When (TV): 8:05 p.m. Friday (SPSO), 7:05 p.m. Saturday (SPSO), 2:05 p.m. Sunday (FSSO), 8:05 p.m. Monday (SPSO).
Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5
Probable starting pitchers:
Friday: Braves RH Tim Hudson (4-5, 4.14 ERA) vs. RH Aneury Rodriguez (0-3, 5.28).
Saturday: Braves LH Mike Minor (0-2, 5.06) vs. RH Jordan Lyles (0-1, 4.91).
Sunday: Braves RH Tommy Hanson (7-4, 2.59) vs. RH Brett Myers (2-5, 5.02).
Monday: RH Derek Lowe (3-4, 3.73) vs. TBA
About the Braves
• Batting: Chipper Jones has a .387 average with 18 doubles, seven homers, 28 RBIs and 1.178 OPS in 35 games at Minute Maid Park, where he had a season-ending knee injury Aug. 10, 2010…. Brian McCann was 23-for-65 (.354) with five homers in his past 17 games before Thursday, and led major league catchers with 62 hits. He’s hit .364 with two homers and eight RBIs in 11 games at Houston.
• Pitching: Hudson is 0-3 with a 6.66 ERA in his past five starts, lasting five innings or fewer in three of those games. He is 3-0 with a 1.19 ERA in five career starts against the Astros, including 1-0 with 1.06 ERA in two at Houston, where he’s allowed just two runs and seven hits in 17 innings.
• Miscellaneous: Braves pitchers led the majors with a 2.99 ERA before Thursday, including 3.29 by starters (second in the NL) and 2.50 by relievers (also second in the NL). … Jonny Venters’ majors-leading 0.48 ERA was a half-run better than any other pitcher before Friday. The lefty setup man was tied for the majors lead with 14 holds, and in his past 32 appearances Venters had an astounding 0.25 ERA with 39 strikeouts, 11 walks, 16 hits and one earned run in 35-2/3 innings.
About the Astros
• Batting: Carlos Lee is 17-for-39 (.347) with five doubles, a homer and five strikeouts his past 13 games, with a .429 OBP. He’s 11-for-29 with a homer against Hudson…. Michael Bourn is 13-for-38 (.342) with two doubles, a triple and five RBIs in his past nine games, and has stolen eight bases without getting caught in that period.
• Pitching: On Friday and Saturday the Braves face rookies they’ve never seen before, the kind of pitchers who seem to give them fits in recent years. Friday starter Aneury Rodriguez spent time in Houston bullpen before moving into the rotation. It’s the eighth start for the right-hander. He’s 0-3 with a 5.74 ERA in his past six starts, with 37 hits and five homers allowed in 31-1/3 innings.
• Miscellaneous: The Astros were tied for third in the NL with a .261 batting average before Thursday, and had 52 stolen bases – third in the league – while being caught just eight times. … Their 4.54 ERA was the second-highest in the NL, and they had allowed more homers (67) than any NL team except the Reds (72)…. The Astros lost four of their past five games before Thursday, scoring 14 runs in that stretch while posting a 4.71 ERA.
– DAVID O’BRIEN