Series preview: Braves vs. Cubs

NEXT: VS CUBS

Friday

Time: 7:35 p.m.

TV: FSSO

Probable starting pitchers: Braves RH Julio Teheran (6-4, 4.56 ERA) vs. RH Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.55)

Comment: Teheran had only his third quality start on the road in his last outing before the All-Star break on July 8 in Milwaukee, perhaps a sign that his fortunes might turn in the second half. Teheran has been a dominant pitcher at Turner Field, though, and is seeking his seventh quality start in his ninth home start. Hendricks, not to be confused with Colorado’s Kyle Kendrick, hasn’t given up a run in 22 1/3 innings, which includes scoreless work over his past three starts. The last Cub to post three or more straight scoreless starts was Ryan Dempster with five straight in 2012. This is Hendricks’ first career start against the Braves.

Saturday

Time: 7:10 p.m.

TV: FSSO

Probable starting pitchers: Braves LH Manny Banuelos (1-0, 0.75) vs. LH Jon Lester (4-8, 3.59)

Comment: Banuelos makes his first start since July 7 in Milwaukee after his turn was skipped Sunday in Colorado. That allowed Alex Wood to get back on the mound two days after a two-pitch rain-shortened outing. Banuelos pitched one scoreless inning in relief on Friday in Colorado. The break allowed the Braves to limit his innings, which they have a close watch on as he pitches his second full season since Tommy John surgery. He got the better of Max Scherzer in his major league debut and now takes on Lester, who has been victimized by poor run support this year. He is 0-6 in his past 10 starts despite a 3.50 ERA because the Cubs averaged 1.6 runs behind him in those games.

Sunday

Time: 5:05 p.m.

TV: FSSO

Probable starting pitchers: RH Shelby Miller (5-5, 2.38) vs. RH Jake Arrieta (10-5, 2.66)

Comment: The frustration of a hard-luck first half finally caught up with Miller during his last start before the break in Colorado when he gave up a season-high 11 hits and five earned runs in a 5-3 loss. The Braves will try to break a streak of five straight losses in games Miller started. He was their lone representative at the All-Star game. Arrieta leads the Cubs staff in wins, ERA and strikeouts (123 in 121 2/3 innings). He has won six of his past seven decisions, including a complete game victory over the White Sox just before the break. He allowed just two hits and one run in that game, walked none and struck out nine.

- Carroll Rogers Walton

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