ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves are glad that their four-game series with the San Diego Padres beginning Thursday night is at home rather than in San Diego.
The Braves swept four games from the Padres in the opening series for new SunTrust Park in April 2017 and have almost nothing but success against the team in Atlanta.
It has been exactly the opposite in San Diego Joe Mixon Jersey , though.
The Padres took two of three from Atlanta in San Diego last week, and the Braves have dropped 16 of their last 19 games in the Padres’ home stadium while being outscored 98-59 over the stretch of futility.
The Braves have lost eight straight series at San Diego dating to 2011, but own an all-time record of 186-122 against the Padres in Atlanta.
The Braves (39-28) went 2-4 on their road trip against the Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers, but returned home to sweep a two-game series from the New York Mets and regain sole possession of first place in the National League East.
The Padres (33-37) have won five straight series after taking two of three at St. Louis and own 11 wins in their past 15 games.
Anibal Sanchez (2-0, 2.37 ERA) will start the series opener for the Braves, with fellow right-hander Tyson Ross (5-3, 3.43) going for San Diego.
Sanchez has made three starts since spending six weeks on the disabled list because of a hamstring strain and is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in the past two, allowing just five hits in 12 1/3 innings.
Atlanta has won Sanchez’s last four starts, with the 34-year-old getting a no-decision in his best outing since signing a minor league contract in spring training after being released by Minnesota.
In that game, Sanchez worked seven innings against Washington on June 3 and allowed just two hits and two unearned runs while walking one and striking out five.
“He’s got a great feel for pitching and knows what he’s doing,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “I think his stuff is better than what I was led to believe when we signed him. He’s sneaky. He knows what he’s doing. He can change speeds and he locates the fastball well.”
Sanchez has made five career starts against San Diego, losing his only two decisions but posting a 2.76 ERA.
The Padres have won the last six games started by Ross and are 10-3 in his outings this season.
“When it’s your turn to take the ball, you have to believe that you’re the ace Jordan Willis Jersey ,” Ross said. “It’s a rotation of five, but when it’s your turn to go, you have to give the team a chance to win.”
Ross won a combined 23 games for San Diego in 2014 and 2015, and was the Padres’ Opening Day starter in 2016. That was his only outing of the season, though, as thoracic outlet surgery forced him to miss the rest of the year as well as the first part of 2017 after he signed as a free agent with Texas.
The 31-year-old California native made 10 starts and two relief appearances for the Rangers last year, going 3-3 with a 7.71 ERA.
Ross has faced the Braves four times, with one appearance in relief, and is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tropicana Field has not been kind to J.A. Happ.
Five years ago, Happ took a line drive directly to his head, hitting him behind his left ear and fracturing his skull. He fell to the ground hard enough that he strained ligaments in his knee, and it would be three months before he returned to the mound.
Happ will start for Toronto in Thursday’s series finale Carl Lawson Jersey , and while he’s been back to the Trop nine times since his injury there, he’s won only once, in that same 2013 season, in just his third game back from injury.
Happ is off to a solid 8-3 start with a 3.71 ERA, and he’s 4-0 in his last five starts, taking a full run off his season ERA along the way. One of his three losses this season came against the Rays, giving up three runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings in a May 4 loss where he walked more batters (four) than he struck out (three). On Friday against Baltimore, he was especially sharp, throwing seven innings and allowing only two hits and a single unearned run.
And while he’s struggled at Tropicana Field, his overall career numbers against the Rays are better, with a 3-4 record and 5.05 ERA — he has just one win in 10 appearances against Tampa Bay over the last four seasons.
Tampa Bay, trying to push through a rash of injuries to its starting pitching, continues to experiment regularly with “openers Authentic Leon Draisaitl Jersey ,” using relievers as part of bullpen days to start about half their games in recent weeks. Nowhere is the Rays’ desperation more glaring than with Thursday’s starter, Wilmer Font, who is already playing for his third team this season.
Font pitched six games with the Dodgers, then four with the Athletics, and he’s now made five appearances with the Rays. He’s 0-3 on the season with a 9.59 ERA, but in his five games with Tampa Bay, he’s fared much better, with a 3.24 ERA and 0-1 record. In those five games, he’s thrown 8 1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits. In his last outing, also a makeshift start, he lasted into the third inning Friday against Seattle, but gave up two runs on two hits Authentic Connor McDavid Jersey , getting five of his seven outs via strikeout.
Font has actually faced Toronto already this season while with Oakland — staked with the ninth inning and a 9-0 lead, he gave up a two-run home run to Yangervis Solarte.
The two American League East rivals went into Wednesday’s game within a half-game of each other in the standings, still well ahead of last-place Baltimore.
Toronto gets Thursday off before beginning an interleague stretch at home, with three games against the Nationals, then two against the Braves. The Rays, meanwhile, go on the road for the next week, with four games at the Yankees and three at the Astros, then returning home with seven of their next nine again against the Yankees and Astros.