The Atlanta Braves are enjoying the month of June.
Heading into Sunday’s game against Washington, the Braves were 15-5 in the month and had gone from two games back to 5 1/2 games in front in the National League East.
They have done so by having their bats warm up with the summer temperatures. Over that stretch, the team has scored 142 runs in 21 games. Six times this month Atlanta has scored at least 10 runs and it is averaging 6.8 runs per game.
The meat of the order is leading the way. Over the last seven games, first baseman Freddie Freeman, third baseman Josh Donaldson, second baseman Ozzie Albies and right fielder Nick Markakis have combined to hit .400 (38-for-95) with six home runs, nine doubles and 31 RBIs.
The Cubs came into Sunday’s game leading the National League Central by 1/2 game over the Milwaukee Brewers. They are led by catcher Willson Contreras (.297, 15 HR, 42 RBIs), third baseman Kris Bryant (.285, 15 HR, 39 RBIs), Javier Báez (.281, 15HR, 48 RBIs) and first baseman Anthony Rizzo (.275, 19 HR, 53 RBIs).
This will be the second meeting of the teams this season. The Braves swept a three-game series at SunTrust at the beginning of April.
Julio Teheran will try to get back to his winning ways tonight when he gets the ball to open the series in Chicago. Before his last start, when he gave up six runs in four innings, Teheran (5-5, 3.15 ERA) had eight good starts in a row, in which he went 3-0, with a 0.89 ERA. He will face lefthander Jon Lester (6-5, 4.13), who is 3-1 in June, but in 23 2/3 innings he has an ERA of 5.32.
Max Fried (8-3, 4.03) is expected to take the ball Tuesday against Adbert Alzolay (1-0, 2.25), who will make the first start of his major league career. Alsolay made his debut on June 20 with four innings of one hit, one run relief against the New York Mets.
Dallas Keuchel (0-1, 5.40) will make his second start as a Braves on Wednesday, and he is expected to face Yu Darvish (2-3, 4.75). Darvish has never won a game in Wrigley Field and is currently on a streak of 10 straight no decisions.
ON THE AIR
All three games can be seen on Fox Sports Southeast. Broadcasts will begin at 8 p.m. They can also be heard on radio at 680 AM The Fan and Rock 100.5 FM.