Where: SunTrust Park, Cumberland, Georgia
The Atlanta Braves won two slugfests at Toronto to begin the week, and hope for more of the same heading into the opener of a two-game home series with the Blue Jays on Wednesday. First baseman Freddie Freeman belted his 14th homer in Tuesday’s 9-5 victory – his fourth blast in the past eight outings – and Matt Kemp drove in four runs as the Braves won for the fourth time in five games.
Freeman is hitting .333 in his past eight contests and comes into Wednesday among the majors’ best in homers, average (.343), slugging percentage (.754) and OPS (1.211). Toronto also is getting plenty of production from one of its top hitters, as center fielder Kevin Pillar – who is among the American League leaders in hits (51) – finished 2-for-5 with a homer. Second baseman Devon Travis has six doubles in his past three contests and leads the majors with 12 two-base hits in May. But Atlanta is 12-for-27 with runners in scoring position in the past two games, while the Blue Jays’ bullpen has surrendered eight runs in 7 1/3 innings.
TV: 7:35 p.m. ET, Sportsnet (Toronto), FSN Southeast (Atlanta)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays RH Joe Biagini (1-1, 2.28 ERA) vs. Braves RH Mike Foltynewicz (1-4, 4.04)
Biagini has provided Toronto’s rotation with a big boost since moving into a starter’s role, allowing only one unearned run across nine innings in appearances against the Tampa Bay and Seattle. He earned the victory against Seattle on Friday, giving up four hits in five scoreless innings with no walks and three strikeouts. The 26-year-old posted a 3.38 ERA in 14 relief appearances with three walks and 17 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings.
Foltynewicz rebounded from the worst start of his season to earn his first victory of 2017 on Friday at Miami, giving up one run on six hits with no walks and four strikeouts in six innings. He had allowed seven runs in four innings a week earlier against St. Louis, following an April in which he went 0-3 despite a 2.81 ERA in five appearances. Foltynewicz made a two-inning relief outing against Miami on April 11, surrendering two runs on three hits.
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1. Toronto hopes 3B Josh Donaldson, out since April 13 with a strained left calf, could return this weekend while SS Troy Tulowitzki – sidelined with a strained right hamstring since April 21 – began a minor-league rehab assignment Monday.
2. Braves RF Nick Markakis recorded his fourth three-hit game of the season Tuesday, while rookie SS Dansby Swanson pushed his hitting streak to eight games.
3. Blue Jays relievers have worked 58 innings in 15 games during May.