Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Game 3 Preview: Atlanta Braves (1-1) at Milwaukee Brewers (1-1)

First Pitch: 1:10 pm ET (SportSouth/MLB Network)

Pitching Probables:
RHP Aaron Harang (ATL) 5-12, 5.40 ERA in '13
RHP Matt Garza (MIL) 10-6, 3.88 ERA in '13

Braves starting lineup (career vs. Garza):
Jason Heyward - RF (1-6, HR, 3 RBI, 2 K)
BJ Upton - CF (N/A)
Freddie Freeman - 1B (4-8, HR, 2 RBI, 3 K)
Chris Johnson - 3B (4-6, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, K)
Justin Upton - LF (2-10, 2B, RBI, 4 K)
Dan Uggla - 2B (4-15, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K)
Gerald Laird - C (3-14, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K)
Andrelton Simmons - SS (0-1, BB)
Aaron Harang - P (N/A)

Brewers starting lineup (career vs. Harang):
Carlos Gomez - CF (2-4, HR, RBI, K)
Logan Schafer - LF (0-2)
Ryan Braun - RF (7-29, 3 HR, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 8 K)
Aramis Ramirez - 3B (21-63, 2B, 3B, 5 HR, 11 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K)
Jonathan Lucroy - C (0-7, BB, 2 K)
Scooter Gennett - 2B (1-3, K)
Jeff Bianchi - SS (N/A)
Lyle Overbay - 1B (11-24, 5 2B, RBI, 2 BB, 3 K)
Matt Garza - P (N/A)

Brewers signed Matt Garza over the winter to the richest deal in franchise history, inking the inconsistent right-hander to a 4-year $50 million contract. Garza went 10-6 in an injury-plagued season between the Cubs and Rangers in 2013. Braves will counter with veteran Aaron Harang, who signed with the club on March 24, one day after the Indians released him. Harang joined Atlanta after they parted ways with Freddy Garcia. Harang has bounced around in the past calendar year, from being traded from the Dodgers to the Rockies to being designated for assignment by Colorado and eventually traded to the Mariners. Both Garza and Harang look to rebound from rough outings in their final spring training starts.

Harang made one spring training start for the Braves and gave up 6 earned runs on 8 hits in 5 2/3 innings against the Tigers last Thursday. Garza allowed four runs, two of which were earned, on six hits in 3 2/3 innings against the Royals last Friday.

Heyward gets Braves on the board for first time in '14:
Braves RF Jason Heyward plated the club's first 2 runs of the season with a 2-run shot in the top of the 5th, which gave the Braves a 2-1 lead. Heyward's homer snapped a 13 inning scoreless streak to begin the season and also halted a skid of 22 consecutive scoreless innings against the Brewers.

Braves closer Craig Kimbrel recorded his 140th save as a Brave in Tuesday night's 5-2 win over the Brewers. Kimbrel is one save away from tying Gene Garber for the second-most saves in Braves franchise history and is 14 saves away from tying John Smoltz's franchise record of 154.

Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez killed the Braves for 2 more hits in 4 plate appearances last night, raising his lifetime average against the Braves to .378 (111-for-294).

Braves 1B Freddie Freeman homered twice in Tuesday's win for his 5th career multi-homer game.

Matt Garza has struggled against the Braves in his career, posting a 6.43 ERA. Aaron Harang owns a 1.50 ERA against the Brewers in his career.

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