The Braves prepare to open a three game set with the Washington Nationals Tuesday night at Turner Field. The Braves lead the NL East by two and a half games over the Philadelphia Phillies with a record of 69-49 including a league best 42-16 at home. The Nationals come in dead last in the Eastern division with a 51-67 mark and a 20-40 road record. The Braves however are are only 4-5 against the Nationals this season.
The Nationals come to Atlanta having taken two out of three from the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend. The Braves conversely took three of four from the Dodgers thanks in large part to a dramatic walk off win in the series finale Monday night.
While the Braves lost Chipper Jones for the season last week, they appear to be on the verge of getting a couple of key players back from injury. Martin Prado played at Gwinnett last night going 1-4 at the plate. He isn’t expected to need more than one or two games on his rehab assignment and could rejoin the team tonight. Braves beat writer David O’Brien also reports that left handed reliever Eric O’Flaherty has but one more hurdle to clear before he will be activated from the DL. He is scheduled to pitch two innings for Gwinnett on Tuesday and could be activated as soon as Thursday.
Pitching Matchups after the jump
Game One, Mike Minor (0-0, 4.50 ERA) vs Scott Olson (3-4, 5.11 ERA)
Minor will be making his much anticipated Turner Field debut. Olson will be making his third start of the season against the Braves. The Lefty is 1-0 having allowed three runs in 13.1 innings pitched. Olsen has struck out nine Braves hitters while walking only three.
Tim Hudson will be trying to keep his magical run going. Hudson has won five consecutive starts and has allowed only two earned runs over that span. Hudson is 1-1 on the year against the Nationals.