Pittsburgh (26-31) at Atlanta (28-28)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Atlanta, GA
Temp: 85° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Tue Jun 9, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

After emptying their bullpen in a 15-inning win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a four-game series, the Atlanta Braves could use a long outing from Derek Lowe(notes).

That shouldn’t be a problem for the two-time All-Star.

Lowe looks to continue his dominance over the Pirates and help the Braves win their third consecutive game Tuesday night at Turner Field.

On Monday, David Ross’(notes) bases-loaded infield single in the 15th drove in Jeff Francoeur(notes) to give Atlanta a 7-6 victory over Pittsburgh (26-31). The win was manager Bobby Cox’s 2,000th with the Braves (28-28).

“He’s the best there is and we’re all happy for him,” said Chipper Jones(notes), who had two hits, including a two-run homer. “Sorry it took five hours to get it for him but I think he’ll take it nonetheless.”

Led by Jones, Atlanta’s offense has started to heat up, scoring 15 runs in winning its last two games after plating just two runs in losing its previous three. Jones is 6 for 11 with three home runs, seven RBIs and three walks in the last two contests.

The Braves used all seven pitchers out of their bullpen Monday and will be counting on Lowe (6-3, 3.40 ERA) to provide some rest for the relievers.

The sinkerballer has pitched at least seven innings in each of his last four starts and is tied with Cincinnati’s Aaron Harang(notes) for 11th in the NL in innings pitched (76 2-3).

Lowe, who is 2-2 with a 2.75 ERA in his last five outings, allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings of Wednesday’s 3-2, 11-inning loss to the Chicago Cubs.

“Lowe pitched an unbelievable game,” Braves catcher Brian McCann(notes) told the team’s official Web site. “He’s done that every time out. He’s kept us in every single ballgame.”

As well as Lowe’s pitched lately, he’s been even better against the Pirates.

Lowe’s won all six of his career starts versus Pittsburgh, posting a 2.72 ERA in those games. In his only start against the Pirates last season on Sept. 16, the right-hander gave up one run and five hits in seven innings of a 6-2 win for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Lowe’s new teammate Nate McLouth(notes) finished with three hits - including a homer - Monday in his first game against his former team. McLouth, a Gold Glove winner and All-Star selection in center field last season, was traded from the Pirates on Wednesday for three minor league prospects.

Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen(notes), McLouth’s replacement in center field, finished with two triples, a double, single and two runs Monday. He’s 10 for 25 (.400) with five RBIs in five games since taking over for McLouth.

With Monday’s defeat, the Pirates have lost three of the first four games on their seven-game road trip, dropping to 6-16 away from PNC Park since April 27.

Wednesday’s scheduled starter Jeff Karstens(notes) entered in the 15th inning Monday and allowed two hits and two runs to take the loss.

Ross Ohlendorf(notes) (5-5, 4.85) will make his first career appearance against the Braves on Tuesday.

Ohlendorf gave up five runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings of an 11-6 win over the New York Mets on Thursday, the third time in six starts the right-hander’s yielded at least five runs.

Ohlendorf went 5-1 with a 4.14 ERA in a six-start span from April 20-May 18, but he’s 0-2 with a 6.35 ERA in his last three outings.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Ohlendorf Tex vs. D. Lowe Tex
11-10 Record 15-10
3.92 ERA 4.67
109 K 111
53 BB 63
1.23 WHIP 1.52


Tuesday, Jun 9