Boston (44-24) at Atlanta (37-33)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Atlanta, GA
Temp: 77° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Mon Jun 18, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Curt Schilling has helped lead the Boston Red Sox to the best record in the majors, but he is coming off one of his worst starts since he came to the team before the 2004 season.

Schilling looks to bounce back against one of his favorite opponents when he takes the mound in Monday’s series opener against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.

The first-place Red Sox (44-24) lead the New York Yankees by 8 1/2 games in the AL East, and are 10-4 in contests started by Schilling this season.

After coming within one out of his first career no-hitter in a win at Oakland on June 7, though, Schilling (6-3, 3.80 ERA) was tagged for six runs and nine hits in five innings of 12-2 loss to Colorado on Wednesday. He threw 100 pitches in his complete-game win over the Athletics, and 98 against the Rockies.

“Good and bad, every fifth day, it’s a new game,” Schilling told the team’s official Web site. “I certainly wanted to build on (the win over Oakland).”

Schilling tries to get back on track at Turner Field, where he has pitched outstanding lately.

In eight starts in Atlanta since 1999, the 40-year-old right-hander is 6-1 with a 1.98 ERA and two complete games. Schilling has also been pitching well on the road this season, going 4-1 with a 2.52 ERA in his last five starts away from Fenway Park.

In his only start against the Braves last season, he allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings, but did not receive a decision in Boston’s 10-7 victory. Schilling is 10-3 with a 2.47 ERA in 18 starts against Atlanta since the start of the 1998 season.

Boston won two of three over the Braves (37-33) at Fenway Park May 19-20, and has won six of the last seven meetings between the teams. The Red Sox are 8-4 in interleague games this season, while Atlanta is just 3-6 against the AL.

Boston defeated San Francisco 9-5 on Sunday, and outscored the Giants 20-7 in sweeping the three-game weekend series.

Manny Ramirez homered in his second straight game Sunday, but went just 2-for-10 against the Braves last month.

David Ortiz had a pair of doubles Sunday, and is batting .387 (12-for-31) with two homers, five RBIs and 10 runs in nine games against Atlanta since the start of the 2005 season.

The Braves lost to Cleveland 5-2 on Sunday, failing to complete their first road sweep in an interleague series since winning three games at Fenway Park June 28-30, 2002.

Atlanta has lost 10 of its last 15 games, but is still only 1 1/2 games back of the first-place New York Mets in the NL East.

Chipper Jones got his 2,000th hit for the Braves on Sunday, and is batting .474 (9-for-19) in his last five games after spending three weeks on the disabled list with a sore right hand.

“It’s a pretty cool number,” said the 35-year-old Jones of the milestone. “It’s one of the numbers you reach when you’ve been around a long time. My next goal is to work on the next thousand, but I don’t know if I’ll play that long.”

Jones went 5-for-13 (.385) with a solo homer in three games against the Red Sox last month.

Atlanta’s Chuck James (5-6, 4.16) takes the hill in Monday’s series opener, also trying to rebound from a rough start.

James gave up six runs and nine hits - including three homers - in just 4 1-3 innings of a 6-0 loss to Minnesota on Wednesday. He gave up five runs in 19 innings in his previous three starts.

The left-hander is 2-1 with a 4.42 ERA in three career interleague starts. This will be his first appearance against Boston.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Schilling Bos vs. C. James NYM
9-8 Record 11-10
3.87 ERA 4.24
101 K 116
23 BB 58
1.25 WHIP 1.38


Monday, Jun 18