Alex Gonzalez

July 14, 2010 by staff 

Alex GonzalezAlex Gonzalez:(ESPN) — The second half has not started yet, but the Atlanta Braves made a trade on Wednesday to try to stay on top of the AL East.

The Braves acquired shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who has 17 homers in the All-Star Game on Wednesday in an operation of five players with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Atlanta shortstop Yunel Escobar and sent Reyes left-hander Jo-Jo to Toronto and got Gonzalez and two minor leaguers, shortstop and pitcher Tyler Pastornicky Tim Collins.

“This trade improves our club for the second half of the season,” Braves general, Frank Wren said in a statement. “We’ve been looking for ways to strengthen your club to the offensive and Alex Gonzalez is a proven veteran player who gives us the extra power. He is a winner and a solid offensive presence in the lineup and quality defensive shortstop.”

The Braves now have a four-game lead over second place New York Mets. The two-time defending NL champion Philadelphia Phillies are in third place, 4 ½ games behind Atlanta.

Gonzalez, 33, is batting .259 with 50 RBIs and for the Blue Jays. His 43 extra-base hits the rest were tied for fifth most in the AL.

In 12 major league seasons, Gonzalez has 131 homers. He is a career .248 hitter.

The 27-year-old, Escobar is a career .291 hitter, but is struggling this season with a .238 average, no homers and 19 RBIs. Last season, he batted .299 in 141 games, achieving personal best marks in home runs (14) and RBIs (76).

Reyes, 25, appeared in one game for the Braves this season. In 41 appearances (37 starts), who is 5-15 with an ERA of 6.40.

Pastornicky, 20, has a .258 average, six homers and 35 RBIs for the Blue Jays Class’, Dunedin club this season. Collins, also 20, has a 2.51 ERA in 35 games with Toronto double-A team of New Hampshire.

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