When Atlanta looks to sweep its three-game set in Colorado on Sunday, the two clubs will each send a formidable arm to the hill with the tall task of stopping an offensive buzzsaw at Coors Field.
Brandon Beachy gets the ball for Atlanta with his 1.38 ERA -- ranked fourth in the National League. For Colorado, it's hard-throwing righty Juan Nicasio, who is 2-0 and coming off consecutive quality starts.
But if the first two games of the series are any indication, Nicasio and Beachy will have to battle just to keep up those solid numbers. So far, the two teams have combined for 39 runs and 54 hits.
The Braves' 154 runs scored are the most in the league, while the Rockies are tied with St. Louis for second at 145 but have played fewer games.
For Beachy, a desire to be more aggressive has lowered his strikeout totals and allowed him to work deeper into ballgames. Beachy's strikeouts-per-nine-innings ratio has dropped from 10.7 last season to 6.1 this season.
"My breaking balls just aren't as sharp right now, and that is kind of holding me back from putting away a few of the guys in those [strikeout] situations," Beachy said when describing what he needs to do to get his strikeout totals up.
But Beachy has pitched into the seventh inning in four consecutive starts. He did so four times in his 25 starts last season.
As for Nicasio, he's been one of the more consistent pitchers on a team full of inconsistency in its rotation. Aside from a poor start against Arizona, he's lasted into the seventh in each of his outings.
"He needs to give us innings, keep us in the games, do the things he's been doing since he's come back from his injury," manager Jim Tracy said. "That's all we're asking any of them to do."
Braves: Prado recovering from flu
Martin Prado, who didn't leave the team hotel on Friday because of the flu, entered Saturday's game in the seventh inning. He scored twice in two plate appearances -- a walk and a hit-by-pitch.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez didn't start Prado on Saturday because he wanted to make sure he had distanced himself from the lethargic feeling that comes with battling the illness.
"Coming off that 24-hour flu, your body doesn't feel right," Gonzalez said.
With a pair of hits on Saturday, Michael Bourn extended his hitting streak to nine games. He has a hit in 20 of his last 22 contests, including 12 multi-hit games during that stretch.
The Braves have used plenty of different lineups this season, but their most common batting order has been the following: Bourn, Prado, Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann, Dan Uggla, Chipper Jones, Jason Heyward, Tyler Pastornicky and the pitcher. That lineup has gone a perfect 6-0.
Rockies: Pacheco fills in for Young
With Eric Young Jr. on the bereavement list, the Rockies recalled Jordan Pacheco from Triple-A Colorado Springs to fill Young's spot on the roster.
Pacheco initially made the Opening Day squad, and he hit only .200 in 10 at bats with irregular playing time. In 17 games with the Sky Sox, however, Pacheco was hitting .433 with three homers and 10 RBIs. He was sent there on April 15 to see regular playing time at third base.
"Jordan Pacheco is a piece that can make a contribution over the next few days in some capacity to help us win baseball games," Tracy said. "That's why he's here."
Young is expected to return to the Rockies on Tuesday in San Diego.
With another extra-base hit, Rockies first baseman Todd Helton will pass Hall of Famer Billy Williams on the all-time list. The two are currently tied with 948.
The popular baseball adage says no lead is safe, and that's proved especially true for teams facing Atlanta. In their last three victories, the Braves have overcome deficits of five or more runs, including doing so in each of the series' first two games.
The Braves reeled off nine runs between the sixth and seventh innings on Saturday to erase an 8-3 deficit. Four batters had multi-hit nights -- including Chipper Jones, who went 3-for-6 and drove in five runs.
Saturday's win was the Braves' 100th all time against Colorado. They own a 100-59 edge in the lifetime series against the Rockies.