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New 1B Matt Adams keen to help in Atlanta

Atlanta’s Matt Adams runs onto the field before the start of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals in Atlanta on Sunday. Adams joined the Braves Sunday for the first time since being acquired over the weekend from St. Louis. (David Goldman / Associated Press)
Atlanta’s Matt Adams runs onto the field before the start of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals in Atlanta on Sunday. Adams joined the Braves Sunday for the first time since being acquired over the weekend from St. Louis. (David Goldman / Associated Press)

Matt Adams was eager to hit, looking for a batting cage as soon as he unpacked his bag at his new locker in the Atlanta Braves’ clubhouse.

One day after he was acquired from St. Louis, Adams made his Braves debut Sunday against Washington, starting at first base and hitting fifth.

Adams takes over for Freddie Freeman, sidelined for about 10 weeks with a broken left wrist sustained Wednesday when hit by a pitch from Toronto’s Aaron Loup.

Adams started only two games at first base and five in left field this season as the Cardinals made Matt Carpenter their starter at first base.

“I’m not trying to come in here and be Freddie,” Adams said. “That’s not who I am. I’ve just got to be myself and go out there and play. I’m just excited to get the opportunity and I’m going to try to run with it.”

Adams was hitting .292 with one homer and seven RBIs with St. Louis. His only homer came at Atlanta’s SunTrust Park on May 6 against Julio Teheran. The park’s short right-field fence, 325 feet at the foul pole, is attractive to left-handed hitters like Adams.

“I’ve got to do a good job of just staying gap to gap and not trying to get too pull-happy,” he said. “Just stick with my game the way I’ve been doing and I think things will fall in place.”

Atlanta’s initial choice to fill in at first base was utility infielder Jace Peterson. The addition of Adams, acquired for minor league infielder Juan Yepez and cash, gives the Braves a more established option to provide protection for cleanup hitter Matt Kemp.

The 28-year-old Adams has a .271 career average with 56 homers and 271 RBIs.

“He’s a proven hitter in this league and he’s had some good years over in St. Louis,” Kemp said. “He’s got clutch hitting under his belt and he’s played on a really good team so he knows how to win.”

Atlanta agreed to a minor league contract with James Loney before trading for Adams. Kemp said the addition of Adams shows the Braves are “willing to do whatever it takes to win.”

The Braves optioned infielder John Camargo to Triple-A Gwinnett to clear a roster spot for Adams.

Angels sign Fister

Looking to reinforce an injury-ravaged pitching staff, the Los Angeles Angels agreed to a deal with Doug Fister that pays $1.75 million while he is in the major leagues and $100,000 in the minors.

Fister, who pitched for Seattle from 2009 to 2011, will report to extended spring training in Arizona to begin workouts. He was a free agent after going 12-13 with a 4.64 ERA in 32 starts for Houston last year. The 6-foot-8 righty threw 180 1/3 innings and pitched pretty well most of the season before fading badly in September and losing his last five decisions.

Around the bases

The Astros placed catcher Brian McCann on the 7-day concussion disabled list. The move is retroactive to Saturday and comes a day after Houston placed ace Dallas Keuchel on the 10-day disabled list because of a pinched nerve in his neck. McCann is hitting .265 with six homers and 25 RBIs in 30 games this season. … Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward has been activated from the 10-day disabled list and started in right field for Chicago in the finale of a two-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers. Heyward, batting .253 with three homers and 17 RBIs, had been on the DL since May 8 because of a sprained right finger. … The Brewers activated outfielder Ryan Braun from the 10-day disabled list and started him in left field for the Milwaukee Brewers in the finale of a two-game series against the Cubs. Braun, who had been sidelined by a strained left calf, was hitting .287 with seven homers and 18 RBIs.


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