The Pirates were 1.5 games out of first place on July 27 of last season when a blown call in the 19th inning by umpire Jerry Meals handed them a loss they didn't deserve. They went 19-41 the rest of the season.
The first matchup of this series, at 7:35 p.m. Friday, pits A.J. Burnett, making his second start of the season, against Tommy Hanson. At 7:10 on Saturday, Erik Bedard faces youngster Randall Delgado. At 1:35 on Sunday, Tim Hudson makes his season debut for the Braves against Kevin Correia. Then on Monday at 7:10, the Pirates start James McDonald against Mike Minor, who's emerging as a tough young pitcher. The Bucs head to St. Louis on Tuesday for a series against the Cardinals.