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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, September 13th (All times Eastern)

San Diego Padres (66-79) at Atlanta Braves (88-58), 7:30 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: San Diego - Ian Kennedy (6-9, 4.86) Atlanta - David Hale (0-0, 0.00)

(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Braves look to build a little momentum ahead of a big series next week as they begin a three-game set on Friday night against the San Diego Padres.

The Braves had lost four straight before taking three of four on the road against the Miami Marlins. They enter this series with a magic number of six to clinch their first NL East title since 2005.

Atlanta is 11 games up on second-place Washington. The Braves visit the Nationals for three games starting on Monday.

The Braves wrapped up their series against the Marlins with a 6-1 victory on Thursday. Freddie Freeman celebrated his 24th birthday by reaching the 20- homer mark for a third straight season, while Chris Johnson had three hits and drove in two runs.

Johnson is batting .330, second-best in the NL behind only Michael Cuddyer's .334 average for Colorado.

Freddy Garcia, who had made three relief appearance for the Braves before getting the start, was charged with one run on five hits in six innings.

"He knows how to maneuver himself through a lineup and put a little on, put a little off and never give you the same look at any of the pitches," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez of Garcia, who began the season with Baltimore. "He's a veteran guy."

After turning to the 36-year-old Garcia on Thursday, Gonzalez sends out 25- year-old starter David Hale tonight for his first major league appearance.

Hale, a Georgia-born third-round pick of the Braves in 2009 out of Princeton, will fill in for Paul Maholm, who is battling elbow discomfort he first experienced in a start on Sept. 2. An MRI on the left-hander showed no structural damage though, and Maholm could return to action by next week.

The right-handed Hale went 6-9 with a 3.22 earned run average in 22 games with Triple-A Gwinnett this season, all but two of those starts.

The Padres counter with Ian Kennedy, who is 3-1 with a 3.76 ERA in seven starts since getting traded to San Diego by the Arizona Diamondbacks. The righty have given up two runs or fewer in five of those outings, including Sunday's no-decision versus the Rockies.

Kennedy scattered two runs -- one earned -- on five hits and two walks over five innings, striking out seven.

The 28-year-old is 6-9 with a 4.86 ERA in 28 total starts this season and faced the Braves twice with Arizona earlier this year. He went 1-0 while giving up six earned runs over 9 1/3 innings, leaving Kennedy 2-0 with a 3.64 ERA in five lifetime encounters.

The Padres, 19 1/2 games off the pace in the NL West, dropped the final two games of their series with the Philadelphia Phillies following a four-game win streak. They were routed 10-5 in Thursday's finale as starter Tyson Ross yielded six runs while recording just two outs.

"Their hitters just squared up and he couldn't get the one pitch to stop the damage," Padres manager Bud Black said of Ross.

Will Venable homered in the first inning and Tommy Medica had two hits and drove in a run.

The Padres swept a three-game set from the visiting Braves back in June, but lost three of four in Atlanta a season ago. They were outscored 19-5 in that set at Turner Field.

09/13 10:20:36 ET

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 1
BOS 2
Final
DUKE 66
GONZ 52
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
BOS
 
Final
PHI 4
DET 4
Final
WAS 11
MIA 7
Final
BAL 5
MIN 6
Final
STL 2
NYM 3
Final
HOU 0
NYY 7
Final
ATL 2
PIT 4
Final
BOS 3
TAM 2
Final
TOR 2
BAL 4
Final
ANA 6
CIN 8
Final
KAN 0
CHC 7
Final
CLE 1
CWS 4
Final
SFG 11
LOS 9
Final
OAK 7
MIL 0
Final
SDP 8
SEA 5
Final
LOS 10
TEX 5
Final
COL 2
ARI 1
Final
ARI 10
COL 11
1:05pm Today
DET
ATL
 
1:05pm Today
TAM
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
PIT
PHI
 
1:05pm Today
STL
WAS
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
MIA
 
4:05pm Today
CWS
CLE
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
COL
 
4:05pm Today
TEX
KAN
 
4:05pm Today
SEA
ANA
 
4:05pm Today
CIN
SDP
 
4:05pm Today
CHC
SFG
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
LOS
 
6:05pm Tonight
HOU
TOR
 
7:05pm Tonight
BOS
MIN
 
Final
WAS 91
HOU 99
Final
BRK 107
LAL 99
Final
NOP 110
MIN 88
Final
CLE 87
PHI 86
Final
MIA 109
DET 102
Final
BOS 106
LAC 119
Final
IND 104
DAL 99
Final
SAN 103
MEM 89
Final
PHO 97
OKC 109
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
BOS
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
LAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
HOU
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
MIL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
SAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
UTA
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
PHO
 
Final
LOU 70
MSU 76
Final
DUKE 66
GONZ 52
8:00pm Tonight
LOYC
LAMON
 
Final
NYR 2
WAS 5
Final
CAR 1
BOS 2
Final
NAS 2
CAL 5
Final
NYI 5
DET 4
Final
OTT 2
FLA 4
Final
NJD 1
ANA 2
Final
WIN 3
CHI 4
Final
PIT 3
SJS 2
7:30pm Tonight
MON
TAM
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
VAN
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
CAL
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
LOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
EDM
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARI
BUF