National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, April 30th
(All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Pirates (9-12) at Atlanta Braves (14-8), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - James McDonald (0-1, 2.78)
Atlanta - Mike Minor (2-1, 3.42)
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Braves target their sixth straight series win
when they wrap up a four-game set tonight versus the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Atlanta has been on a roll lately with nine wins in its last 12 games,
including a 4-3 victory over the Pirates Sunday from Turner Field. Tim Hudson
posted his first win in his season debut (1-0) by holding Pittsburgh to a pair
of runs on six hits with six strikeouts. He also scored a run.
"It felt great to get back out there," said Hudson, who underwent back surgery
in the offseason. "Physically, I feel great. My back's not an issue. It's
still a little bit of a work in progress (but) I feel like I'm on my way to
getting back to where I want to be."
Relievers Chad Durbin, Eric O'Flaherty and Jonny Venters each threw a
scoreless inning of relief, while closer Craig Kimbrel allowed a run in the
ninth before settling down for his eighth save.
Martin Prado had a solo homer and Michael Bourn added three hits for the
Braves, who will host Philadelphia for three games on this homestand.
Mike Minor will toe the rubber for Atlanta this evening and he is 2-1 with a
3.42 ERA in four trips to the hill. Minor did not record a decision his last
time out in a 4-3 win at Los Angeles last Tuesday and was reached for three
runs on eight hits in six innings.
The lefty, who had won two straight starts over Milwaukee and Arizona, did not
post a decision the only time he faced Pittsburgh last May 25.
Pittsburgh has alternated wins and losses over its last 10 games.
In Sunday's one-run loss, Kevin Correia gave up three runs -- two earned -- on
four hits and five walks in 4 1/3 innings to take the loss. Jose Tabata had
three hits and two RBI for Pittsburgh.
"We've got to make sure we stay on top of our defense and help out the
pitching as best we can," said Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez.
The Pirates will also visit St. Louis for three games on this road trip and
are scheduled to send James McDonald to the bump Monday. McDonald flirted with
a no-hitter his last time out in a 2-1 loss versus Colorado last Wednesday.
The right-hander took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and finished with
seven strong innings of one-run ball and eight K's.
McDonald has posted consecutive no-decisions and is 0-1 with a 2.78 ERA in
four starts. He is 2-0 with a 0.81 ERA in five career matchups, three of which
have been starts, against the Braves.
The Braves have won 12 of their last 18 games against the Pirates, including
seven of 10 at Turner Field.
04/30 10:58:24 ET