Giancarlo Stanton has two games left to try and become the sixth player in major-league history to reach 60 homers in a season as his Miami Marlins host the Atlanta Braves on Saturday. Stanton, who blasted his 58th and 59th home runs in Thursday’s series opener, did not homer in Friday’s victory, setting the stage for a weekend where he will try to become the first player since 2001 to hit 60 in a season.
Stanton contributed two hits Friday, giving him 130 RBIs on the season, and entering Saturday is hitting .303 against the Braves this season with eight homers. Braves rookie second baseman Ozzie Albies homered to lead off Friday’s game and is batting .359 in his past nine games with five stolen bases. Catcher Kurt Suzuki finished 3-for-5 Friday and is batting .448 during his seven-game hitting streak. The Braves have lost five in a row, allowing 27 runs in that stretch.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN South (Atlanta), FSN Florida (Miami)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Braves RH Lucas Sims (3-5, 4.85 ERA) vs. Marlins RH Odrisamer Despaigne (1-3, 4.21)
Sims wraps up his rookie season by getting a third consecutive start after allowing three runs on eight hits in 11 2/3 combined innings while getting a no-decision against Washington on Sept. 20 and a victory over the New York Mets on Monday. The 23-year-old had made his previous four appearances in relief, posting a 4.26 ERA in 6 1/3 innings. Sims lost his first three big-league starts, including a defeat against Miami on Aug. 6, but has won three of his past six starting assignments.
Despaigne recorded his first major-league victory since 2015 in his last start on Monday, giving up two runs on seven hits across six innings in a 5-4 victory at Colorado. The 30-year-old makes his eighth start and 18th appearance of 2017, and has posted a 4.34 ERA in his starts with as many walks as strikeouts (17) in 37 1/3 innings. Despaigne allowed five runs on four hits against the Braves in a start Sept. 10 but bounced back with six innings of three-run ball against the Mets on Sept. 19.
1. Atlanta CF Ender Inciarte, who began the weekend third in the majors with 201 hits, did not start Friday due to a sore left thumb.
2. Miami OF Ichiro Suzuki is one pinch hit away from tying the major-league record for most in a season (28 by John Vander Wal in 1995).
3. Braves RF Nick Markakis is one double shy of reaching 40 doubles for the fifth time in his career and first time since 2010.
PREDICTION: Braves 6, Marlins 5