Series preview: at Phillies
When (TV): 7:05 p.m. Friday (FSSO), 2:05 p.m. Saturday (FSSO), 7:15 p.m. Saturday (FOX), 1:35 p.m. Sunday (FSSO)
Radio: 680, 93.7, 106.7
Probable starting pitchers:
Friday: Braves RH Julio Teheran (6-5, 2.41 ERA) vs. RH Kyle Kendrick (3-7, 4.20 ERA)
Saturday: Game 1: Braves RH Ervin Santana (5-5, 4.15) vs. RH Roberto Hernandez (3-6, 4.41)
Saturday: Game 2: Braves RH David Hale (2-2, 3.14) vs. RH Sean O’Sullivan (0-0, 0.00)
Sunday: Braves RH Aaron Harang (6-6, 3.78) vs. RH David Buchanan (4-3, 4.79)
About the Braves
Batting: Justin Upton homered in both of the first two games of the Astros series. He drove in three of the Braves’ four runs in Wednesday night’s victory to give him six three-RBI games on the season. That’s one more through 71 games than Upton had in each of the past two seasons (five). Evan Gattis doubled twice on Wednesday night after going hitless for two games. He’s hitting .363 with five doubles, six home runs and 17 RBIs for the month of June.
Pitching: Teheran returns to the mound after a frustrating night in Washington on Saturday when he struggled with pitching signals from catcher Evan Gattis. They’ll look to regroup Friday against the Phillies, a team that Teheran limited to only one run on four hits over eight innings on June 16. The Braves still lost 6-1 that night in 13 innings. Teheran has allowed only four runs in 15 innings over his past two starts (2.40 ERA) but is winless because the Braves scored only one run in those games combined.
Miscellaneous: The Braves were just swept by the Phillies in Atlanta early last week, dropping three in a row while being outscored 21-8. The Braves batted only .243 during the series with two home runs. Saturday’s doubleheader makes up for a rain-out on April 15.
About the Phillies
Batting: Third baseman Cody Asche is 7-for-23 (.304) with three doubles and five RBIs since returning Friday from a stint on the disabled list with a strained hamstring. Ryan Howard went 5-for-13 with a double, two home runs and six RBIs in the three-game series in Atlanta earlier this week. The Phillies are hitting only .228 as a team at the hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park this season, which is 28th in the major leagues.
Pitching: Normally it’s good news for a team not to have to face Cole Hamels during a four-game series but the Braves can’t be too pleased about the first pitcher they’ll face. Kendrick has been a thorn in their side and last Tuesday was typical. He limited the Braves to two runs in seven innings in a 5-2 win over Santana. For his career, Kendrick is 8-2 with a 3.23 ERA against the Braves and 59-60 with a 4.49 ERA against everybody else.
Miscellaneous: The Phillies won their first two in St. Louis coming off the sweep in Atlanta, but dropped the last two in a four-game series. They were 3-4 since leaving Atlanta, entering Thursday. Cliff Lee is still rehabbing his elbow and not likely to return until sometime in July. The Phillies signed outfielder Grady Sizemore, who was released by Boston, to a minor league deal.
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