When Jair Jurrjens takes the mound Friday night at Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark, he will be looking to bounce back from his worst outing of the season while also attempting to give the Braves back-to-back road victories.
Jurrjens lasted 5 innings against the Nationals last Sunday, giving up 6 runs on 8 hits in 5 innings. While he did not fare in the decision, the Braves (58-41) offense got him off the hook, rallying for a 9-8 victory. He was seen the Reds (48-50) this season, going 8 innings and giving up a run on 6 hits in a Braves 2-1 win.
Facing the Braves in the opener is Bronson Arroyo. The veteran right hander lasted 6 2/3 innings against the Reds in his last outing, giving up 4 runs on 8 hits in a 4-1 defeat. The Braves got the best of Arroyo when they last say him, tagging him for 5 runs on 9 hits in 3 innings in a 7-6 Braves win. Arroyo has been hit hard by the long ball, giving up 26 round-trippers this year.
Offensively, Brian McCann is 8-for-16 against Arroyo with three home runs of his own.
Saturday, Derek Lowe takes the mound opposite Homer Bailey.
Lowe got the win in Monday’s start in Colorado, going 6 1/3 innings while giving up 4 runs on 8 hits in a 7-4 Braves win. He saw the Reds earlier this year, the same outing as Arroyo, and got tagged himself, giving up 5 runs on 7 hits in 3 1/3 innings, but as mentioned before, the Braves won, 7-6.
The Braves have not seen the fourth-year pitcher Bailey this season. In his last outing against the Cardinals, he gave up a run on 3 hits over 7 1/3 innings, earning the win as the Reds won, 3-1. Since coming off the disabled list, Bailey has given up a home run in each of his four starts.
Sunday’s game, originally scheduled as an afternoon game will now be the ESPN Sunday Night Game of the Week, featuring rookie Brandon Beachy against Dontrelle Willis.
Beachy, who grew up about three hours away from Cincinnati in Kokomo, Ind., has not seen the Reds this season. He did get hit hard in his last outing, giving up 6 runs on 9 hits over 4 2/3 innings. Beachy has not posted a victory since June, taking two no decisions and a loss in his three July starts.
The one-time Marlin, Willis is facing the Braves for the first time since 2007, his last season in Florida. The lefty has only appeared in two games this season, starting both, but has not earned a win in either, taking a no decision against Milwaukee July 10 and earning a loss against the Pirates Monday. In those outings, the pitcher once know as the D-Train has gone 10 2/3 innings, giving up 4 runs on 9 hits while fanning 9.
Offensively, the Reds have scored just 7 runs in their last 5 games while getting blanked twice against the surprising Pirates. They have no won consecutive games since sweeping the Dodgers June 13-15.
Dan Uggla is questionable for the opener with a calf strain after being pulled from Wednesday's game in Colorado and sitting out the finale. He has hit in 12 consecutive games, tying a career high, while Jordan Schafer did not play in the finale in Colorado after jamming his finger in Wednesday's contest sliding into second base.