- Associated Press - Sunday, July 31, 2011

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves beefed up for another playoff run, acquiring speedy outfielder Michael Bourn from the Houston Astros in a five-player trade Sunday.

The Astros received outfielder Jordan Schafer and three minor league pitchers, but the Braves didn’t give up any of their top pitching prospects to land perhaps their first legitimate leadoff hitter since Kenny Lofton played for Atlanta in the 1990s.

Bourn is hitting .303 and leads the majors with 39 stolen bases. He goes from the last-place Astros to a playoff-contending team that has one of baseball’s best pitching staffs.

“We haven’t had that kind of threat in the top of our lineup in a long time,”: said third baseman Chipper Jones, one of the numerous Braves slowed by injuries.

Bourn sure fills a need. The Braves haven’t had a prototypical leadoff hitter since Rafael Furcal left after the 2005 season.

In other notable deals:

c The AL West-leading Texas Rangers acquired right-hander Koji Uehara from Baltimore on Saturday night, sending right-hander Tommy Hunter and infielder Chris Davis to the Orioles. The Rangers also receive cash in the deal.

Uehara has an incentive-laden $3 million contract for this season, with a $4 million option for 2012 that kicks in if he pitches in 12 more games this season. The likelihood of having Uehara back next season was a bonus, along with not having to give up any top prospects.

On Sunday, Texas landed right-hander Mike Adams from the Padres. The Rangers sent minor league pitchers Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland to San Diego.

c The Boston Red Sox added a much-needed starter, acquiring oft-injured left-hander Erik Bedard from the Seattle Mariners in a three-tem trade. Boston also got right-hander Josh Fields, a 2008 first-round draft pick.

Bedard was 15-14 with a 3.31 ERA in 46 appearances with the Mariners. He missed most of the 2009 season and all of 2010 after left shoulder surgery. He was 4-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 16 starts this season but spent most of July on the disabled list (knee).

c The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired outfielder Ryan Ludwick from the San Diego Padres for a player to be named or cash. Ludwick batted .238 with a team-leading 11 home runs and 64 RBI in 378 at-bats.

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