The Atlanta Braves seek their fifth consecutive victory when they host the Los Angeles Dodgers in Saturday’s second contest of a three-game series. Chipper Jones hit the 467th homer of his career Friday to follow-up a two-homer game one day earlier and Juan Francisco’s pinch-hit single in the 11th plated the decisive run. The Dodgers fell out of first place in the National League West with the loss and trail the San Francisco Giants by half a game.
Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier hit a towering two-run homer in the opener for his first round-tripper since July 14, a span of 116 at-bats. Ethier has 12 homers and needs a strong finish for the fourth 20-homer season of his career. Luis Cruz reached base five times on three hits and two walks and is 10-for-20 over his last six games. Atlanta has won six of its last seven extra-inning games. The Braves are four games behind the Washington Nationals in the NL East and are 11-5 in August.
Dodgers Braves Betting
When: 7:10 PM ET, Saturday, August 18, 2012
Where: Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), Peachtree TV (Atlanta)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers RH Aaron Harang (8-7, 3.76 ERA) vs. Braves RH Ben Sheets (4-2, 2.13)
Harang defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in his last outing when he gave up two runs and five hits in six innings. He is 6-3 with a 3.68 ERA in 13 road starts this season. Harang received a no-decision against Atlanta on April 24 when he allowed three runs and six hits in six innings. He is 1-3 with a 4.53 ERA in two career starts against the Braves.
Sheets has lost two of three starts since winning his first three outings for the Braves. He gave up a season-high five runs (four earned) and eight hits in six innings while losing to the New York Mets in his last outing. Sheets is 3-6 with a 3.78 ERA in 10 career starts against Los Angeles.
1. Braves C Brian McCann is 1-for-21 over his last six games but is batting .522 with two homers and five doubles in 23 career at-bats against Harang.
2. Ethier, who had nine homers when May concluded, is hitless in seven career at-bats against Sheets.
3. Jones is batting .389 with two homers in 18 career at-bats against Harang.