The first installment of an early-season showdown between division leaders went down to the wire and the second game of the series figures to be another intriguing matchup when the Atlanta Braves host the San Francisco Giants on Saturday. The Giants have won seven of their past eight games after beating Atlanta 2-1 in Friday's series opener. The Braves have lost a season-high four straight to see their National League East lead dwindle to a half-game over Washington.
After getting roughed up in a three-game sweep at Miami this week, Atlanta's pitching staff returned to form in the opener against the Giants but the bats didn't follow suit. The Braves hope to shake out of their offensive slump and provide some run support behind right-hander Julio Teheran, who has received one or zero runs in three of his six starts. San Francisco had averaged 5.6 runs over a seven-game stretch entering the series, but the Giants eked out just enough offense Friday with solo homers from Angel Pagan and Michael Morse.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, CSN Bay Area (San Francisco), FSN South (Atlanta)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants RH Ryan Vogelsong (0-1, 5.40 ERA) vs. Braves RH Julio Teheran (2-1, 1.47)
Vogelsong has been inconsistent in his five starts this season, but he was strong last time out. He held Cleveland to two hits and two walks over seven scoreless innings and racked up a season-high six strikeouts. Vogelsong is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in four games (three starts) against the Braves; he was shelled for six runs in 4 1/3 innings in a loss against Atlanta last season.
Teheran has been lights-out his last three starts, allowing a total of one run over 24 innings, but he has only one win to show for it. He shut out Cincinnati over eight innings, allowing just three hits, in a no-decision Sunday. The 23-year-old Colombian is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts against San Francisco.
1. Braves 1B Freddie Freeman, who snapped an 0-for-14 skid with an RBI single Friday, is 4-for-10 with two homers against Vogelsong.
2. Giants RF Hunter Pence, who is riding a 10-game hitting streak, is 1-for-7 against Teheran.
3. Atlanta RF Jason Heyward went 3-for-4 Friday and has hit safely in 11 of his past 12 games.
PREDICTION: Braves 3, Giants 2