Atlanta (36-28) at Houston (24-40)

Light Rain Currently: Houston, TX
Temp: 51° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Sat Jun 11, 2011
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Freddie Freeman(notes) is on a tear, and the Atlanta Braves are rolling.

The Houston Astros have shown few signs of being able to stop them.

Freeman looks to lead the Braves to a sixth consecutive win over the last-place Astros for the first time in nearly 12 years when they continue this series at Minute Maid Park on Saturday night.

Freeman is hitting .400 with six doubles, two homers and 11 RBIs over the last 12 games, raising his season average 36 points to .279.

The rookie first baseman kept his hot stretch going Friday, collecting three hits with a home run and three RBIs in an 11-4 win at Houston (24-40), as the Braves won their fourth straight - all on the road.

Atlanta, which has won 10 of 15 overall, has won five straight and nine of 10 against the Astros.

A victory Saturday would give the Braves their first six-game run against Houston since June 15-Aug. 11, 1999.

Chipper Jones(notes), 39, is the last remaining Brave who was a part of that streak, and he got the team closer by going 3 for 5 with a home run and two RBIs on Friday. It was his first game at Houston since tearing his ACL fielding a ground ball in August.

“We’re not done yet,” said Jones, who has a .395 average with eight homers and 30 RBIs in 36 games at Minute Maid Park. “Until I get out of here healthy on the plane, I’m going to reserve my comments.”

The Braves are expected to recall Mike Minor(notes) (0-2, 5.06) from Triple-A Gwinnett and give him his first start this month.

The left-hander is 0-4 with a 6.95 ERA in eight games - seven starts - since beating the New York Mets on Aug. 31.

Minor’s last two starts came in May when he filled in for rookie Brandon Beachy(notes) (oblique), who went on the disabled list. He went 0-1 in those outings, allowing four runs and 15 hits in 11 2-3 innings with nine strikeouts.

Minor took a perfect game into the seventh Sunday for Gwinnett before giving up one hit in eight scoreless innings.

He’s faced the Astros once, giving up four runs - three earned - in six innings before leaving without a decision in a 10-4 road loss Aug. 9.

Houston is expected to have Hunter Pence(notes) back in the lineup after he left Friday’s loss with tightness in his lower back. Despite the injury, Pence was able to extend his career-high hitting streak to 21, the longest by an Astro since Willy Tavares’ franchise-record 30-game run in 2006.

Pence is hitting .391 with 14 RBIs during his streak, and is 3 for 6 his last two games against Atlanta.

The Astros are slated to give the ball to rookie Jordan Lyles(notes) (0-1, 4.91), who looks to bounce back from a disappointing outing.

The right-hander struggled Sunday at San Diego, yielding four runs and five hits while hitting two batters in four innings of a 7-2 loss. He was much sharper in his major league debut May 31, allowing two runs in seven innings while not getting a decision in a 7-3 win at Chicago.

“Nothing felt really good coming out,” Lyles said. “It was a little bit different from that first outing.”

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Starting Pitchers

M. Minor Atl vs. J. Lyles Col
5-3 Record 2-8
4.14 ERA 5.36
77 K 67
30 BB 26
1.49 WHIP 1.41


Saturday, Jun 11