Here’s a rundown on what to know about the Braves entering the weekend, as their series with the contending Rockies continues:
1. The rotation has produced a 2.60 ERA (19 earned runs over 65-2/3 innings) in the past 12 games. Overall, the unit owns a 3.60 ERA, good for sixth best in baseball. Mike Foltynewicz’s 2.86 mark ranks fifth best in the league, while Sean Newcomb’s 3.40 ranks 10th.
2. Ronald Acuna went 1-for-4 with a steal Thursday night in a game hardly anyone foresaw him playing. He has nine steals and 19 homers on the season.
Acuna has a chance to become the second Braves rookie to reach the 20-10 mark, joining David Justice in 1990. Justice won Rookie of The Year.
3. Max Fried is making a rehab start with Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday. If all goes well, he could rejoin the team sooner than initially thought. Fried strained his groin trying to dodge a liner Aug. 7.
A healthy Fried allows the team to re-implement a six-man rotation, or at least scatter spot starts in an effort to relieve their regulars. Touki Toussaint joins Fried as the top two candidates for such.
4. The Braves have found another unheralded hero: Luke Jackson. The righty reliever has suddenly become a relevant piece of the bullpen. Jackson has struck out 38 hitters in 27-1/3 innings. He’s capable of eating multiple innings, and he’s proving himself an asset in high-leverage situations.
“You give them a little more and a little more in tough situations, he’s getting confidence in what he’s doing,” manager Brian Snitker said. “You don’t hesitate to run him out there in high-leverage situations, which is good. He’s made some adjustments, and it’s been pretty good.”
5. Luiz Gohara pitched for the first time since July 29 on Thursday. He threw 3-2/3 innings, walking one and striking out three on 54 pitches. Gohara was sidelined with shoulder soreness.
Snitker said reports on Gohara were positive. The lefty has had a season from hell, battling recurring injuries and at one point leaving the team to be with his ailing mother in Brazil.
Gohara entered spring training the favorite for the last rotation spot, but he has made only one start this season. He hasn’t pitched in the majors since July 8.
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