Braves release slumping slugger Bautista

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves have released Jose Bautista and will make Johan Camargo their starting third baseman.

General manager Alex Anthopolous said the team made the decision Saturday before Camargo drove in two runs in an 8-1 win over Miami.

The 37-year-old Bautista hit .143 with two homers and five RBIs in 12 games with the Braves.

Bautista played outfield during most of his 14-year career, but the Braves signed him to a minor league contract last month, hoping the former Toronto star could add depth to the NL’s top-scoring offense and shore up third base.

Camargo, a 24-year-old switch-hitter from Panama, was the front-runner to win the job in spring training before suffering an oblique injury that sidelined him for the first 16 games.

He has a .284 career average with six homers and 40 RBIs in 106 games.

The Braves recalled right-hander Lucas Sims from Triple-A Gwinnett to replace Bautista on the roster.