National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, July 5th
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (31-50) at Atlanta Braves (42-39), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Matt Garza (4-6, 4.01)
Atlanta - Mike Minor (4-6, 6.20)
(Sports Network) - Young lefty Mike Minor tries to remain unbeaten for his
career against the Atlanta Braves tonight, when the Chicago Cubs visit them
for the finale of a four-game holiday week series at Turner Field.
The seventh overall pick of the 2009 draft, Minor debuted in 2010 and has
since appeared in 39 games for the Braves, making 38 starts and posting a 5.34
earned run average across 209 innings.
He's met the Cubs three times thus far and has won all three decisions while
allowing nine earned runs and 22 hits in 16 2/3 innings, allowing an
opposition batting average of .306.
The most recent meeting came last season on Aug. 23, when Minor went five
innings and gave up four runs on six hits in Atlanta's 5-4 triumph at Wrigley
The 24-year-old was a 7-5 winner over the Washington Nationals in his most
recent start this season, allowing four runs in five innings in Atlanta on
He's 2-2 in six home starts this year.
In Wednesday's third game, Paul Maholm tossed six solid innings and the Cubs
topped the Braves, 5-1.
Maholm (6-6) pitched his second straight strong outing, allowing one run on
eight hits and a walk while striking out five. The 30-year-old left-hander had
pitched 8 1/3 scoreless against Houston in his last start.
Bryan LaHair, Jeff Baker and Anthony Rizzo hit solo home runs for the Cubs,
who have won seven of nine. For Rizzo, it was his third home run in 31 at-bats
since being recalled on June 26.
"We're starting to come together a little bit," LaHair said. "We're still
working hard and grinding at-bats out and those kind of things. Good things
happen when you're doing it."
"They had good pitching when we faced them the first time," Braves outfielder
Michael Bourn said. "We know they got pretty good pitching, man. They put some
runs on the board today. They've been playing pretty good as of late. We just
have to continue to work and continue to battle."
Randall Delgado (4-9) lost his fourth straight decision for the Braves after
allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks in six-plus innings. He struck
Bourn picked up three hits, including a double and triple, but Atlanta lost
for the fifth time in its last seven games.
The Cubs will try to extend the Atlanta misery with righty Matt Garza, who's
never beaten the Braves in two career starts.
The 28-year-old has won two of his last three starts since mid-June after
beginning the season at 2-5.
He allowed three runs in six innings of a 12-3 defeat of the crosstown Chicago
White Sox on June 18, and downed Houston, 3-2, with 5 1/3 innings of two-run
ball on June 30.
In between those starts, Garza took a tough-luck 5-1 loss at Arizona on June
24 after giving up just three runs on five hits in seven innings.
In the two starts against Atlanta, he's allowed five earned runs on 14 hits in
Chicago won two of three games from the Braves in a May series at Wrigley
Field. Atlanta won four of seven from the Cubs last season. Chicago last won
the season series in 2008.
07/05 10:38:03 ET