Asked how the Atlanta Braves have surprised many experts by establishing a three-game lead in the National League East at the season’s halfway point http://www.officialcoyotes.com/authenti … ler-jersey , catcher Kurt Suzuki didn’t hesitate.
“This team has no fear,” he said Saturday night after an 11-4 victory in St. Louis. “We have a lot of young guys but we also have some veterans. We approach every game the same way.”
Atlanta’s consistency has been too much for the Cardinals this weekend. Behind solid starting pitching and an explosive offense, the Braves (47-34) have outscored St. Louis 16-5 in winning the series’ first two games. They go for a sweep on Sunday at Busch Stadium.
Right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (5-4, 2.14 ERA) will try to match what Julio Teheran and Max Fried have done in the series. Neither allowed a run in a combined 12 2/3 innings, with Fried enjoying the best outing of his short big league career Saturday night.
The former first-round pick of the San Diego Padres allowed only four hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings, recording 11 strikeouts against the whiff-prone Cardinals. The hard-throwing Foltynewicz made his return from the 10-day disabled list Monday night, allowing one hit and one run in five innings while walking four and fanning four against Cincinnati in a no-decision.
“The arm was just kind of heavy,” he said to mlb.com. “You can’t really practice these situations when you’re out there with your adrenaline running, but just a couple of times I just couldn’t really extend too far. But adrenaline pushed me through.”
Foltynewicz has faced St. Louis three times in his career, going 1-2 with a 9.95 ERA and yielding a whopping 22 hits over 12 2/3 innings.
In an attempt to avoid a fourth straight loss, the Cardinals (42-39) will turn to former Atlanta prospect John Gant (2-2, 3.48). Gant Authentic Baker Mayfield Jersey , replacing the disabled Michael Wacha in the rotation, pitched the best game of his career Monday night, limiting Cleveland to an infield single by Yan Gomes over seven innings in a 5-0 victory.
Gant walked five and fanned four, but his off-speed pitches kept the Indians off-balance all game and enabled him to post his first win as a starter.
“We’re lucky the third base bag got in the way of Gomes’ (grounder) or we wouldn’t have had anything,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said to mlb.com of Gant’s performance.
Before plating four runs in the ninth inning Saturday night, St. Louis managed two runs in its previous 26 innings. Its offense has been primarily singles and homers, as it’s on pace for the fewest doubles and triples in the majors.
Help may be on the way when the Cardinals start a nine-game road trip Monday night against Arizona. Shortstop Paul DeJong may be activated off the disabled list after a weekend rehab stint for Triple-A Memphis.
That could result in the move of first baseman Jose Martinez, who’s on a 100-RBI pace but has been poor afield, to his natural outfield position. In fact, Martinez played the last three innings Saturday night in right field.
“Jose Martinez has earned a spot in the lineup every day, so we have to figure out a spot to play him,” general manager Michael Girsch said to mlb.com.
ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves are glad that their four-game series with the San Diego Padres beginning Thursday night is at home rather than in San Diego.
The Braves swept four games from the Padres in the opening series for new SunTrust Park in April 2017 and have almost nothing but success against the team in Atlanta.
It has been exactly the opposite in San Diego http://www.officialbruinsproonline.com/ … and-jersey , though.
The Padres took two of three from Atlanta in San Diego last week, and the Braves have dropped 16 of their last 19 games in the Padres’ home stadium while being outscored 98-59 over the stretch of futility.
The Braves have lost eight straight series at San Diego dating to 2011, but own an all-time record of 186-122 against the Padres in Atlanta.
The Braves (39-28) went 2-4 on their road trip against the Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers, but returned home to sweep a two-game series from the New York Mets and regain sole possession of first place in the National League East.
The Padres (33-37) have won five straight series after taking two of three at St. Louis and own 11 wins in their past 15 games.
Anibal Sanchez (2-0, 2.37 ERA) will start the series opener for the Braves, with fellow right-hander Tyson Ross (5-3, 3.43) going for San Diego.
Sanchez has made three starts since spending six weeks on the disabled list because of a hamstring strain and is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in the past two, allowing just five hits in 12 1/3 innings.
Atlanta has won Sanchez’s last four starts, with the 34-year-old getting a no-decision in his best outing since signing a minor league contract in spring training after being released by Minnesota.
In that game, Sanchez worked seven innings against Washington on June 3 and allowed just two hits and two unearned runs while walking one and striking out five.
“He’s got a great feel for pitching and knows what he’s doing,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “I think his stuff is better than what I was led to believe when we signed him. He’s sneaky. He knows what he’s doing. He can change speeds and he locates the fastball well.”
Sanchez has made five career starts against San Diego, losing his only two decisions but posting a 2.76 ERA.
The Padres have won the last six games started by Ross and are 10-3 in his outings this season.
“When it’s your turn to take the ball http://www.officialflames.com/authentic … agr-jersey , you have to believe that you’re the ace,” Ross said. “It’s a rotation of five, but when it’s your turn to go, you have to give the team a chance to win.”
Ross won a combined 23 games for San Diego in 2014 and 2015, and was the Padres’ Opening Day starter in 2016. That was his only outing of the season, though, as thoracic outlet surgery forced him to miss the rest of the year as well as the first part of 2017 after he signed as a free agent with Texas.
The 31-year-old California native made 10 starts and two relief appearances for the Rangers last year, going 3-3 with a 7.71 ERA.
Ross has faced the Braves four times, with one appearance in relief, and is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA.