Nevertheless, the games must go on, and they're still important. The Braves have lost six of their last nine games and have played .500 baseball since starting the season 13-2. They're holding on to a 5 1/2-game lead in the National League East, while the Diamondbacks are clinging to a 3 1/2-game lead in the National League West.
This series has the potential to go deep into extra innings, as the Braves bullpen ranks best in the NL with a 2.74 ERA, but the Diamondbacks are third with a 2.94 ERA.
Tim Hudson has gone at least six innings and hasn't allowed more than three runs in his last five starts.
Paul Goldschmidt has hit four of his 19 homers in the last 10 games. He leads the NL with 67 RBIs.
The Braves enter the series with the second worst batting average with runners in scoring position – .225.
B.J. Upton is back to his old ways, going 3-for-his-last-22 (.136).
Friday, 7:30 on Fox Sports South: Braves RH Julio Teheran (5-4, 3.32 ERA) vs RH Randall Delgado (0-1, 4.50 ERA)
Saturday, 4:05 on Fox Sports South: RH Tim Hudson (4-7, 4.10 ERA) vs RH Ian Kennedy (3-4, 5.21 ERA)
Sunday, 1:35 on Fox Sports South: LH Paul Maholm (8-6, 3.75 ERA) vs RH Trevor Cahill (3-9, 4.29 ERA)
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