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This week: Braves return home
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The Atlanta Braves are finally back home.

After an 11-game road trip took Atlanta to Los Angeles, Arizona and Minnesota, the Braves return back home for back-to-back interleague series starting Tuesday with three games against the Tampa Bay Rays, followed by three games against the Kansas City Royals.

After a 6-5 road trip, the Braves’ only remaining away series this month is three games at the Chicago White Sox.

The Braves’ series opener against Tampa is quite the contrast in terms of pitchers.

On Tuesday, Kenshin Kawakami (0-8, 4.48 ERA) will try once again to earn his first win this season. After allowing just four hits through six innings in his last outing against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Kawakami took the loss after Arizona scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning on an inside-the-park home run.

Pitching for Tampa Bay is David Price (9-1, 2.23), the American League’s leader in wins. In his last outing, Price allowed only one earned run in a win against Toronto. Only once this season has Price allowed more than three earned runs (five earned runs in a win against the Houston Astros).

Then in the second game of the series, Atlanta’s Tommy Hanson (6-3, 3.69) will throw against Tampa’s Wade Davis (5-6, 4.91). In his last outing, Hanson took a no decision, even though he allowed only two earned runs, which broke a string of three straight outings with a win.

He’ll pitch against Davis, who has been hit hard each of his last two outings, including allowing eight earned runs against the Texas Rangers on June 4.

GWINNETT BRAVES: The Triple-A G-Braves hope that its heavy week of home games will yield positive results. Gwinnett wraps up a four-game series against the Durham Bulls today and Tuesday at Coolray Field.
After a day off Wednesday, the G-Braves will play host to the Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals.

On Thursday, the two teams will complete a game suspended by rain on May 8, followed by the first game of the current series.

Then on Friday, Gwinnett and Syracuse will play a doubleheader. The series concludes Sunday at Coolray Field.

WORLD CUP: The U.S. is off to a good start in the World Cup in South Africa. Now it becomes a mission to get out of group play.

After earning a point for a tie about England on Saturday, the U.S. needs a win against fellow pool teams Slovenia and Algeria to advance.

The U.S. faces Slovenia at 10 a.m. Friday, followed by its final game of pool play against Algeria at 10 a.m. June 23.

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