National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, June 28th
(All times Eastern)
Arizona Diamondbacks (37-37) at Atlanta Braves (40-34), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Arizona - Trevor Bauer (0-0, 0.00)
Atlanta - Jair Jurrjens (1-2, 6.75)
(Sports Network) - Winning in Atlanta has been an issue for the Arizona
Diamondbacks for a few years. Now the Diamondbacks are having problems on the
road in general and look to salvage the finale of a three-game series tonight
against the Braves.
Arizona hasn't prevailed at Turner Field since an 11-1 pounding of the hosts
back on May 15, 2010 and is mired in a six-game losing streak as the visitor
in this series. The club lost its fourth straight away from the desert with
Wednesday's 6-4 setback, and a four-run rally in the seventh inning fell
short. Ryan Roberts hit a three-run homer and Chris Young, who was given some
time off to work on batting issues, added a pinch-hit solo home run in the
Aaron Hill and Justin Upton both had two hits for the D-backs, losers in two
straight after a four-game winning streak. Hill is on an eight-game hitting
streak. Miguel Montero had a hit and a run scored, and has reached base safely
in 16 straight games.
The D-backs have homered in a season-best eight games in a row and sit five
games behind both Los Angeles and San Francisco in the NL West standings.
Trevor Cahill got the start for Arizona and allowed six runs, four of which
were earned, in five innings. Cahill allowed two homers in the losing effort.
"They're putting together good at-bats and they're hitting the ball hard,"
Cahill said. "Even when they don't and you make a good pitch, it seems like
things are kind of falling their way."
Pitching news was even worse when the Diamondbacks learned that starting
pitcher Daniel Hudson tore a ligament in his right elbow and will most likely
be headed for Tommy John surgery. Hudson said his elbow wasn't feeling right
lately and the problem grew worse in his latest appearance. Hudson is expected
to receive a second opinion, while Josh Collmenter will take over his spot in
the rotation. Collmenter is slated to pitch Sunday against Milwaukee. Patrick
Corbin will be Arizona's long man in the bullpen.
D-backs shortstop Stephen Drew returned to action for the first time this
season last night and went 1-for-4. Drew was out since last July because of a
broken right ankle suffered in a play at the plate.
"It's still a work in progress. It's just something that I'm learning to cope
with and it's come along well," Drew said. "I was excited to get back. It was
really good tonight."
Arizona will roll the dice Thursday with Trevor Bauer, who is slated to make
his major league debut. Bauer, who will be summoned from Triple-A Reno, was
the third overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft and made 16 starts
with both Reno and Double-A Mobile this year.
Bauer, 21, is a UCLA product and joined the team on Wednesday. He brings a
bevy of pitches to the table, including multiple breaking balls, and an
impressive performance Thursday could earn him another shot since Hudson and
Joe Saunders are currently on the disabled list with injuries.
"I think we feel that Trevor has progressed, and it's getting time for him to
find out how he does against a little better competition," Gibson said of the
touted right-hander. "It has to start sometime, and we've decided this is it."
In the hunt for a sweep, Atlanta will be ready for the young hurler and has
won two straight and five of seven games. It improved to 2-0 on a 10-game
homestand last night, as Chipper Jones belted a two-run homer and Jason
Heyward went deep. Jones scored on Cahill's throwing error during a decisive
three-run fifth inning, while Michael Bourn and Martin Prado both hit
sacrifice fly balls.
Atlanta is still 3 1/2 games behind Washington for the NL East lead.
Braves starter Tommy Hanson appreciated the run support and collected his
fourth straight winning decision. He tossed six shutout innings before
allowing three runs in the seventh inning. Hanson was then removed after 6 1/3
"I was trying to be aggressive, get ahead of those guys," Hanson said.
"They've been hot, so I didn't want to fall behind too many times, and it got
me through the sixth."
Speaking of hot, Heyward extending his career-high hitting streak to 12 games
and is 20-for-44 during the tear with four homers, 11 runs and seven RBI.
Heyward has hit safely in 20 of the past 24 contests and owns 14 RBI and 17
runs in June.
Jair Jurrjens will make his second start for the Braves tonight since being
recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett and pitched well in last Friday's 4-1 win at
Boston. The right-hander limited the hosting Red Sox to a run and three hits
in 7 2/3 innings and struck out four batters, running his 2012 mark to 1-2 in
five starts and lowering his ERA from 9.37 to 6.75.
Jurrjens was demoted to the minors in late April and manager Fredi Gonzalez
enjoyed the latest show.
"He really was terrific," Gonzalez said. "I guess it's a little easier to
pitch in the big leagues than it is in Triple-A. "This is the JJ of last year,
when he was rolling and made the All-Star team. It's a nice lift."
Jurrjens, who was 13-6 in 23 starts a year ago, owns a 2-1 mark and a 5.24 ERA
in four career starts against the Diamondbacks.
Atlanta took three of four meetings with Arizona from April 19-22 in the
desert and has won nine of the past 12 matchups between the clubs.
06/28 11:30:15 ET