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Series preview: Braves at Royals

When (TV): 8:10 p.m. Tuesdsay-Wednesday (SPSO)

Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5

Probable starting pitchers:

Tuesday: Braves RH Kris Medlen (4-7, 2.96 ERA) vs. RH Ervin Santana (5-5, 2.64)

Wednesday: Braves LH Mike Minor (8-3, 2.89 ERA) vs. RH Luis Mendoza (2-4, 4.30)

About the Braves:

Batting: Jordan Schafer is 27-for-80 (.338) in his past 38 games with four doubles, two triples, three homers, 11 RBIs, a .391 OBP and .550 slugging percentage. In 101 at-bats vs. right-handers, he's hit .337 with 10 extra-base hits, a .432 OBP and .515 slugging. Against lefties, he's 2-for-14 with one walk…. Chris Johnson has a team-high .340 average (36-for-106) in 32 road games, with four homers, a .381 OBP and .509 slugging percentage. His road average would rank fourth in the league if he weren't just below the minimum plate-appearance qualifying standard.

Pitching: Medlen is 3-4 with a 2.80 ERA in 10 starts since the beginning of May, with 53 strikeouts and 16 walks in 61 innings. He's 3-1 with a 1.69 ERA in four June starts, with 23 strikeouts and one walk in 26-2/3 innings. Medlen is 4-4 with a 2.29 ERA in 12 night games, compared to 0-3 with a 5.94 ERA in three day games. He has no decisions and a 2.70 ERA and a .216 opponents' average in two starts against the Royals, in 2010 and on April 16…. Minor lost his only start against the Royals, despite allowing on five hits and one run in six innings, with no walks and five strikeouts.

Miscellaneous: Reed Johnson has hit .400 (24-for-60) in 19 games at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium, with nine extra-base hits (two homers), a .438 OBP and a .617 slugging percentage…. Justin Upton is 13-for-33 (.394) with five doubles and a .462 OBP in nine games at Kauffman…. The Braves hit .220 and totaled 45 runs in a 17-game stretch before putting up 14 hits and seven runs in Sunday's win at Milwaukee. They went 6-11 in that 17-game period despite a 3.18 ERA…. Against Santana, B.J. Upton is 8-for-24 with a homer, Gerald Laird is 6-for-21, and Brian McCann is 1-for-7.

About the Royals:

Batting: Eric Hosmer is 22-for-68 (.324) with nine extra-base hits (two homers) and 10 RBIs in his past 17 games…. Jeff Francoeur is 14-for-88 (.159) with two homers and four RBIs in his past 32 games, with five walks, 24 strikeouts and a .204 OBP…. Mike Moustakas has the second-lowest average (.207) among AL qualifiers. His .060 (3-for-50) with runners in scoring position is the AL's worst, while teammates Salvador Perez (.364) and Alex Gordon (.362) are eighth and ninth among AL leaders with RISP.

Pitching: Santana is 2-0 with an 0.94 ERA in four June starts, with 20 strikeouts and four walks in 28-2/3 innings. He's allowed one homer this month, after allowing nine in 34-1/3 innings in May, when he was 0-4 with a 4.72 ERA in five starts. He's had dramatically different results in his two starts against the Braves, allowing six runs in 5-2/3 innings of a 2008 loss, then pitching a four-hit shutout against them with seven strikeouts and no walks in 2011…. Mendoza hasn't faced Atlanta.

Miscellaneous: Jeff Francoeur is 4-for-9 with a homer off Medlen, and Chris Getz is 1-for-3 with a homer… The Royals are 13-8 with a 2.70 ERA in June. They scored two or fewer runs in seven of those games and totaled just 11 homers and 80 runs this month, but allowed two runs or fewer in 10 of 21 games.

By David O’Brien