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Thursday, August 22nd (All times Eastern)

Atlanta Braves (77-49) at St. Louis Cardinals (73-53), 8:15 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Atlanta - Paul Maholm (9-9, 4.41) St. Louis - Joe Kelly (4-3, 3.01)

(Sports Network) - With the Atlanta Braves owning a 15-game lead atop the NL East, the last thing the club wanted was to lose a key player for an extended period of time.

The Braves, though, will be without Jason Heyward for perhaps the rest of the regular season. They'll try to shake off that blow on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Heyward is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks after suffering a fractured jaw in Wednesday's 4-1 win over the New York Mets. He was hit by a pitch from the Mets' Jon Niese in the sixth inning, falling to the ground before getting assisted by manager Fredi Gonzalez and trainer Jeff Porter.

Heyward did walk off the field with help from Porter and was taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

"He never lost consciousness," Gonzalez said. "He was talking the whole time when he got hit with the ball. Before they took him to the hospital, he popped his head into the dugout and said 'bye' to some of the guys."

The left-hander, scheduled to undergo surgery on Thursday, was hitting .345 since moving into the leadoff spot on July 28. In 95 games this year, Heyward was hitting .253 with 13 homers and 37 RBI, having also missed time after undergoing an emergency appendectomy in late April.

It was the latest blow for the Braves, who saw outfielder Justin Upton sit out a second straight game due to an upper back strain. He is hopeful to play in this opener and is hitting .333 with eight homers and 23 RBI over his last 32 games.

Atlanta is also without second baseman Dan Uggla, who is on the disabled list after undergoing Lasik surgery to correct his vision.

But as one player exits, another returns for the Braves. Left-hander Paul Maholm is slated to make his first start in just over a month after being sidelined with a bruised left wrist.

Maholm suffered the injury on July 10 at Miami and it forced him out of a start at the Chicago White Sox on July 20 after just three innings. The 31- year-old lost his final three appearances before going on the DL and allowed just one run on four hits and zero walks in a rehab start on Saturday night with Class-A Rome.

"It's been a month. Like I said early on, I'm not a very good DL patient," Maholm told Atlanta's website. "I'm just looking forward to just getting back in there and competing, and obviously we've been playing well. So obviously it's been fun to watch, but it's going to be better to be a part of it."

Maholm is 9-9 with a 4.41 earned run average in 20 starts this year and 4-7 lifetime versus the Cardinals with a 4.06 ERA in 18 meetings.

He'll look to slow down contending St. Louis, which has won four of five and trails Pittsburgh by a game for first place in the NL Central. The Cards took the rubber match of a three-game set with Milwaukee on Wednesday, 8-6.

Carlos Beltran, Allen Craig and Matt Holliday all homered.

"That was a big win," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. "That team kept coming, and fortunately we kept doing what we needed to do and got enough room. That was a tough game."

Joe Kelly gets the call for Matheny's club tonight and has been a huge spark since joining the rotation on July 6. He is 4-0 with a 2.23 ERA in seven starts and picked up a victory at the Chicago Cubs on Saturday, hurling six scoreless innings of four-hit ball with three walks and six strikeouts.

The 25-year-old righty is 4-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 29 games this year, including eight starts, and has not lost since June 5.

"When he goes out there with that kind of confidence, it just transfers over to everybody else. And he's getting better," Matheny said of Kelly.

Kelly faced the Braves for the first time in his career on July 27 with a start in Atlanta. He scattered seven hits and three walks over 6 1/3 scoreless frames, but did not factor into a 2-0 loss.

The Braves swept that three-game set and have won eight of the past nine meetings overall.

08/22 10:33:29 ET

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Kentucky at Missouri

    Tonight at 9:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. St. Louis

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
ND 77
DUKE 73
Final
SAN 95
CHA 86
Final
NCSU 57
CLEM 68
Final
MEM 70
ECU 58
Final
PHI 89
DET 69
Final
CLE 99
POR 94
Final
TOR 119
SAC 102
Final
MIN 110
BOS 98
Final
ATL 113
BRK 102
Final
HOU 99
DAL 94
Final
NOP 85
DEN 93
Final
NYK 100
OKC 92
Final
SAN 95
CHA 86
Final
UTA 89
LAC 94
Final
PHO 106
WAS 98
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
MIL
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
NYK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
DEN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
CHI
 
Final
VERM 44
GTDNS 47
 
Final
NAVY 64
AMER 54
 
Final
UMBC 56
BING 68
 
Final
JMU 88
DEL 82
 
Final
RICH 86
DUQ 55
Final
UNCW 82
ELON 65
 
Final
USB 72
HART 66
 
Final
WMARY 100
HOF 79
 
Final
COL 54
LAF 59
 
Final
PSU 63
MINN 58
Final
MAINE 58
UNH 63
 
Final
DREX 65
NE 60
 
Final
FORD 63
RIU 64
Final
SFLA 52
SMU 63
Final
MARQ 70
SHU 80
Final
LSU 64
SCAR 58
Final
UCF 62
TEMPL 86
Final
LONG 64
UNCA 74
 
Final
FSU 82
WAKE 76
Final
CCAR 68
WINT 75
 
Final
OU 84
WRST 76
 
Final
ND 77
DUKE 73
7:30pm Wednesday
GHND 0
HC 0
 
Final
CSOU 77
RAD 84
 
Final
OKLA 81
TTU 36
Final
BRAD 57
DRAK 69
 
Final
BUCK 68
LEH 62
 
Final
WICHS 58
LOYC 47
Final
ILLST 67
MIZST 57
 
Final
PEAY 69
MORE 82
 
Final
SDKST 86
NEOM 64
 
Final
ARST 73
ORST 55
Final
HOU 59
RICE 48
Final
SILL 52
NIOWA 59
Final
NCSU 57
CLEM 68
Final
MEM 70
ECU 58
Final
MIAMI 50
GT 70
Final
PURD 83
IND 67
Final
TCU 61
KU 64
Final
BC 72
LOU 81
Final
MISS 79
MSST 73
Final
CREI 77
STJ 74
Final
SJST 52
AFA 66
Final
ARZ 90
OREG 56
Final
WASH 74
STAN 84
2:00pm Today
PROV
DEP
 
6:00pm Tonight
RUTG
MSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
ARMY
BU
 
7:00pm Tonight
RFLSH
BRY
 
7:00pm Tonight
MERC
CHAT
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIU
CCST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOWS
COC
 
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UMASS
DAY
 
7:00pm Tonight
FUR
ETST
 
7:00pm Tonight
ODU
FIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
RMU
FD
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHAR
FATL
 
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LIB
HIGH
 
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UNF
KNST
 
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FLGC
LIP
 
7:00pm Tonight
OSU
MD
 
7:00pm Tonight
Terriers
MNTER
 
7:00pm Tonight
STET
NKENTUCKY
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAGN
SHU
 
7:00pm Tonight
GMAS
STLU
 
7:00pm Tonight
JVU
USCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
VMI
WCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
LATU
WKENT
 
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UNCG
WOFF
 
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DET
YOUNG
 
7:30pm Tonight
GSOUT
APP
 
7:30pm Tonight
TENNM
EILL
 
7:30pm Tonight
GHND
HC
 
8:00pm Tonight
CIN
UCONN
 
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NDST
DEN
 
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SD
MAST
 
8:00pm Tonight
UWMIL
ILLCH
 
8:00pm Tonight
BEL
JVST
 
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SMISS
MARS
 
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TXSA
MTST
 
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PETE
RIDE
 
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SEMIZ
SIUE
 
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TENST
TENT
 
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NDAK
WEBER
 
8:05pm Tonight
SALA
LALAF
 
8:15pm Tonight
TXARL
UGST
 
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ARKST
ARKLR
 
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TROY
LAMON
 
9:00pm Tonight
MURST
EKENT
 
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NCOL
IDST
 
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MIZZ
KENT
 
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GONZ
PORT
 
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UTEP
UAB
 
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GRCN
UMKC
 
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WLVRN
CHIST
 
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USC
COL
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCI
CPSL
 
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CSNO
HAW
 
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PAC
PEPP
 
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SDU
SCU
 
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UCD
UCSB
 
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UCLA
UTAH
 
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
MONT
 
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SACST
MNTST
 
10:30pm Tonight
CSFU
LBSU
 
10:30pm Tonight
GAELS
LMU
 
11:00pm Tonight
WASU
CAL
 
11:00pm Tonight
BYU
USF
 
Final
NJD 2
TOR 1
Final
WAS 4
PIT 0
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
BOS
 
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NYR
MON
 
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PHI
WIN
 
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TOR
ARI
 
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FLA
CLB
 
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OTT
DAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
NAS
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
MIN
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
BUF
 
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
ANA