San Francisco Giants (32-21) at Atlanta Braves (15-35)
Tuesday, May 31 - 7:10 PM EST
Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia
Mallex Smith is one of several young players the Atlanta Braves are counting on as they rebuild the franchise, and while the rookie outfielder has experienced some difficult times in his first 42 major-league games, he is developing a knack for clutch hits. Smith leads the Braves into the second game of a four-game home series Tuesday with the San Francisco Giants after his bases-clearing triple Monday sparked Atlanta to a series-opening 5-3 victory.
That hit raised Smith’s average to .407 with 17 RBIs in 27 at-bats with runners in scoring position, a sorely needed boost for an offense that is hitting .195 in May with runners in scoring position. The Giants look to re-ignite their offense after being limited to six hits Monday, which followed 18 runs on 33 hits in victory at Colorado on Saturday and Sunday. First baseman Brandon Belt homered Monday and has seven hits in his past 12 at-bats with three RBIs. Monday’s loss marked just the third in the past 18 games for San Francisco and only the third in its past 15 road contests.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, CSN Bay Area (San Francisco), FSN Southeast (Atlanta)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants RH Jake Peavy (1-5, 7.26 ERA) vs. Braves RH Matt Wisler (2-4, 3.08)
Peavy makes his 11th start of 2016 (Tuesday is his 35th birthday) and, after a rough start to the season, the 15-year veteran has pitched well in two of his past three appearances. He held San Diego to one run on six hits in 6 2/3 innings Wednesday in a no-decision, after allowing one run on three hits in six innings May 14 at Arizona. Peavy, who has allowed more than three earned runs in six of his first 10 starts, has a 3.44 ERA but an 0-2 record in three career starts in Atlanta.
Wisler took the loss Thursday against Milwaukee but pitched well for the fifth time in five May starts, allowing three runs on six hits in six innings with seven strikeouts – his third consecutive outing with seven whiffs. He is 2-2 with a 2.25 ERA this month, striking out 27 in 36 innings while holding opponents to a .212 batting average and a .586 OPS. The 23-year-old seeks his first victory at home this season, where he has posted a 4.18 ERA in five starts.
1. San Francisco 3B Matt Duffy left Monday’s game in the sixth inning after being hit on the left hand with a pitch.
2. Atlanta starters have compiled a 2.82 ERA in the past 12 games.
3. Giants P Chris Stratton, San Francisco’s first-round pick in 2012, made his major-league debut Monday by striking out two hitters in a perfect eighth inning.
PREDICTION: Braves 4, Giants 3