Giants-Braves Preview

The Associated Press

Perhaps no team in baseball looks forward to returning home more than the Atlanta Braves.

After a rough West Coast trip, Atlanta hopes to continue its excellent play at Turner Field on Friday night as it opens a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants.

The Braves (39-27) split four games with the Dodgers, then suffered a three-game sweep by San Diego, falling to 18-20 on the road. Atlanta didn't fare well in a four-game trip to San Francisco from May 9-12, losing the final three by a score of 23-4 after a 6-3 win in the opener. But the club's 21-7 record at home - where they've won 13 of 15 - is the best in the majors.

Meanwhile, the Giants (34-31) come in with a 13-20 road record - the worst of any team better than .500 overall. But they're likely feeling good after a 10-0 victory at Pittsburgh on Thursday as Matt Cain yielded two hits in 6 2-3 innings.

Buster Posey was one of three Giants with three hits as the team - without Pablo Sandoval, Marco Scutaro and Angel Pagan due to injuries - finished with 17 and has 67 over its last five games.

"It's a great sign,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. "We're missing three big bats. You hope guys pick it up and they have the last couple of games."

Posey is 9 for 23 with eight RBIs over his last five contests and owns a 1.123 OPS and 14 RBIs during an 11-game hitting streak versus the Braves.

San Francisco will again try to get the best of Kris Medlen (3-6, 2.87 ERA), who gave up five runs - including three homers - over 5 1-3 innings in the Giants' 5-1 victory May 12. But after going winless in eight consecutive starts, Medlen has won his last two, throwing 13 2-3 shutout innings.

"I wouldn't say I feel like I did last year," Medlen told the team's official website. "But I feel more consistent than I did in my first five, six or seven starts this year."

Madison Bumgarner (5-4, 3.58) comes in looking to build off his last start as he yielded three runs and five hits over five innings in a 10-5 win at Arizona on Saturday. He had lost three of his last four outings while posting a 6.29 ERA.

The left-hander was 0-3 through his first four career starts against the Braves, but notched a victory with seven innings of one-run ball in a 10-1 win versus Atlanta on May 11.

Jason Heyward is 17 for 43 (.395) during a 10-game hitting streak, raising his season average from .142 to .215. He also homered in each of his last three games against the Giants.

Justin Upton, who connected for his 15th home run Wednesday after going 21 games without one, is 9 for 17 off of Bumgarner.