Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Alex Wood (40) pitches in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies preview: Alex Wood on the hill in series finale

UPDATE: The Braves have released their lineup for Thursday afternoon’s game and Gerald Laird is catching.

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Pitching certainly ruled the day as Julio Teheran blanked the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night, and in the series finale on Thursday afternoon, the Atlanta Braves will send left-hander Alex Wood to the hill in an attempt to keep the momentum going toward a series sweep.

The 23-year-old Wood currently leads the Braves in ERA (with an admittedly small sample size) with a 1.89 mark, and in his 3 starts, Wood hasn’t allowed more than 2 earned runs in an outing. Facing off against the Phillies, left-handed pitchers inherently have a leg up as well, and the face-offs with guys like Chase Utley and Ryan Howard suddenly tip in Atlanta’s favor.

On the Philly side, AJ Burnett will be on the mound, and he is another pitcher who can dominate in the way that Cliff Lee did on Wednesday. Fortunately, that performance from Lee wasn’t enough to grab a victory, but it’s fairly safe to say that the Braves will need a little bit more than a single home run from Evan Gattis to end the series in a sweep. Lefties like Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman could have some success here, and in the case of Heyward, it would be much needed after an 0-for-5 day with 4 strikeouts on Wednesday.

Here is a look at the particulars for Thursday:

Date: April 17, 2014

Start Time: 1:05 p.m.

TV Channel: SportSouth, MLB Network

Radio: 680 AM/106.7 FM (Local in Atlanta), Full list of Local Affiliates

Live Stream: MLB.tv (Click Here, $)

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Tags: Atlanta Braves

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