Braves go to a Buddy in finale
Boston (45-25) at Atlanta (38-34), Wednesday, 7:35 p.m. ET
Two players who have helped carry Atlanta's offense during a recent hot stretch will lead the Braves into the finale of a three-game series against the Red Sox on Wednesday at Turner Field.Entering Tuesday's game against Boston, first baseman Scott Thorman had raised his average 21 points in eight games after it sat at .221 on June 8. Thorman seems to be finding his power stroke, hitting three of his nine home runs and three of his 13 doubles during that stretch. Catcher Brian McCann appears to be on his way to finding the stroke that helped him become an All-Star in his first full season in 2006. McCann had two of his five home runs in the five games before Tuesday and had driven in seven runs. McCann and Thorman have seen their playing time scaled back with the emergence of rookie Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a switch-hitter who has recently been getting starts at first base against left-handed pitchers and has caught behind the plate when McCann has needed a day off. The matchup on the mound features a battle between well-traveled pitchers. Boston's Julian Tavarez has played for eight Major League teams since breaking in with Cleveland in 1993. He faces Atlanta's Buddy Carlyle, who is currently with his sixth professional franchise. Carlyle, who has pitched in the Majors for the Padres and Dodgers, also spent time in Korea and Japan. Pitching matchup
ATL: RHP Buddy Carlyle (1-1, 4.44 ERA)
Carlyle has lasted at least six innings in each of his past three starts after lasting four innings in his 2007 Major League debut. Though Carlyle has two no-decisions in that stretch, the Braves have won each game. BOS: RHP Julian Tavarez (4-4, 4.97 ERA)
Tavarez hasn't lost since May 11, going 3-0 with three no-decisions. He's been effective in keeping the ball in the park, allowing three home runs in his past eight starts spanning 48 innings. He matched his season high with seven innings in his last start, a win over San Francisco on June 15.
Player to watch
Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones is 9-for-14 lifetime against Tavarez with a home run, eight RBIs and six bases on balls.
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Friday: Tigers (Kenny Rogers, 17-8, 3.84 in 2006) at Braves (John Smoltz, 8-3, 2.84), 7:35 p.m. ET
Saturday: Tigers (Justin Verlander, 8-2, 2.90) at Braves (Kyle Davies, 3-6, 5.65), 3:55 p.m. ET
Jeff Lutz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.