After starting the season off 12-1, the Atlanta Braves have lost five out of their last eight games and now sit at 15-6 on the season. Of course their record is still respectable, but the recent slide has been cause for concern in the eyes of most Braves fans.
The Braves were looking to get back on track against the Detroit Tigers this weekend. However, they fell to the Tigers 10-0 in the first of a three-game series on Friday night. Paul Maholm gave up eight earned runs in just three innings on 10 hits and three walks. Pitching is going to have to be much improved over the next two games if the Braves look to right the ship.
Kris Medlen will get the call on Saturday afternoon for his fifth start of the 2013 season. In his first four outings, Medlen has posted a 1-2 record with a 2.16 ERA and 15 punch-outs. The 27-year-old had his worst outing this season in the loss against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday. He suffered most of the damage off three consecutive hits to begin the second inning. Medlen has allowed two multi-run innings this year, after only surrendering one in 12 starts last season.
Medlen is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA and five strikeouts over 6.2 innings in his only career start against the Tigers. The right-hander will look to improve on an already great statistical season when he takes the mound on Saturday.
The Tigers will call on Rick Porcello to start the afternoon tilt. Porcello became only the second Tigers pitcher since 1916 to give up nine earned runs without getting out of the first inning, last Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels. The right-hander ended up tossing only 0.2 innings, giving up nine earned runs and walking one.
This season, Porcello has posted a 0-2 record with an 11.08 ERA and three strikeouts over 13 innings of work.
The Braves and Tigers are set to get things underway at 1:05 p.m. eastern time at Comerica Park.