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Jun 6, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward (22) slaps hands with first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) after scoring a run in the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves at Arizona Diamondbacks preview: Heyward is heating up

The Atlanta Braves took down the Arizona Diamondbacks in game one of their series out west, and in the process Craig Kimbrel passed the legendary John Smoltz to become the all-time saves leader for the team. Be sure to check out our friends at Tomahawk Take, because they have a nice news roundup, dealing almost exclusively with Kimbrel.

Today though, it’s back to business for the Braves, and Ervin Santana will face off on the mound against Wade Miley with the hope of getting the series victory.

Let’s jump into the pitching matchup:

Miley: The long ball has been the bane of Miley so far this season, as he’s allowing 18.4 percent of fly balls to go over the fence and giving up 1.54 homers per nine innings. While he’s got respectable strikeout and walk numbers (7.93 K/9, 2.87 BB/9, 2.77 K/BB) the home runs have proven costly and pushed his ERA up to 4.85. During his last start, he struck out nine batters over six innings but gave up four home runs. This game could get really interesting given the lineup of the Atlanta Braves.

Santana: Santana finally got back in the win column in his previous start on the final day of May, after failing to do so in the three starts before that. It wasn’t a great outing by any stretch of the imagination, but if he can keep the Braves in games… well that’s what you want your pitchers to do right? On the season, Santana is putting up a 4.10 ERA with significantly lower FIPs and xFIPs, which are 3.17 and 3.14 respectively. The .322 BABIP that opposing hitters are managing probably isn’t doing a lot to help Santana’s numbers.

We should also note that Jason Heyward is scorching in the month of June. After a three-hit performance (including a two-run homer) last night, he is hitting .471/.500/.706 with a .235 ISO. It’s only four games, but it’s great to see the power coming back to him.

Here are the particulars for today:

Date: June 7, 2014

Start Time: 10:10 pm ET

TV Channel: Fox Sports South

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

Live Stream: MLB.tv (Click Here, $)

Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@ATLBeatBlog) for more information (including all of your Atlanta Braves action), and check back after the game for a full recap. Sound off in the comments!

Tags: Atlanta Braves Ervin Santana Jason Heyward

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