for this game

Floyd makes Braves debut vs. Cards

May 6, 2014 - 2:57 PM ( - Perhaps a fresh face can help Atlanta avoid an eighth consecutive loss.

Gavin Floyd will make his Braves debut on Tuesday night as he gets a spot start in the middle contest of a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Signed to a one-year contract back in December, Floyd is set to take the mound for the first time since last April 27 while with the Chicago White Sox. The right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery weeks later.

Floyd posted a 1-2 record and 4.13 earned run average in six minor league starts while rehabbing, and tonight will take the place of Ervin Santana, who is out with a thumb injury that is only expected to sideline him for this start. Floyd is expected to move to the bullpen following this outing as he role becomes more defined.

"There's no expectation," Floyd told Atlanta's website. "They told me ... that I'm going to be starting Tuesday, and I'm excited about that. I'm excited to get back out there and pitch again and have a second chance to pitch. Just focusing on that, and after that, whatever happens will be dealt with."

The 31-year-old has split two previous meetings with the Cardinals while posting a 4.63 ERA.

Atlanta comes in having lost seven straight for the first time since an eight- game skid from May 21-28, 2012, having lost Monday's opener 4-3.

Matt Carpenter hit a two-run double in the fifth inning to snap a scoreless game, while Matt Holliday and Peter Bourjos also drove in runs as the Cardinals won two straight for the first time since a four-game tear from April 12-15.

"Any time you win a couple of games in a row, you feel like you can start to get on a roll," said Carpenter. "We certainly hope that's the case here. We get a little momentum and we start playing like we know we're capable of."

Aaron Harang gave up four runs -- two earned -- on nine hits with a walk and six strikeouts over six innings for the Braves, while Ramiro Pena hit a solo home run in the loss.

"That's baseball. We're not really playing bad, just that's the way it goes sometimes," said Atlanta center fielder B.J. Upton. "We're hitting the ball hard and some of them are falling, some of them are not. The ones we need to fall aren't falling right now. We just got to keep plugging away and keep the same approach. I thought we fought well tonight."

Atlanta sits a half-game back of Washington for first place in the NL East and will take its swings tonight against left-hander Tyler Lyons, who returns to the rotation after a pair of relief appearances.

Lyons made two starts in late April after Joe Kelly suffered a hamstring injury and gave up six runs over 12 innings in losing both games. Lyons last pitched on Friday, when he hurled a perfect frame of work versus the Chicago Cubs.

The 26-year-old has never before faced the Braves.

Atlanta went 4-3 against the Cards last season, sweeping a three-game series at home.