Although the Atlanta Braves recorded 10 hits as a team in a 4-3 win over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday in Kansas City, four of those hits came off the bats of leadoff man Jordan Schafer and no. 2 hitter Jason Heyward, with the former registering one RBI and the latter knocking in the other three runs.
In the second and final game of their first-ever visit to Kauffman Stadium, the Braves will look for more run production from the rest of their lineup as what they got on Tuesday was just enough to nip the Royals, with closer Craig Kimbrel giving up two walks and a hit before leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Atlanta would love to see first baseman Freddie Freeman break out of his recent slump, and what better time than Wednesday? Despite sporting a .304 batting average, the Braves’ cleanup hitter is just one for his last 17, which is a major drop-off from what he did when he basically carried the offense on the eight-game homestand that preceded trips to Milwaukee and Kansas City.
Justin Upton, who served as the club’s designated hitter on Tuesday, also needs to get going. If he fills that role again on Wednesday, the Braves will look for him to build off his 1-for-4 performance in the series opener, when he reached base twice courtesy of a walk and a double.
Meanwhile, after riding red-hot starting pitcher Kris Medlen, who is now 4-1 with a sub-2.00 ERA in June, to a victory in the first contest against the Royals, the Braves will turn to Mike Minor, who has been their most consistent starter all year.
So with a lot of numbers in their favor, the Braves will look for a sweep — albeit just a two-gamer — of their American League foes. With an off-day coming up on Thursday, their second such day of the week, they would love to head back home with plenty of rest and momentum.