and could return today.

“This is the best I’ve felt (since getting hurt),” Heyward said, prior to going through running exercises and batting practice for a second straight day. “I ran (Thursday) and I felt it a little bit. That’s enough to say, ‘OK not just yet,’ but it’s been getting better every day, improving. (I’ve) got to me smart about it, but I’m really close. Every day it feels better once I get to the field and get loose. It feels that much better, so soon … real soon.”

HUDSON OFF THE SCHNIDE?: Tim Hudson started and picked up his seventh win on Friday night against the White Sox to start the second half of the schedule. Hudson lasted 7 1/3 innings, allowed four runs (all earned) and worked around eight hits and two walks, throwing 99 pitches and 65 for strikes.

“Huddy did a terrific job,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “I saw him commanding all his pitches, really. A couple of the base hits he gave up early were ground-ball base hits, so when he’s doing that you feel like the sinker’s at least is working.”