Series preview: vs. Dodgers
When (TV): 7:35 p.m. Friday (WPCH), 7:10 p.m. Saturday (WPCH), 1:35 p.m. Sunday (FSSO)
Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5
Probable starting pitchers:
Friday: Braves RH Tommy Hanson (12-5, 4.29 ERA) vs. LH Chris Capuano (11-8, 3.11)
Saturday: Braves RH Ben Sheets (4-2, 2.13) vs. RH Aaron Harang (8-7, 3.76)
Sunday: Braves LH Mike Minor (6-9, 4.93) vs. RH Chad Billingsley (9-9, 3.62)
About the Braves:
Batting: Martin Prado had four straight multi-hit games entering Thursday’s series finale against the Padres. He was 9-for-17 (.529) over that time to raise his season average from .293 to .302. Entering Thursday, Dan Uggla had three home runs and 16 RBIs and his past 16 games while hitting .250, after hitting only .110 with two home runs and nine RBI in his previous 42 games dating back to June 5. He’d hit safely in seven of his previous nine games.
Pitching: Hanson returns from the disabled list after missing two starts with a strained lower back. The Braves have won 10 of Hanson’s past 11 starts dating back through June 3. Hanson hasn’t lasted six innings in four starts since his back first flared up over the All-Star break. He’s 2-0 with a 7.45 ERA in that time, though he allowed only one run in five innings in each of his past two starts. Beginning Friday with Hanson, the Braves will go to a six-man rotation through Aug. 29 to give each of the starters an extra days’ rest.
Miscellaneous: The Braves won two out of three at Dodger Stadium April 23-25 on a pair of ninth-inning victories, with game-winning hits from Prado and Chipper Jones respectively.
About the Dodgers:
Batting: Center fielder Shane Victorino, acquired from the Phillies at the trade deadline, had a nine-game hitting streak end Thursday. He went 15-for-40 (.375) over the streak with four doubles, one home run, six RBIs and 10 runs scored. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez, acquired from the Marlins at the trade deadline, was hitting.308 (24-for-78) with five doubles, one triple, one home run and 21 RBIs in 20 games with the Dodgers. Matt Kemp went 4-for-9 with a home run against the Braves in that April series. Kemp was ejected for arguing balls and strikes Thursday against the Pirates and could draw a suspension after making contact with an umpire.
Pitching: Capuano is the fifth left-handed starter the Braves have faced in their past seven games. The Braves are 20-25 against left-handed starters on the season. Capuano is coming off eight two-hit shutout innings in a win over the Marlins, walking three and striking out 10. He limited the Braves to one run in seven innings in a win on April 23. He’s given up only three runs in 21 innings in his past three starts against Atlanta, including a complete-game shutout Aug. 26, 2011 as a New York Met, before Hurricane Irene forced the rest of the series to be postponed.
Miscellaneous: The Dodgers used a four-game winning streak to take over sole possession of the NL West lead this week over the Giants, for the first time since July 13.
- Carroll Rogers