Braves Giants Baseball

Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr., right, is congratulated by third base coach Ron Washington (37) after hitting a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Monday, May 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The Atlanta Braves' bash brothers will try to stay hot as move from the West Coast to the midwest to face the St. Louis Cardinals in a three-game series beginning Friday.

Over the last week, Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Austin Riley have combined for 12 home runs and 26 RBIs. In all, the Braves have gone deep 17 times over the last seven games. 

That effort was punctuated by a combined five home runs Wednesday and Thursday as the Braves won 9-2 and 5-4 in 13 innings, respectively, over the San Francisco Giants.

Former Marietta High School standout Dansby Swanson got into the act with a three-run homer Wednesday, which was followed by Freeman's solo homer and, later, Riley continued an start with a three-run homer.

Riley added a two-run shot Thursday, which included driving in the game-winner in the 13th. In his nine games in the big leagues, Riley is hitting .389 with five homers and 12 RBIs.

The power surge has helped Atlanta (28-23) move within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East. 

Meanwhile, the Cardinals (25-24) are 3-7 over their last 10 and have dropped into fourth place in the NL Central. 

St. Louis split a doubleheader with the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday. After losing the first game 8-2, the Cardinals rebounded by hitting four home runs in a 10-3 win in the nightcap. 

Marcell Ozuna (.239, 14 HR, 45 RBI) started to get hot against the Braves when the teams first met in Atlanta from May 14-16, and he has stayed that way over the last week. Over the last seven games, Ozuna is hitting .292, and he is the only member of the Cardinals' regular starters hitting better than .250 during the team's recent slump.

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Mike Foltynewicz (0-3, 6.91 ERA) is expected to open the series, seeking his first win of the season. He is coming off what may have been his best start of the year, when he threw six strong innings, allowing two runs on three hits in a no-decision against the Brewers Milwaukee.

The Cardinals will send Miles Mikolas (4-4, 4.88), who did not make it out of the second inning in his last start, to the mound in Game 1. Last Friday, he gave up seven runs on nine hits in just 1 1/3 innings against Texas.

Mike Soroka (5-1, 1.01) will try to extend his dominant start to the season  Saturday when he faces Dakota Hudson (3-3, 4.40), while Julio Teheran (3-4, 3.67) will match up with Jack Flaherty (4-3, 4.19) on Sunday.

ON THE AIR

Friday's game can be seen on Fox Sports Southeast at 8 p.m. Saturday's game is on Fox at 7 p.m., and while Sunday's game will be on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. All three games can be heard on 680 AM The Fan and Rock 100.5 FM.

John Bednarowski is the sports editor of the Marietta Daily Journal and president of the Associated Press Sports Editors. He can be reached at sportseditor@mdjonline.com or on Twitter @jbednarowski

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