Braves-Padres Preview

Aaron Harang struggled the last few seasons, but returning to
his hometown appears to have revitalized him.

Harang will try for his NL-leading fifth win Tuesday night as
his San Diego Padres continue their series against the visiting
Atlanta Braves.

After going 18-38 over the past three seasons with Cincinnati
and getting left off the Reds’ playoff roster in 2010, Harang (4-0,
1.88 ERA) has gotten off to an impressive start with the Padres
(9-14).

Harang has won each of his starts and is tied for second in the
majors in victories, behind only the Los Angeles Angels’ Jered
Weaver. He has struck out 21 in 24 innings.

The right-hander gave up two runs and nine hits in six innings
of a 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.

“I’m just trying to help us win,” said Harang, who has been
battling the flu. “I’m pitching the best I can to keep us in
games.”

Harang is 1-2 with a 3.67 ERA in seven starts against the
Braves. He faced them once last season, yielding four runs in six
innings of the Reds’ 5-4 defeat May 19, but he didn’t get the
loss.

Dan Uggla is 9 for 19 (.474) with four doubles and two home runs
against Harang, while Brian McCann is 8 for 17 (.471) with three
doubles and two homers.

Harang will look to help the Padres record back-to-back wins for
the first time since opening the season 2-0. Ryan Ludwick’s second
homer of the night gave San Diego a 5-3 win in 13 innings in
Monday’s series opener.

“When I hit it, I didn’t honestly know if it would get out,”
Ludwick said. “I’m just glad to win. Early this year we’ve had some
tough losses, and hopefully this turns it around.”

Nick Hundley, who tied the game with an RBI double in the
seventh, walked with one out in the 13th before Ludwick’s homer.
San Diego snapped a four-game skid, during which it had scored
three runs.

“Hopefully it creates momentum but we have to come out tomorrow
again and play as consistent a game as we did today,” manager Bud
Black said.

The Braves (11-13) were looking to win their fourth straight,
but relievers Eric O’Flaherty and Scott Linebrink couldn’t hold the
lead for Derek Lowe. Atlanta’s bullpen has pitched 10 1-3 innings
the last two games, giving up seven runs.

Monday was the third time in five games the team went to extra
innings.

“I don’t know if my gut can take another extra-inning game,”
manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

With a strained bullpen, the Braves will hand the ball to Jair
Jurrjens (1-0, 0.69), who has been sharp in two starts since a
stint on the disabled list with a strained oblique.

After giving up two hits in seven scoreless innings against the
New York Mets on April 16, Jurrjens allowed one run – on a solo
homer – over six innings of a 5-3, 12-inning loss to the Los
Angeles Dodgers on Thursday.

The right-hander is 2-1 with a 4.13 ERA in four starts against
the Padres. He faced them twice last year, giving up eight runs in
3 1-3 innings in a 17-2 loss at Petco Park on April 12, 2010.