The Atlanta Braves, tired from being on the road more than any other Major League ball club, will finally have their entire projected 2013 lineup when Jason Heyward returns and they host the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-game set at Turner Field.
Heyward was reinstated from the disabled list Friday and is in the lineup for the series opener, marking the first time all year the Braves' starting hitters will all be in the lineup this season. Though Heyward is currently sitting at a .121 batting average, he hit .300 at Triple-A Gwinnett during a six-game rehab assignment.
The Braves are coming off a 4-6 road trip, during which they only scored a total of nine runs in their losses. They're currently clinging to a half-game lead over the Washington Nationals for the National League East lead.
Though the Braves have lost five of their last six, they've played the most road games of any Major League team so far. They've also lived up to the adage of playing well at home and .500 on the road with a 9-5 record at home and 13-13 mark on the road.
The Dodgers, though they've won four out of five, just got off an eight-game losing streak and have been one of the most disappointing teams in baseball. They currently sit in last place in the NL West with a 17-22 record.
Injuries have been a factor in the Dodgers' woes this season. They're currently without Hanley Ramirez and Chad Billingsley, who is out for the year with Tommy John surgery.
It's also taken a while to get the Dodgers offense going. They currently sit at 14th in the NL in runs scored, while the Braves (52) have hit twice as many homers as the Dodgers (26).
Thankfully, the Braves somehow avoid both Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in the Dodgers rotation.
Friday, 7:30 on Fox Sports South and MLB Network: Braves LH Paul Maholm (4-4, 3.94 ERA) vs Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-2, 3.40 ERA)
Saturday, 7:10 on Fox Sports South: RH Kris Medlen (1-5, 3.44 ERA) vs LH Chris Capuano (1-2, 6.60 ERA)
Sunday, 1:35 on Fox Sports South and TBS: LH Mike Minor (5-2, 2.75 ERA) vs RH Matt Magill (0-0, 6.92 ERA)
Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Baseball, Jason Heyward, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB