Two contrasting pitching styles will be on display Sunday when the Braves and veteran sinkerballer Derek Lowe host the Giants and electric left-hander Jonathan Sanchez in the finale of a four-game series at Turner Field.
Lowe, who is 10-9 with a 4.44 ERA this season, has enjoyed a long and productive 14-year career because of his ability to generate ground-ball outs with his patented sinker, while Sanchez is on the upswing of his career with a 3.38 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 128 innings in his fifth big league season.
Lowe, however, has been a bit unlucky recently, as he's posted a 4.19 ERA over his last six starts but has just one win to show for it.
It was the case yet again in his last start, when he allowed just one run over six innings against the Mets on Tuesday but was saddled with a no-decision.
Sanchez, meanwhile, is coming off an impressive outing, as he struck out nine batters, including a franchise-record-tying seven in a row, against the Rockies on Tuesday. He tossed six scoreless frames and allowed just three hits to pick up his eighth win of the season.
Sanchez, 27, said the key was throwing first-pitch strikes and it'll certainly be his goal again Sunday against the Braves.
"I just tried to throw strikes and focus on getting ahead of hitters," Sanchez said. "They were swinging after the first inning. They were swinging at pitches off the plate, in the dirt. I was getting ahead the whole time, so they had to swing."
Giants: Posey may take break from catching
Manager Bruce Bochy said that he's likely to give catcher Buster Posey a rest from catching duties Sunday but that he could start at first base. Bochy said he'd have to evaluate how Posey felt after he caught Saturday's game.
Braves: Jones heating up after retirement talk
Chipper Jones went 2-for-4 with a run scored in the Braves' 3-0 win Saturday and is batting .299 (43-for-144) since June 15, which is when he first hinted at retiring this year. But Jones said he isn't ready to call it quits yet and he'll make that decision after the season. "I can still be a productive player and come through in the clutch, when the team needs me," Jones said.
Pat Burrell started for the eighth consecutive game Saturday and went 1-for-3 in the Giants' 3-0 loss to the Braves. ... Braves second baseman Martin Prado's swelling has reduced around his fractured right pinky, but he said he's not sure if he'll be ready to return once he's eligible to come off the disabled list on Aug. 15. "Hopefully it will be just one more week," Prado said. "The doctors say that I'm reacting really good."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.