Series preview: Braves vs. Cardinals
When (TV): 8:15 p.m. Friday, 2:15 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (FSSO)
Radio: 680, 93.7, 106.7
Probable starting pitchers:
Friday: Braves RH Ervin Santana (4-0, 1.99 ERA) vs. RH Lance Lynn (4-2, 3.83)
Saturday: Braves RH Aaron Harang (4-3, 2.98) vs. RH Shelby Miller (5-2, 3.22)
Sunday: Braves RH Gavin Floyd (0-1, 2.70) vs. LH Jaime Garcia (season debut)
About the Braves
Batting: Chris Johnson is 13-for-30 (.433) with five multi-hit games and five RBIs in his past eight games, after batting .236 with 26 hits and four RBIs in his first 30 games. … B.J. Upton is 7-for-37 (.189) with one homer, four RBIs, three walks and 20 strikeouts in his past 12 games, including eight strikeouts in the three-game San Francisco series this week. He led the majors with 51 strikeouts in 135 at-bats before Thursday. … Jason Heyward is 13-for-61 (.213) with five doubles, one homer, three RBIs and a .300 OBP in his past 16 games.
Pitching: Santana pitched seven scoreless innings (five hits) to beat the Cubs Friday, the fourth time in six Braves starts he’s allowed one or no runs and six or fewer hits in six or more innings. He has 43 strikeouts and nine walks in 40 2/3 innings, and has allowed just two home runs. Santana is 1-1 with a 4.73 ERA in two starts vs. the Cardinals in 2007 and 2013. … Harang is 7-14 with a 4.32 ERA in 26 starts vs. the Cardinals, 3-5 with a 3.96 ERA in 10 at Busch Stadium. … Floyd is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in three starts vs. the Cardinals.
Miscellaneous: The Braves are 10-6 vs. the Cardinals since the beginning of the 2012 season, but 2-5 with only 16 runs in the past seven games. The Cardinals won two of three May 5-7 in Atlanta, when the Braves totaled six runs in the series. … Against Lynn, Andrelton Simmons is 1-for-3 with a homer, Heyward is 2-for-5, and Johnson and Jordan Schafer are each 2-for-6, and Dan Uggla is a .325 hitter with five homers and 16 RBIs in 20 games at Busch. But he’s been out of the lineup seven consecutive games. … Justin Upton has a .204 average (31-for-152) with five homers and 45 strikeouts in 43 games vs. the Cardinals.
About the Cardinals
Batting: Jhonny Peralta was 24-for-67 (.358) with five doubles, four homers and a .442 OBP in his past 17 games before Thursday’s series finale against the Cubs, including 4-for-13 with two doubles against the Braves. … Peter Bourjos was 9-for-24 (.375) with three extra-base hits in his past eight games before Thursday, including 5-for-8 with a homer and three RBIs against the Braves. … Yadier Molina was 5-for-13 with two RBIs in his past three games before Thursday, after going 4-for-30 (.133) in his previous seven games.
Pitching: Lynn is 0-2 with a 4.24 ERA in his past four starts, including a loss Saturday at Pittsburgh when he gave up nine hits and four runs in six innings. The lefty is 1-2 with a 4.05 ERA in three starts against the Braves, one in August (seven innings, nine hits, four runs) and two in 2012.
Miscellaneous: Because the Cardinals were rained out Wednesday and pushed back their rotation, the Braves will avoid facing ace Adam Wainwright, who is 8-2 with a 2.61 ERA in 13 games (10 starts) against Atlanta. … Before Thursday, the Cardinals had consecutive wins once since April 15. … Matt Holliday has a .336 average (81-for-241) with 35 extra-base hits (nine homers), 50 RBIs and a .564 slugging percentage in 62 career games against the Braves.