Cormier tries to snap Braves' slide

Cormier tries to snap Braves' slide

The Braves will look to rebound from a series-opening loss to the Red Sox when the two teams face off in a Saturday matinee.

Actually, Atlanta is looking to start rebounding from a dreadful first half of June. The Braves face a Red Sox team that has had some struggles of its own lately, having lost four straight before Friday's win. But Boston's week-long woes don't even begin to mirror the 3-15 disaster that has struck the Braves in their last 18 games.

The Braves will try to change that streak by sending 25-year-old Lance Cormier to the mound to make his first career start for Atlanta. Cormier will make the start instead of Horacio Ramirez, who was hit in the head with a Lance Berkman line drive on Sunday. Though Ramirez said he feels healthy enough to pitch, Atlanta decided to skip the left-hander's spot in the rotation to ensure that there are no lasting effects from the contusion that Ramirez suffered on the left side of his face.

"It's something I've dreamed of my whole life, to be a starter," said Cormier, who made five starts with Arizona in 2004. "Now, I get a chance to do it again and have some fun out there."

After making 18 appearances out of the bullpen earlier this season, Cormier was sent down to Triple-A Richmond at the end of May when Tyler Yates was called up to Atlanta. Cormier made two starts for Richmond and went 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA. He struggled through the second of those starts, throwing 90 pitches and allowing nine hits and five earned runs on June 10.

The Red Sox will counter with Josh Beckett, who has struggled a bit in his first season in the American League. After going 15-8 with a 3.38 ERA for Florida last year, Beckett has an ERA this season that is nearly two runs higher. Most of Beckett's problems have come on the road, where the right-hander has a 7.00 ERA and has allowed 16 home runs in eight starts.

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Josh Beckett (7-3, 5.26 ERA)
Beckett is 4-7 with a 2.59 ERA in 13 career starts against the Braves.

ATL: RHP Lance Cormier (2-1, 6.10 ERA)
Cormier is 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA in eight relief appearances at Turner Field this season.

Player to watch
Brian McCann is 2-for-5 in his career against Beckett. The 22-year-old catcher is also batting .378 this season in day games.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• AM 640 WGST, FM 96 rock

Up next
• Sunday: Red Sox (RHP Curt Schilling, 9-2, 3.59) at Braves (RHP John Smoltz, 4-5, 3.78), 8:05 p.m. ET
• Tuesday: Blue Jays (LHP Ted Lilly, 6-7, 4.12) at Braves (RHP Jorge Sosa, 1-9, 5.35 ERA), 7:35 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Blue Jays (TBA) at Braves (RHP Tim Hudson, 6-5, 3.88), 7:35 p.m. ET

Jenifer Langosch is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.