Hernandez will try to reverse his fortunes against the NL East leaders when the Montreal Expos try to avoid a three-game sweep at Olympic Stadium.
The Cuban right-hander has been Montreal’s most consistent pitcher this season, and is 7-5 with two shutouts over his last 14 starts. However, two of the losses during that span were lopsided defeat to Atlanta in July.
The Braves have had Hernandez’s number throughout his career, and this year hasn’t been any different. The Expos’ ace is 0-4 with a 9.90 ERA in four starts against Atlanta.
“He’s a great pitcher,” Atlanta second baseman Marcus Giles said after the Braves beat Hernandez and the Expos 8-0 on July 15. “You can tell he’s got an idea, he’s got a plan out there. I just think that it’s one of those things.”
Hernandez is 2-12 with a 5.45 ERA in 17 career appearances, including 16 starts, against Atlanta. He has also lost his last nine decisions against the Braves.
The last-place Expos have been outscored 18-2 during their three-game losing streak, and 16-1 by the Braves thus far this weekend.
Ortiz retired the first 15 batters before Einar Diaz lined a clean single to right-center to lead off the sixth.
Ortiz’s third career shutout was his first since Sept. 19, 2003, when he reached 20 wins for the first time in his career with a 1-0 three-hitter against Florida.
The Braves have won 11 of 12, and are 35-12 since the All-Star break.
Montreal fell to 4-8 on its season-high 13-game homestand.