Series preview: vs Cardinals
When (TV): 7:35 p.m. Friday (WPCH); 1:10 p.m. Saturday (FOX); 1:35 p.m. Sunday (FSSO)
Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5
Probable starting pitchers:
Friday: Braves RH Tim Hudson (3-2, 3.57 ERA) vs. RH Chris Carpenter (0-2, 3.90)
Saturday: Braves RH Brandon Beachy (1-1, 3.68) vs. RH Jake Westbrook (2-2, 7.40)
Sunday: Braves RH Derek Lowe (2-3, 3.21) vs. LH Jaime Garcia (3-0, 2.08)
About the Braves:
• Batting: Brian McCann is hitting .688 (11-for-16) with runners in scoring position, which leads the majors. He has one home run and 13 RBIs in those situations. Chipper Jones has driven in nine runs in the past five games to surpass childhood hero Mickey Mantle in career RBI. Jones now has 1,512 and trails only Eddie Murray (1,917) for most RBIs by a switch hitter.
• Pitching: Hudson came one out from a complete game in his last start Saturday in San Francisco. He gave up only two runs on nine hits in 8 2/3 innings, before his pitch count ran to 112, including eight pitches in a strikeout of Nate Schierholtz, prompting Fredi Gonzalez to call on Craig Kimbrel. It was the first time in five starts he made it through the first inning without allowing a run.
• Miscellaneous: The Braves went 2-6 against the Cardinals last season, including 2-2 in a September series at Turner Field. Reliever Peter Moylan is eligible to come off the disabled list on Saturday but will likely need more time to work his way back from bulging disc.
About the Cardinals:
• Batting: Matt Holliday leads the majors with a .429 batting average. In the seven games he missed following an emergency appendectomy, St. Louis scored 18 runs (2.6). In 16 games since his return, they’ve scored 104 runs (6.5). Albert Pujols hit only .150 with one homer and four RBIs and grounded into seven double plays in his first 10 games. He’s hit .327 with 6 homers, 14 RBIs and grounded into only two double plays in his past 14 games.
• Pitching: Remarkably, the Cardinals have lost all five of Carpenter’s starts this year. He allowed eight runs in four innings on April 12 to Arizona but otherwise has allowed two or fewer runs in four starts. Former UGA Bulldog Mitchell Boggs has taken over closing duties from Ryan Franklin, who blew four of his first five save chances.
• Miscellaneous: Pujols survived a scare with his hamstring, which he tweaked running out a groundball Sunday. He was out of the lineup Tuesday but back in Wednesday, going 1-for-4 vs. the Astros. ….Ace Adam Wainwright was lost for the season to elbow reconstruction surgery. The Braves miss the Cardinals’ hottest starter in Kyle Lohse, who is 4-1 with a 1.64 ERA.