06/02/10 4:30 PM ET
Red-hot clubs collide in Braves-Dodgers series
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
Atlanta's slugging first baseman is hot -- so hot, in fact, that he was named National League Player of the Month on Wednesday -- and so is his team.
The Braves -- 6 1/2 games back in the NL East as recently as May 17 -- are coming off a big sweep of the Phillies and now sit a season-high 2 1/2 games up in their division after winning eight consecutive games.
Glaus, meanwhile, is adjusting nicely to his new position and is showing few signs of rust after being limited to just 14 games last year because of injury woes.
The 33-year-old right-handed power hitter was hitting just .194 at the start of May. But since then, he's hit .333 with seven homers and 31 RBIs. Going into the Braves' 11-game road trip, Glaus -- who was born in Tarzana, Calif., and starred at UCLA -- is batting a solid .278 with nine homers and 40 RBIs in his first 53 games this season.
"Troy has been a huge run producer for us," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "He's been a key part of the success we've had. He's really been on a tear here lately."
But Glaus and the Braves will be facing a rather hot team when they touch down at Dodger Stadium for Thursday's series opener.
Heading into Wednesday's game, the Dodgers have won four of five and are just one game back of first place in the NL West after being six back on May 8.
"We were in the crapper when they were; we were both losing at the same time," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "We were both six, seven, eight games under .500."
Braves: Medlen providing shot in the arm
Glaus won't be the only member of the Braves heading back to his home state. Thursday starter and Artesia, Calif., native Kris Medlen will be, too. Medlen has done an admirable job filling in as a starter for Jair Jurrjens -- projected to be out until late June with a strained left hamstring -- as he's posted a 3.25 ERA in four starts.
In Medlen's last outing, the 24-year-old right-hander gave up three runs in six innings to the Pirates. But Medlen is looking forward to pitching in front of friendly faces. "I grew up watching the Dodgers and dreaming of actually playing for them," Medlen said. "It's going to be fun. It's going to be really cool."
Dodgers: Kuroda looking to bounce back
Dodgers Thursday starter Hiroki Kuroda will look to rebound after giving up five earned runs (a season-high) in just four innings (a season-low) against the Rockies on Saturday. The 35-year-old right-hander, coming off back-to-back losses, could at least find solace in the fact he's surrendered just two runs in 15 innings spanning two career starts against the Braves, which is good for a 1.20 ERA.
"His bullpens have been good, he feels good," Torre said of Kuroda. "Just turn the page on that one [the Colorado start]."
The Braves won four out of seven against the Dodgers last season. ... Braves third baseman Chipper Jones exited Wednesday's game with inflammation around his right ring finger. He is currently listed as day-to-day.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.