For red-hot Atlanta, the past two months have served as sweet redemption against a team that dominated the Braves the past four seasons. Philadelphia won two of three from the Braves at Turner Field in early May, pushing the Philadelphia Phillies’ record to 46-29 against the Atlanta Braves since the start of 2008. But Atlanta has not lost to its NL East rival since, winning Monday at Citizens Bank Park for its seventh consecutive victory against Philadelphia.
The five-time defending division champion Phillies are fighting with the Miami Marlins to stay out of last place and saw their home sellout streak end Monday at 257 games. The Braves, who won 14 consecutive division titles from 1991-2005, are on a 93-win pace and remain three games behind division leader Washington. A big reason for the Braves’ summer surge is better pitching from Mike Minor, who has lowered his ERA by nearly two runs in the past five weeks. Minor looks to even his record at 7-7 in the second game of the series. Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels leads the Phillies in victories but has won just once since June 20.
Braves Phillies Betting
When: 7:05 PM ET, Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, SportSouth (Atlanta), CSN (Philadelphia).
PITCHING MATCHUP: Braves LH Mike Minor (6-7, 5.01 ERA) vs. Phillies LH Cole Hamels (11-6, 3.34).
Mother Nature kept Minor from getting the victory in his last start Thursday. Minor had allowed just two hits in 3 2/3 innings and the Braves were up 6-0, but a 42-minute rain delay ended the left-hander’s outing. Still, Minor continues to turn around what was a rough season. He is 3-1 in his past six starts, and in his past 31 innings he has recorded 27 strikeouts with just six walks.
Hamels has lost both his starts since signing a six-year, $144-million contract extension. The Braves beat the left-hander July 27, and the Nationals topped Hamels in his last outing Thursday. Hamels struck out nine Washington hitters and pitched well, allowing three earned runs on eight hits in seven innings.
1. Philadelphia’s loss Monday was its 60th of the season, matching its total from all of 2011.
2. With 20 consecutive games starting Friday and RHP Tommy Hanson eligible to come off the disabled list next week, Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said he is considering going to a six-man starting rotation for the final two weeks of August.
3. The Phillies are 20-31 at home, one season after going 52-29 at Citizens Bank Park.