Series preview: vs. Indians
When (TV): 7:10 p.m. Tuesday –Thursday (SPSO).
Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5
Probable starting pitchers:
Tuesday: Braves LH Alex Wood (2-2, 2.50 ERA) vs. RH Danny Salazar (1-1, 3.52)
Wednesday: Braves LH Paul Maholm (9-10, 4.51) vs. RH Justin Masterson (14-9, 3.50)
Thursday: Braves RH Kris Medlen (10-12, 3.75) vs. RH Ubaldo Jimenez (9-8, 3.95)
About the Braves:
Batting: Jordan Schafer went 2-for-4 with a double and a triple Sunday in St. Louis after going 3-for-34 in his first 10 games back from the disabled list (stress fracture). Freddie Freeman had a seven-game hitting streak snapped Sunday, during which he hit .433 with five multi-hit games, two home runs and five RBIs. Elliot Johnson has a pair of two-hit games in his first four games as a Brave, after going 2-for-his-previous-60 with the Royals, dating back to June 17.
Pitching: Wood has allowed one or no earned runs in each of his past four starts, including one run in six innings of a no-decision last Wednesday in New York, the day Jason Heyward suffered a broken jaw when he got hit by a Jon Niese pitch. Wood has five straight quality starts since allowing four earned runs in 4 1/3 innings in New York July 25, his first start back in the Braves’ rotation.
Miscellaneous: The Braves lead the majors with a .710 (44-18) home winning percentage and have won 13 of their past 16 games at Turner Field. This is the final interleague series of the season for the Braves, who are 8-9 against the American League this year.
About the Indians:
Batting: This is the Braves’ first look at All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis, who leads the Indians in batting average (.285), homers (16), RBIs (75) and hits (129). Craig Kimbrel faced Kipnis in the All-Star game and gave up an RBI double. Former Brave Michael Bourn is hitting .281 (9-for-32) with a double, a triple, a home run and eight runs in his past eight games. Drew Stubbs hit a game-winning eighth inning homer in the Indians victory over the Twins Sunday, four days after his two-run shot beat the Angels in the 14th inning on Wednesday.
Pitching: A rare “homegrown” starting pitching talent, Salazar was the No. 6 prospect in the Indians organization before the season. The native of the Dominican Republic defeated Toronto in his major league debut July 11, allowing one run in six innings. This is the fifth career start for Salazar, who has 29 strikeouts in 23 innings while walking seven. Jimenez returns to Turner Field where he was the last to pitch a no-hitter on April 17, 2010 with the Colorado Rockies. He’s faced the Braves twice since, going 1-1 with five earned runs in 12 innings.
Miscellaneous: Cleveland entered Monday night 1 ½ games behind Oakland for the second AL Wild Card spot.
- Carroll Rogers