Friday: Braves LH Mike Minor (9-5, 2.98 ERA) vs. RH Adam Wainwright (13-5, 2.44)
Saturday: Braves RH Julio Teheran (7-5, 3.25) vs. TBA
Sunday: Braves RH Kris Medlen (6-10, 3.78) vs. RH Shelby Miller (10-6, 2.77)
About the Braves:
Batting: Dan Uggla homered in back-to-back games Wednesday and Thursday in New York to give him 21 home runs on the season. Uggla has hit 20 or more home runs in seven of his eight major league seasons, coming just shy with 19 last year. Uggla hit three home runs on the Braves' seven-game trip, as did shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who had a seven-game hitting streak snapped Sunday. Evan Gattis hit in each of the first six games on the Braves' trip, while batting .375 (9-for-24) with one home run.
Pitching: Minor pitched eight innings of his first career complete game his last time out, Sunday against the Chicago White Sox. He allowed three runs (two earned) and five hits, walked two and struck out eight. But he was the hard-luck loser that day after the Braves stranded 11 runners and Reed Johnson was robbed of a home run in a 3-1 loss. Minor is 1-3 with a 3.97 ERA in his past seven starts.
Miscellaneous: The Braves have lost four of their past six games at Turner Field, despite leading the majors with a .674 (31-15) home winning percentage. The Braves play the first of two consecutive ESPN Sunday night games. They'll also start at 8:05 p.m. Aug. 4 in Philadelphia. The Braves are 1-2 in Sunday night games this season, with losses at Detroit (April 28) and New York (May 26) and a win at home against the Giants (June 16).
About the Cardinals:
Batting: Entering Thursday night, the Cardinals had three players in the top four among National League batting leaders, with catcher Yadier Molina first at .339, first baseman Allen Craig second at .337 and second baseman Matt Carpenter fourth at .326. Craig also was third in RBIs with 79. The Cardinals lead the NL in runs (492), batting average (.278) and on-base percentage (.340). Entering Thursday, Carpenter had hit safely in seven of the previous eight games while batting .419 (13-for-31) with four doubles, and seven RBIs.
Pitching: Wainwright is back in Cy Young contention in his second full season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He leads the NL in wins (13) and ranks fifth in ERA (2.44). The Brunswick native and former Braves farmhand has pitched eight or more innings in three of his past five starts. He is 6-1 with a 2.98 ERA in 10 appearances (seven starts) against the team that drafted him in the first round in 2000. His only loss to the Braves came last year in St. Louis, when he was seven starts back from surgery. He walked five and gave up five runs in 4 1/3 innings.
Miscellaneous: The Cardinals make their first trip to Turner Field since winning the NL wild-card playoff in October, the night of the infamous infield fly call. The first-place Cardinals won four of their first five games after the All-Star break to claim the majors' best record.