Look ahead to Braves series at St. Louis

The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionAugust 22, 2013 

When (TV): 8:15 p.m. Thursday-Friday (SSOUTH), 7:15 p.m. Saturday (FOXSN), 2:15 p.m. Sunday (FOXSN)

Radio: WKCN-FM 106.9

Probable starting pitchers:

Thursday: Braves LH Paul Maholm (9-9, 4.41 ERA) vs. RH Joe Kelly (4-3, 3.01)

Friday: Braves RH Kris Medlen (10-11, 3.71) vs. RH Adam Wainwright (14-7, 2.66)

Saturday: Braves RH Julio Teheran (10-6, 2.96) vs. RH Shelby Miller (11-8, 2.98)

Sunday: Braves RH Brandon Beachy (2-1, 4.50) vs. RH Lance Lynn (13-7, 3.97)

About the Braves:

Batting: Freddie Freeman is 31-for-82 (.378) with four homers and 18 RBIs in his past 20 games. Chris Johnson is 34-for-96 (.354) with four homers and 24 RBIs in his past 24 games. Freeman's RBI single Wednesday made him 19-for-46 (.413) with runners in scoring position and two outs, fourth in the National League. Johnson's 10th-inning homer made him 19-for-47 (.404) in those situations, fifth in the NL. B.J. Upton is 7-for-77 with runners in scoring position, including a majors-worst 1-for-43 with 21 strikeouts with two outs.

Pitching: Maholm comes off the DL to make his first start since leaving a July 20 game with a sprained left wrist. After posting a 3.38 ERA in his first 10 starts, he's 3-5 with a 5.35 ERA in his past 10, including 0-3 with a 10.13 ERA in three July starts. Maholm has a 6.03 ERA in 13 road starts and a 1.97 ERA in seven at home. He's 3-7 with a 4.20 ERA in 17 starts vs. the Cardinals, including 0-3 with a 6.18 ERA in five starts the past two seasons. Medlen is 1-0 with a 3.45 ERA in six games (one start) against the Cardinals; Teheran got no decision while allowing two hits in seven scoreless innings of his only start against them, and Beachy is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts.

Miscellaneous: The Braves are 8-1 in nine regular-season games vs. St. Louis since the beginning of last season, not including a loss in the Wild Card game. The Braves hit .299 and posted a 1.00 ERA while outscoring the Cardinals 11-3 in a three-game sweep at Turner Field on July 26-28, to begin a 14-game winning streak. Jason Heyward had the Braves' only two homers in the July series. Freeman is 8-for-23 with three doubles, a homer and six RBIs in six games at St. Louis.

About the Cardinals:

Batting: Yadier Molina is 10-for-22 with five doubles, two homers and five RBIs in his past five games, despite going 0-for-4 on Wednesday. John Jay is 29-for-82 (.354) with 10 extra-base hits and 17 RBIs in his past 20 games. Pete Kozma is 11-for-73 (.151) with 20 strikeouts in his past 28 games.

Pitching: Kelly is 4-0 with a 2.23 ERA in seven starts since moving into the regular rotation July 6, including 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA and no homers allowed in four August starts. For the season, he's 4-1 with a 2.15 ERA in eight starts, compared with a 4.26 ERA in 21 relief appearances. In his only career start against the Braves, Kelly allowed seven hits and three walks in 6 1/3 scoreless innings of a Cardinals loss July 27. Against the Braves, Wainwright is 6-2 with a 3.09 ERA in 11 games (eight starts), Miller is 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA in one start, and Lynn is 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA in two starts.

Miscellaneous: After going 12-3 in their past 15 games before the July series at Turner Field, the Cardinals are 11-16 beginning with those three losses to the Braves. They've won four of their past five games, on the road against the Cubs and Brewers. Against Maholm, Carlos Beltran is 9-for-24 with two home runs, and Allen Craig is 6-for-14 with a homer.

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