Series preview: at Tigers
When (TV): 7:08 p.m. Friday (FSSO), 1:05 p.m. Saturday (Fox), 8:08 p.m. Sunday (ESPN)
Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5
Probable starting pitchers:
Friday: Braves LH Paul Maholm (3-1, 1.03 ERA) vs. RH Anibal Sanchez (2-1, 1.75)
Saturday: Braves RH Kris Medlen (1-2, 2.16) vs. RH Rick Porcello (0-2, 11.08)
Sunday: Braves LH Mike Minor (3-1, 1.80) vs. RH Doug Fister (3-0 2.00)
About the Braves:
Batting: Chris Johnson leads the majors with a .397 average, while Jason Heyward (.121) and B.J. Upton (.150) had the two lowest averages among National League qualifiers before Thursday. … Justin Upton leads the majors with 11 homers, including seven in two-strike counts. He also led the majors in OPS (1.200) before Thursday. … Evan Gattis is 4-for-27 (.148) in his past eight games, with two doubles, two homers, one walk and eight strikeouts.
Pitching: Maholm went 3-0 with no runs allowed in three starts before giving up three runs in six innings of a loss Saturday at Pittsburgh. He’s 0-1 with a 2.60 ERA in three starts vs. Detroit. … Medlen gave up one run and six hits in 6 2/3 innings of a win in his only start against the Tigers, and Minor hasn’t faced them. … Closer Craig Kimbrel gave up two runs in the ninth inning Wednesday at Colorado for his first blown save this season and first multi-run inning since 2011. Last season he became the first player in the modern era to pitch in at least 60 games (63) without giving up more than one run.
Miscellaneous: Gerald Laird played three seasons with Detroit and has a .256 average with three homers in 155 games at Comerica Park. … B.J. Upton is 19-for-65 (.292) with two homers in 19 games at the park, and Justin Upton is 9-for-25 with no extra-base hits. … Dan Uggla is 4-for-10 with two homers against Sanchez, his former Marlins teammate. Justin Upton is 4-for-13 with a homer against Sanchez, and Jordan Schafer is 1-for-12 with eight strikeouts.
About the Tigers:
Batting: Miguel Cabrera and Torii Hunter each was 29-for-79 (.367) and tied for the American League batting lead before Thursday’s series finale against Kansas City. … Prince Fielder has hit only .238 in 44 games (160 at-bats) against the Braves, although 12 of his 38 hits against them have been home runs. Fielder is 7-for-51 (.137) with no homers against Maholm, his former NL Central foe when Fielder was with Milwaukee and Maholm with Pittsburgh.
Pitching: Sanchez has allowed no homers and two runs or fewer in all four starts. Against the Braves, the ex-Marlin is 4-11 with a 5.42 ERA in 17 starts, three more losses than he has against any other team. He’s 0-4 with a 9.33 ERA in four starts against them during the past two seasons. … Neither Porcello nor Fister has faced the Braves outside of spring training,
Miscellaneous: After hitting .293 with a 3.35 ERA during a 9-5 start, the Tigers were 1-4 with a .216 average, 5.00 ERA, one homer and 11 runs in five games before Thursday’s game vs. Kansas City. Their past four losses had come on the road, and they were 5-2 with a majors-leading .340 average and .866 OPS at home before Thursday. … Cabrera, a former Marlin, has a .319 average with 41 extra-base hits (15 homers) and a .388 OBP in 88 games against the Braves.