Series preview: vs. Astros
When (TV): 7:35 p.m. Friday (PTV), 7:10 p.m. Saturday (PTV), 1:35 p.m. Sunday (FSS)
Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5
Probable starting pitchers:
Friday: Braves RH Tim Hudson (10-4, 3.68 ERA) vs. RH Armando Galarraga (0-0, 3.60)
Saturday: Braves LH Paul Maholm (9-6, 3.74) vs. RH Lucas Harrell (8-7, 4.03)
Sunday: Braves RH Kris Medlen (2-1, 2.43) vs. RH Bud Norris (5-8, 5.02)
About the Braves:
Batting: In his last 20 games (before Thursday), Brian McCann is hitting .304 with nine home runs and 21 RBIs. Michael Bourn, who got a rare day off Wednesday, has struggled at the plate since the All-Star break. He hit .201 with 30 strikeouts in 81 at-bats in the past 18 games. The Braves are seventh in the National League with a .257 team average. In 41 games since June 6, Dan Uggla is hitting .127 (9-for-150) with 58 strikeouts.
Pitching: Maholm will be making his Braves debut after being acquired in a trade with the Cubs this week. He had a 4-0 record and 1.23 ERA in July. Hudson, winner of his past four decisions, will be looking for his 100th victory as a Brave. It will be Medlen’s second start since joining the rotation.
Miscellaneous: The Braves had a season-high seven-game win streak snapped Wednesday. A 10-game homestand will be completed Sunday followed by six games in seven days against division rivals Phillies and Mets.
About the Astros:
Batting: First baseman Brett Wallace went 3-for-4 with two home runs and three RBIs in Wednesday’s 13-4 loss to the Brewers, his third game back from Triple-A. The Astros are tied for the second-worst team batting average in the National League at .242. Former Brave Jordan Schafer is hitting .219 this season, including a 1-for-19 slump in his past 10 games.
Pitching: The Astros are next to last in the National League with an ERA of 4.82. Only the Rockies are worse at 5.40. Galarraga is making his second start after spending the season at Triple-A. The Astros have committed 75 errors behind their pitchers, third most in the NL. Harrell has a 1.82 ERA in his past four starts. Norris is 0-7 in his past 10 starts with his last win coming May 21.
Miscellaneous: The Astros are 3-26 in the past 29 games, including a 3-24 July with a .111 winning percentage being the fifth worst for a month in baseball history.
- Chris Vivlamore