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AJ Smith-Shawver, Braves look to keep rolling against Rockies

Smith-Shawver will make his second career start in Monday’s series opener.

Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves Photo by Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images

After securing another series win with a doubleheader sweep Wednesday, the Atlanta Braves will return home Thursday where they will begin a four-game series against the Colorado Rockies. AJ Smith-Shawver will get the start for the Braves while the Rockies will go with veteran lefty Kyle Freeland.

Smith-Shawver was originally scheduled to pitch Wednesday’s series finale in Detroit, but had his start pushed back a day after Tuesday’s rainout. The 20-year old right-hander began the season in High-A and rocketed through the Braves minor league system to reach the majors. He made his debut in relief on June 4 where he tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings against the Diamondbacks. He made his first career start against the Nationals on June 9 and allowed three hits and two unearned runs in 5 1/3 innings while throwing 86 pitches.

The Braves got a scare Wednesday when Jesse Chavez was struck in the leg with a line drive off the bat of Miguel Cabrera. Tests came back negative, but Chavez reportedly woke up sore Thursday and could be headed to the injured list.

Freeland has put together a solid start to his season and has pitched well so far in June allowing three runs combined over 12 innings. He held the Padres to just six hits and one run over five innings in his last start at Coors Field. Somewhat surprisingly, Freeland has pitched better in the high altitude this season posting a 3.19 ERA through eight starts at home versus a 4.81 mark in six road starts.

Ronald Acuña Jr. went 4-for-8 with two home runs and reached base six times in Wednesday’s doubleheader sweep. He now has 15 home runs and 29 stolen bases in 68 games this season. Those are the exact same totals that he finished the 2022 season with in 119 games. Acuña is hitting .370/.404/.685 with a 191 wRC+ so far in June.

Michael Harris was 7-for-12 in the series against the Tigers, continuing his upward trend after a sluggish start. After posting a 45 wRC+ in April and May, Harris is hitting .333/.362/.600 with a 157 wRC+ in June.

First pitch from Truist Park is scheduled for 7:20 p.m. ET Thursday and can be seen on Bally Sports South.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Thursday, June 15, 7:20 p.m. ET

Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia

TV: Bally Sports South


Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan

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