Series preview: Braves at Phillies
When (TV): 7:05 p.m. Friday (FSSO), 4:05 p.m. Saturday (Fox), 8:05 p.m. Sunday (ESPN)
Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5
Probable starting pitchers:
Friday: Braves RH Kris Medlen (7-5, 3.07 ERA) vs. RH Ethan Martin (major league debut)
Saturday: Braves RH Brandon Beachy (0-0, 17.18) vs. RH Jonathan Pettibone (5-4, 4.04)
Sunday: Braves LH Alex Wood (1-2, 3.51) vs. LH John Lannan (3-4, 4.10)
About the Braves:
Batting: Brian McCann was 35-for-101 (.347) with eight doubles, eight homers, 24 RBIs and a .663 slugging percentage in his past 27 games before Thursday's game against Colorado. Against the Phillies, he's hit .323 with six homers and 18 RBIs in 16 games since the beginning of the 2012 season. Chris Johnson hit .384 (48-for-125) in his past 32 games before Thursday. He was 16-for-35 (.457) during a nine-game hitting streak and had six consecutive multihit games before Thursday.
Pitching: Medlen is 6-4 with a 4.03 ERA and .307 opponents' average in his past 10 games. He had an 8.59 ERA during a three-start losing streak before limiting the Cardinals to eight hits and two runs in six innings of a win Sunday. He's 1-2 with a 5.82 ERA in 15 games (four starts) against the Phillies, including 0-2 with a 6.97 ERA in two starts this season. Medlen gave up eight hits and seven runs (six earned) in 5 1/3 innings of a July 7 loss at Philadelphia. Beachy is 0-3 with a 3.68 ERA in seven starts against the Phillies, and Wood has a 5.40 ERA in two relief appearances against them.
Miscellaneous: The Braves scored a league-high 68 runs since the All-Star break before Thursday, and ranked second to the Dodgers in average (.277), OBP (.338) and slugging percentage (.424) since the break. Medlen won't have to face Ryan Howard, who's 5-for-10 with two homers against him. Howard is on the disabled list (knee). The Braves are 14-22 with a .237 batting average and 4.07 ERA in their past 36 road games, including 1-2 in a July 5-7 series at Philadelphia.
About the Phillies:
Batting: They hit .208 and totaled 23 runs during a 1-9 skid before Thursday. Chase Utley was 12-for-39 (.308) with three homers and eight RBIs in 11 games since the All-Star break, and he's hit .364 (8-for-22) with four extra-base hits and six RBIs in six games against the Braves this season. Laynce Nix was 3-for-39 (.077) with no walks and 16 strikeouts in his past 25 games before Thursday. Against Medlen, Carlos Ruiz is 6-for-9.
Pitching: Martin, 24, is an Georgia native who will make his major league debut. In 21 starts in Triple-A, he was 11-5 with a 4.12 ERA, 107 strikeouts and 67 walks in 115 2/3 innings. He allowed one earned run in his last three starts, with 20 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings. Born in Athens, he attended Stephens County High in Toccoa. Martin was traded to the Phillies last year as part of the Shane Victorino deal. He was a first-round pick in 2008, the first high school pitcher selected in that year's draft.
Miscellaneous: Cliff Lee had been scheduled to pitch Friday, but reportedly needed more time to get over a neck strain. The Phillies had a majors-worst 6.23 ERA since the All-Star break before Thursday, and their .225 batting average was the third-lowest. The Phillies and Braves have split six games this season.
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