The Atlanta Braves will look to complete the sweep when they wrap up the first half of the season Sunday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays. Bryce Elder will be on the mound for Atlanta while Tampa will go with right-hander Zach Eflin.
A matchup of the two best teams in the league has been decidedly one-sided. The Braves won the first two games of the series and have won three-straight and nine of 10 overall. The Rays have lost seven-straight games and have saw their lead in the AL East shrink to just two games over the Orioles.
Elder will close out the first half on the mound for the Braves before heading up to Seattle for the All-Star Game. Elder has been one of the biggest surprises of the season for the Braves. He will enter Sunday’s start leading the majors with a 2.45 ERA and has been a stabilizing force for a rotation that has been without both Max Fried and Kyle Wright for most of the season.
Eflin will make his 17th start of the season in Sunday’s game and will be looking to cap off a solid first half. He logged seven innings and allowed two runs to go along with nine strikeouts in his last start against the Phillies. Eflin is a former Philly himself and has had some success against the Braves in his career posting a 3.11 ERA in 16 career appearances against Atlanta.
Sean Murphy’s three-run home run Saturday night was more than Spencer Strider and the Braves’ bullpen needed. Murphy has homered in two-straight games and will likely give way to Travis d’Arnaud on Sunday. A.J. Minter left Saturday’s win after facing just one batter after feeling some tightness in his pectoral muscle. He didn’t think it was serious after the game.
First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 1:40 p.m. ET and can be seen on Bally Sports South.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, July 9, 1:40 p.m. ET
Location: Tropicana Field: Tampa, Florida
Tv: Bally Sports South
Listen: 680 AM/93.7 The Fan