The Arizona Diamondbacks are hoping a prized pitching prospect will help them end their struggles in Atlanta.
A year after being selected third overall in the amateur draft, Trevor Bauer makes his major league debut Thursday night trying to help the Diamondbacks avoid a series sweep and a seventh consecutive road loss to the Braves.
With Daniel Hudson (elbow) and Joe Saunders (shoulder) recently placed on the disabled list, the 21-year-old Bauer will be called up from Triple-A Reno, where he went 4-0 with a 2.82 ERA in eight starts. Between Double- and Triple-A, the right-hander is 11-1 with a 2.23 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 16 starts this season.
“I think we feel that Trevor has progressed, and it’s getting time for him to find out how he does against a little better competition,” manager Kirk Gibson told the Diamondbacks’ official website. “It has to start sometime, and we’ve decided this is it.”
Bauer will be thrown into the fire right away, facing an Atlanta club that holds a 40-9 scoring advantage during a six-game home winning streak against the Diamondbacks (37-37).
“He’s excited, we’re excited to have him, let’s be honest,” Gibson said. “It’s a great challenge for Trevor, and he’s up to it.”
The Braves (40-34) have scored 14 runs through the first two games of this set and have totaled 40 while winning five of six overall against Arizona this season. Jason Heyward and Chipper Jones each homered as Atlanta won 6-4 on Wednesday, its fifth victory in seven games.
Heyward is batting .455 with four home runs during a career-high 12-game hitting streak. Jones, who homered for the first time since May 4, is 4 for 7 in the series.
“I’ve finally got my swing right,” Jones said. “I’m feeling good. I’ve got some confidence.”
Jair Jurrjens (1-2, 6.75) will make his second start since being recalled from the minors in the finale for the Braves.
The right-hander went 0-2 with a 9.37 ERA in his first four outings this season for Atlanta before being demoted to Triple-A Gwinnett on April 24. After going 3-4 with a 5.18 ERA in 10 minor league starts, Jurrjens made the most of his call-up by allowing one run and three hits in 7 2-3 innings of a 4-1 win at Boston on Friday.
“I was lacking strength and going down there helped me get back to correcting my delivery and getting strength in my leg again,” said Jurrjens, who went 13-6 with a 2.96 ERA during an All-Star 2011 season.
He is 2-1 with a 5.24 ERA in four career starts versus Arizona.
Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew is 5 for 13 with two doubles and a triple lifetime off Jurrjens. Drew went 1 for 4 on Wednesday in his first game since breaking his ankle last July 20.
Hill is batting .471 (16 for 34) in his last eight games.