The Atlanta Braves' magic number currently sits at 6 games, after taking 3 of 4 games in Miami against the Marlins. As the Braves head home to take on the San Diego Padres, they hope to lower that number another 3 games over the weekend.
The Braves are currently 0-3 on the season against the Padres after being swept in San Diego in early June, putting together acceptable offensive numbers, but never enough to overtake the floundering Padres.
Evan Gattis continued his production behind the plate in Miami, starting all three games in Left Field, while putting together a .308 batting average with 4 hits, including two doubles and a home run.
BJ Upton and Dan Uggla have both continued to struggle behind the plate, and may very well find themselves continuing to ride the bench over the weekend series.
David Hale will also make his first major league start Friday, in place of left-hander Paul Maholm, who experienced some elbow pain in his last start. The Braves have a noticeably better record at home, and should provide Hale with the necessary run support to help him pick up a win in his first start in the majors.
If the Braves sweep the series, and the Washington Nationals are swept by the Philadelphia Phillies this weekend, the Braves could clinch as early as Sunday. More than likely, we'll see the Braves clinching the division early next week when they wrap up their season series with the Nationals in Washington.
Friday, 7:30pm on Fox SportSouth: Braves RHP David Hale (0-0, -.– ERA) vs Padres RHP Ian Kennedy (3-8, 5.23 ERA)
Saturday, 7:10pm on Fox SportSouth: Braves RHP Kris Medlen (13-12, 3.46 ERA) vs Padres LHP Robbie Erlin (2-2, 5.56 ERA)
Sunday, 1:35pm on Fox SportSouth: Braves RHP Julio Teheran (12-7, 3.05 ERA) vs Padres RHP Burch Smith (0-1, 9.17 ERA)
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