Series preview: vs Pirates
When (TV): 7:35 p.m. Friday (WPCH); 7:10 p.m. Saturday (WPCH); 1:35 p.m. Sunday (SPSO); 7:10 p.m. Monday (SPSO)
Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5
Probable starting pitchers:
Friday: Braves RH Tommy Hanson (2-2, 3.38 ERA) vs. RH A.J. Burnett (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Saturday: Braves RH Randall Delgado (2-1, 5.74) vs. LH Erik Bedard (0-4, 2.63)
Sunday: Braves RH Tim Hudson (17-9, 2.83 in 2011) vs. RH Kevin Correia (1-0, 2.00)
Monday: Braves LH Mike Minor (2-1, 3.42) vs. RH James McDonald (0-1, 2.78)
About the Braves:
Batting: The Braves scored four runs combined in the ninth innings Tuesday and Wednesday to rally for back-to-back wins in LA to finish off a 5-2 trip. Since sitting out April 16 against the Mets, Freddie Freeman is hitting .417 (15-for-36), with six doubles, three home runs and 14 RBIs. Chipper Jones is hitting .351 (13-for-37) with two home runs against Burnett.
Pitching: Hanson has pitched seven innings in each of his past two outings, and is coming off a win over Arizona, in which he allowed two earned runs, one walk and struck out seven. He’s won two of his past three games with only a three-run Ike Davis homer to tarnish him against the Mets. He’s 0-1 with a 3.75 ERA in two career starts against the Pirates.
Miscellaneous: The Braves welcome the Pirates to town for the first time since the series last July which included the 19-inning marathon won 4-3 by the Braves on a blown call by Jerry Meals. The Pirates were 53-48 before that day, 19-42 after it.
About the Pirates:
Batting: The Pirates are last in the majors in runs per game (2.28), on-base percentage (.269) and second-to-last in slugging percentage (.325). They did collect 30 hits while taking two of three from the Rockies, scoring a season-high five runs twice. Pedro Alvarez homered in both games of Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Rockies, though he’s still hitting .156.
Pitching: Burnett returned a week earlier than expected from a fractured orbital bone he suffered during a bunting drill in spring training. He was stellar in his Pirates debut, pitching seven scoreless innings against the Cardinals on Saturday, giving up only three hits and striking out seven and walking two.
Miscellaneous: Former Brave Nate McLouth is hitting .200 (4-for-20) with two doubles in his return to the Pirates. His RBI single on Wednesday fueled a five-run outburst in the 5-1 win.