Series preview: vs. Rockies
When (TV): 7:10 p.m. (SPSO) Monday-Thursday.
Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5
Probable starting pitchers:
Monday: Braves RH Brandon Beachy (5-5, 2.00 in 2012) vs. LH Jorge De La Rosa (10-5, 2.97)
Tuesday: Braves LH Alex Wood (0-2, 3.42) vs. RH Juan Nicasio (6-4, 4.40)
Wednesday: Braves LH Mike Minor (10-5, 2.89) vs. RH Tyler Chatwood (7-3, 2.48)
Thursday: Braves RH Julio Teheran (7-5, 3.07) vs. TBA
ABOUT THE BRAVES:
Batting: Chris Johnson had back-to-back multi-hit games in the first two games of the Cardinals series (4-for-6) to raise his batting average to .332, which, now that he is qualified, ties him with Yadier Molina for the National League lead. Entering Sunday, Brian McCann was hitting .358 (24-for-67) with six doubles, four homers and 11 RBIs for the month of July.
Pitching: Beachy makes his first major league start since tearing his ulnar collateral ligament against the Orioles on June 16, 2012. He went 3-4 with a 2.93 ERA in nine official minor league rehabilitation starts, including four after overcoming a minor setback with elbow inflammation. Craig Kimbrel had saves in each of the first two games of the Cardinals series to give him 30. He joins John Smoltz as the only Braves closer in franchise history with three seasons of 30 or more saves.
Miscellaneous: The Braves face the Rockies for the first time since the snow-out April 23 in Colorado, followed by a Braves sweep in a day-night doubleheader April 24 and a Rockies 6-5, 12-inning win in the finale on April 25.
ABOUT THE ROCKIES:
Batting: Carlos Gonzalez has been out of the lineup for the past three games while nursing a sprained finger. He is tied with Pittsburgh’s Pedro Alvarez for the NL lead with 26 homers. He also has 19 steals. With his next steal, he will have a fourth consecutive season of 20 homers and 20 steals. No other Rockies player has ever had consecutive 20-20 seasons. Troy Tulowitzki is coming off back-to-back multi-hit games against the Brewers, including 3-for-4 with a home run on Saturday.
Pitching: De La Rosa is one of two Rockies starters with an ERA under 3.00 — Chatwood is at 2.48 — and Jhoulys Chacin is close by at 3.53. Only one Rockies pitcher — Ubaldo Jimenez with a 2.88 ERA in 2010 — has finished a season with an ERA under 3.00. De La Rosa has given up only one earned run in 12 innings over his past two starts. He’s allowed three or fewer earned runs over each of his past eight starts, dating back to a June 7 against the Padres when he gave up four runs in five innings.
Miscellaneous: Closer Rafael Betancourt has been on the disabled list since July 19 after having an emergency appendectomy. Oddly, Braves outfielder Jason Heyward underwent an emergency appendectomy on April 22 when the Braves were playing in Colorado and missed a month. Left-hander Red Brothers is closing in Betancourt’s absence.