National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, August 25th
(All times Eastern)
Atlanta Braves (71-55) at San Francisco Giants (71-55), 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Atlanta - Mike Minor (6-10, 4.74)
San Francisco - Madison Bumgarner (14-7, 2.83)
(Sports Network) - Surging left-hander Madison Bumgarner hopes to pitch the
San Francisco Giants to a season-high sixth straight victory on Saturday
afternoon in the third contest of a four-game series with the struggling
Bumgarner has logged eight straight quality starts and is 14-7 with a 2.83
earned run average in 25 starts this season. He has won three of his past four
outings, giving up five runs over that time.
The 23-year-old hurled a complete-game, one-run effort to beat the Washington
Nationals on Aug. 14, then logged eight scoreless innings of four-hit ball to
best the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 on Monday. He did not walk a batter and
struck out 10.
"I had to be on my game 100 percent and make pitches," Bumgarner said. "The
defense played good behind me and we had a couple of balls fall our way."
Bumgarner holds an excellent 8-1 mark at home this season to go along with a
1.87 ERA in 11 outings. He hopes that works to his advantage today as he goes
for his first win over the Braves, who he is 0-2 against in three starts with
a 3.78 ERA. That includes a loss at Atlanta on July 19 in which he gave up two
runs over seven innings while fanning eight.
The Braves counter with their own young lefty in Mike Minor, who has lost
three straight starts. Atlanta has been outscored 12-1 in that span and Minor
hasn't won since July 28.
The 24-year-old threw seven innings of one-run ball on Sunday versus the
Dodgers, but took a 5-0 loss and fell to 6-10 with a 4.74 ERA in 23 starts
Minor faced the Giants for the second time in his career on July 18 at home
and yielded a run over six innings while striking out seven in a no-decision.
The Giants have taken the first two games of this series and maintained a
three-game lead over the Dodgers for first place in the NL West with a 5-3 win
over the Braves on Friday.
Angel Pagan sparked the offense with four hits, finishing a homer shy of a
cycle, and scored twice while also knocking in a run. Marco Scutaro, Pablo
Sandoval and Buster Posey added an RBI apiece for the Giants, who won their
fifth straight contest to match a season high and are 15-6 over their last 21.
"He's definitely been our spark plug," winning starter Ryan Vogelsong said of
Pagan. "It's been fun to watch."
Ben Sheets gave up four runs on nine hits and three walks over 4 1/3 innings
to absorb the loss.
"I hate the way I pitched," Sheets lamented. "I feel like I made some good
pitches, just didn't put anybody away."
Freddie Freeman hit two homers and Jason Heyward also went deep, but the
Braves lost for the sixth time in their last seven games. However, they
remained 6 1/2 games back of the NL East-leading Washington Nationals, who
also lost on Friday.
The Giants have won five of their last seven versus the Braves.
08/25 10:32:25 ET