Series preview: vs Orioles
When (TV): 7:35 p.m. Friday (SPSO); 7:10 p.m. Saturday (SPSO); 1:35 p.m. Sunday (FSSO)
Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5
Probable starting pitchers:
Friday: Braves RH Jair Jurrjens (10-3, 2.07 ERA) vs. RH Jeremy Guthrie (3-9, 3.93)
Saturday: Braves RH Tim Hudson (6-6, 3.51 ERA) vs. RH Jake Arrieta (9-4, 4.50)
Sunday: Braves RH Brandon Beachy (3-1, 3.04) vs. LH Zach Britton (6-6, 3.38)
About the Braves:
• Batting: Brian McCann went 8-for-14 with a home run and four RBIs in the three-game sweep of Seattle. He has hit safely in 10 of his past 11 games, with five homers. Freddie Freeman went 7-for-22 with a double, two homers and seven RBIs on six-game trip vs. Padres and Mariners, including 3-for-4 on Wednesday with three hits off Felix Hernandez.
• Pitching: Jurrjens has allowed only one earned run in each of his past two starts (over 12 1/3 innings) while beating the Rangers and Padres. After pitching at least seven innings seven times in his first 11 starts, he’s fallen short each of his past three. Kimbrel needs four saves in 10 games before the All-Star break to top Jonathan Papelbon’s major league record for saves by a rookie before the break (26).
• Miscellaneous: The Braves host Baltimore for the first time since 2006 in their final interleague series of the season. They’d won six series in a row over Baltimore before dropping two of three at Camden Yards in 2009.
About the Orioles:
• Batting: Nick Markakis carried an 18-game hitting streak into Thursday night’s game against the Cardinals, hitting .415 along the way with 10 multi-hit games. The Orioles will likely sit struggling cleanup hitter and DH Vladimir Guerrero this series. He didn’t start the previous six games in NL parks. After his 29-homer, 115-RBI season with Texas in 2010, he has six homers and 28 RBIs in 77 games.
• Pitching: Guthrie won for the first time in eight starts his last time out despite allowing four runs in 5 2/3 inning to the Reds. Alex Gonzalez is 3-for-6 against him. The Reds are one of the teams reportedly interested in Guthrie if the Orioles trade him. Arietta is the only Orioles starter to pitch at least seven innings in a game in June, entering Thursday.
• Miscellaneous: The Orioles are last in the AL East, 12 games behind the first-place Yankees entering Thursday. They are 13-21 on the road.