Nationals Braves Baseball

Atlanta Braves' Austin Riley follows through on a two-run home run in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Atlanta. Washington won 5-4. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Austin Riley will try to continue one of the best starts in Major League Baseball history this weekend when the Atlanta Braves host the Detroit Tigers for a three-game series at SunTrust Park.

With his grand slam Wednesday night against the Washington Nationals, Riley reached the 20-RBI mark in only his 14th game. He is hitting .375 (21-for-56) with seven home runs, with the homers second in major league history to the Colorado Rockies' Trevor Story, who hit eight in his first 14 career games.

With the Tigers coming in, there will be a chance for Riley, Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman and others to try and increase those home run totals as the Detroit pitching staff has already allowed 82 homers this season, which ranks 26th in the majors.

Despite losing two to the Nationals, the Braves (30-26) are second in the NL East, three games behind the Philadelphia Phillies. The Tigers (21-32) are  fourth in the AL Central, though they have won two straight.

Detroit is still led by 2012 Triple Crown-winning first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who comes in hitting .288 with two homers and 22 RBIs. Cabrera is getting some help from Nick Castellanos, who is hitting .269 with five homers and 22 RBIs.

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Mike Foltynewicz will open the series for the Braves, coming of two quality starts, including his first win of 2019. Over his last 12 innings, Foltynewicz (1-3) has allowed two earned runs and dropped his ERA from 8.02 to 5.67. 

The Tigers will send Spencer Turnbull (2-4, 2.97) to the mound. In his last start, he went seven innings and gave up four earned runs, which is the most he has allowed in 10 starts this season.

On Saturday, Mike Soroka (5-1, 1.07) will try to continue his great start to the season against left-hander Daniel Norris (2-3, 4.18). On Sunday, Julio Teheran (3-4, 3.53) will match up with Matthew Boyd (5-4, 2.85).

PROMOTIONS

It will be "Play Ball Weekend" at SunTrust Park, with activities for children to play and compete.

On Friday, a wiffle-ball home run derby and children-only press conference will take place before the game. The home run derby will take place in the plaza of The Battery Atlanta from 4:30-7:30 p.m., with the press conference taking place at the Georgia Power Pavilion around 5:45 p.m.

On Saturday, children can take to the Power Alley street inside the Battery for a game of stickball from 1:30-4:30 p.m. During the event, Braves players will make special guest appearances.

On Sunday at 11 a.m., children can learn from an Atlanta Braves coach and player as they help teach special tips to improve their skills in an MLB Play Ball Clinic. From 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., children can compete in a wiffle-ball home run derby and, after the game, they can run the bases.

Other promotions this weekend include Friday night fireworks. On Saturday, country singer Jackson Michelson will take the Georgia Power Pavilion stage from 2-3 p.m. as part of the Plaza Concert Series, and, on Sunday, Braves alumni Felix Millan, Gary Matthews and Marty Perez will sign autographs at the Georgia Power Pavilion from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Game tickets are required.

ON THE AIR

All three games can be seen on Fox Sports South. Friday's broadcast will begin at 7 p.m, Saturday's at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. They 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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