Austin Riley continues to show he has the potential to be in the major leagues for a long time.

During the last homestand, the rookie hit three home runs and drove in eight. Now, in only 17 games, Riley is hitting .328 with eight home runs and 22 RBIs. Despite not getting called up until May 15th, it put the top on a performance that earned him National League Rookie of the Month honors on Monday.

Dansby Swanson did his best Austin Riley impression over the weekend hitting .500 (4-for-8) with two home runs while driving in five. The former Marietta High School standout now has 12 home runs on the season, and he is only two away from equaling his career high of 14, which he set last season.

Riley and Swanson lead the Braves (32-27) into Pittsburgh for a three-game series. Atlanta is one game back of the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East. The Pirates (28-30) are five games behind Milwaukee in the NL Central.

First Baseman Josh Bell is having an all-star season for Pittsburgh. He is hitting .332 with 18 home runs and 53 RBIs. Over his last 30 games, Bell has hit everyone. In that time he is hitting .371 with 12 homers and 32 RBIs.

Left fielder Bryan Reynolds is hitting .350 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 120 at-bats and 34-year-old Melky Cabrera is having a resurgence this season as he is hitting .331 with three homers and 19 RBIs in 163 at-bats.

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Max Fried (7-3, 3.19 ERA) will get the ball to open the series. Fried is coming off arguably his worst game of the season when he allowed four runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings in a loss to Washington last week. He will be opposed by Steven Brault (2-1, 5.87). Brault joined the rotation late last month and in two starts, he is 1-0 and given up two runs in 11 innings.

Wednesday will match Kevin Gausman (2-4, 5.56) against Pittsburgh’s Joe Musgrove (3-6, 4.57) and Thursday, Atlanta is expected to send Mike Foltynewicz (1-4, 6.10) in the series finale against the Pirates’ (2-5, 5.66).

ON THE AIR

All three games can be seen on Fox Sports Southeast. Tuesday and Wednesday’s broadcast will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday’s will begin at 12:30 p.m. The games can also be heard on 680 AM The Fan and Rock 100.5 FM.

John Bednarowski is the sports editor of the Marietta Daily Journal and president of the Associated Press Sports Editors. He can be reached at sportseditor@mdjonline.com or on Twitter @jbednarowski

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