National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, August 27th
(All times Eastern)
Atlanta Braves (73-55) at San Diego Padres (59-70), 10:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Atlanta - Paul Maholm (11-8, 3.47)
San Diego - Casey Kelly (0-0, 0.00)
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Braves may not want to take the San Diego
Padres too lightly when the clubs open a three-game series this evening from
While the Braves appear to be headed for a postseason berth, the Padres, who
will most likely miss the playoffs for a sixth straight year, are riding a
seven-game winning streak.
Atlanta earned a split of its four-game series against the San Francisco
Giants with last night's 7-1 victory at AT&T Park. Tim Hudson outdueled two-
time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum by hurling seven innings of one-run
ball with three strikeouts and one walk. Jonny Venters and Cristhian Martinez
each threw a scoreless inning of relief.
"I was able to throw strikes and make those guys put it in play. It was a day
where you definitely needed to pound the strike zone," said Hudson, who
contributed two hits at the plate.
Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman and Juan Francisco all homered, while Brian
McCann contributed three hits, a run scored and an RBI for the Braves, who
lead the Wild Card and sit 4 1/2 games behind Washington in the NL East.
The Braves are 3-4 on a 10-game road trip. Veteran third baseman Chipper Jones
hopes to return to the starting lineup Monday or Tuesday, and has been dealing
with a sore left oblique muscle. Jones was used as a pinch-hitter on Sunday.
Left-hander Paul Maholm will handle pitching duties for Atlanta this evening
and is 2-2 with a 2.40 earned run average in four starts with the club.
Acquired from the Chicago Cubs back in July, Maholm was dealt a loss in last
Tuesday's 4-1 setback at Washington and gave up four runs in seven innings.
Maholm has lasted at least seven innings in four straight appearances, and
defeated San Diego on Aug. 15 with seven innings of one-run ball in a 6-1
decision. He is just 1-4 with a 4.24 ERA in six career starts against the
The Padres will try to continue their success against Maholm when they put a
season-high seven-game winning streak on the line. They completed a three-game
sweep of Arizona with a 5-4 triumph Sunday afternoon behind seven solid
innings from Edinson Volquez, who held the Diamondbacks to two runs in seven
innings. He also scattered four hits, struck out seven and issued two walks.
"We're playing pretty good right now," Volquez said afterward. "Hitting,
pitching and defense. It was good to win three games here."
Luke Gregerson struck out two in 1 1/3 innings of relief for the save.
Alexi Amarista, Carlos Quentin, Mark Kotsay, Yasmani Grandal and Yonder Alonso
all drove in runs with two outs for San Diego. The Padres are 40-30 since
early June and hope to keep up the momentum when Casey Kelly makes his major
league debut on the mound tonight. The top prospect, who is replacing injured
starter Jason Marquis in the rotation, was acquired with Anthony Rizzo as part
of the trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez to Boston.
Kelly had experienced issues with his right elbow, but is ready for Monday.
"It's much anticipated and Casey is ready," Padres manager Bud Black told the
club's website. "He's been in our environment before. He was up September but
not activated and he's been around a couple of years in Spring Training so he
knows the guys. He's looking forward to it, as are we."
Kelly was a first-round pick of the Red Sox in 2008 (30th overall).
The Padres recently lost three of four meetings with Atlanta from Aug. 13-16
at Turner Field.
08/27 11:06:07 ET