National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, May 1st
(All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Phillies (11-12) at Atlanta Braves (14-9), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - Cole Hamels (3-1, 2.73)
Atlanta - Brandon Beachy (2-1, 1.05)
(Sports Network) - Still waiting to see if he'll land a longterm contract with
the Philadelphia Phillies, left-hander Cole Hamels aims for his fourth
straight win tonight against the rival Atlanta Braves.
Hamels gets the nod in the opener of this three-game series from Turner Field
and has won each of his past three starts, including Wednesday's 7-2 defeat of
the Arizona Diamondbacks in the desert. Hamels went a season-high eight
innings and allowed two runs and four hits with seven strikeouts.
The southpaw and 2008 World Series MVP improved to 3-1 in four starts and
sports a 2.73 earned run average. Hamels will make his third straight road
start against the Braves and is 11-6 with a 3.72 ERA in 24 career appearances
-- 23 starts -- in this series. The 24 games is the most against any team.
Philadelphia will begin a stretch of nine games against NL East foes --
Atlanta, Washington, New York -- and earned a split of a four-game series
versus the Chicago Cubs with Monday's 6-4 victory. The Phillies opened the
first inning with four runs before letting the Cubs get back into the game
with four runs spanning the seventh and eighth innings.
Placido Polanco then put the hosts ahead for good with a two-run double in the
eighth inning, lifting the Phillies to their fourth win in six tries. Carlos
Ruiz finished with two RBI, while Pete Orr went 2-for-3 and drove in a run.
"Those wins are awesome. They can be momentum wins that turn everything around
and get us going strong," said Orr.
Phils starter Vance Worley did not factor in the decision and tossed seven
strong innings, allowing one run and five hits, and Chad Qualls was credited
with the win despite a blown save. Jonathan Papelbon shut the Cubs down in the
ninth inning for his eighth save.
Atlanta split a four-game series versus the Pittsburgh Pirates to open a
seven-game homestand and was handed a 9-3 loss last night. Braves starter Mike
Minor was hammered for seven runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings and Chad
Durbin gave up two runs in relief.
Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer and veteran Eric Hinske had a nice night
at the plate, going 4-for-4 with an RBI for the Braves, who have still won 14
of 19 games following an 0-4 start. The Braves sit one-half game behind the
Nationals for the NL East lead.
"We settled down a little bit and starting making pitches. He (Pirates starter
James McDonald) didn't give us much to hit," said Freeman. "We still hit some
balls hard, but they went right at people in the later innings."
Braves outfielder Jason Heyward could return to the lineup Tuesday after
missing Monday's loss with soreness around his right oblique muscle.
Taking the ball for the hosts tonight will be Brandon Beachy, who is coming
off a no-decision following back-to-back victories. Beachy did not factor in
the outcome of a 4-2 win at Los Angeles on Wednesday and held the Dodgers to
two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts over 6 1/3 frames.
Beachy is 2-1 in four starts and saw his earned run average go from 0.47 to
1.05. The righty won his only home start of the season on April 15 versus
Milwaukee and is still in search of his first win over Philadelphia. In six
career starts against the Phillies, Beachy is 0-3 with a 3.94 ERA. His 29 2/3
innings pitched in this series are a career-high.
The Braves were eliminated from postseason contention last year by the
Phillies and went 6-12 in this series in 2011. Philadelphia has won seven in a
row against Atlanta and three straight at Turner Field.
05/01 10:32:12 ET