ATLANTA -- A seasoned veteran trying to resurrect his career and a second-year prospect trying to straighten things out will be on the mound when the Cincinnati Reds play the Atlanta Braves on Thursday in the final meeting between the two clubs at Turner Field.
The Braves will be going for a split of the four-game series. Cincinnati won the first two games and Atlanta prevailed on Wednesday to end a four-game losing streak.
The Reds will send right-hander Dan Straily (4-2, 3.15 ERA) against Braves' right-hander Matt Wisler (2-7, 4.36 ERA) in a 12:10 p.m. start that concludes the series between the two last-place teams. It will be the first time either pitcher has faced the opposing team.
Straily was signed on April 1 after being waived by San Diego. He had been traded from Houston to the Padres three days earlier. In 2015 he split time between Houston, where he was 0-1 with a 5.43 ERA in four appearances (three starts), and Triple-A Fresno.
Straily, who has also pitched for Oakland and the Chicago Cubs, made three relief appearances before joining the rotation. Since then he's made 11 starts and opponents are batting only .199 against him.
After watching his bullpen get drained by Wednesday's 13-inning marathon, Cincinnati manager Bryan Price is hopeful to get plenty of innings from Straily.
"Let's put it this way, he's going to get a great chance to throw a lot of innings."
The Reds used seven relievers in the 9-8 loss to Atlanta; only Blake Wood failed to appear because Price had already decided he was overworked. Price said the Reds would make a pitching change before Thursday's game to add at least one fresh arm.
Wisler, who is consider the team's No. 2 starter, has struggled in his last two starts. He's 0-2 with a 14.63 ERA, allowing 13 runs, including six home runs, in eight innings.
"He's just in a little rut right now," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "He'll be fine. He'll get through it. There's still a learning curve and he's trying to figure it out."
The rocky stretch has caused Wisler's ERA to balloon from 3.16 to 4.36.
"I've got to find a way to keep the ball in the ballpark," Wisler said. "I've got to find a way to get in the zone and execute my breaking pitches."
Perhaps Wisler can reverse his misfortune similarly to teammate Bud Norris, who has put together three impressive starts since being moved out of the bullpen and restored to the starting rotation.
Norris has allowed a combined five runs over his last three starts. That's quite a turnaround from his first five starts, when he had an 8.74 ERA and lost his spot in the rotation.
Atlanta used eight relievers on Wednesday but Snitker pronounced the bullpen OK for the early start on Thursday. Ian Krol, Hunter Cerenka and Chris Withrow only pitched 1/3 of an inning in the marathon.