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Braves rely on Harang in middle test with D-backs

(SportsNetwork.com) - Aaron Harang eyes his third straight win on Saturday when the Atlanta Braves play the middle test of a three-game series versus the Arizona Diamondbacks at Turner Field.

Harang improved to 7-6 on Sunday in Philadelphia as he held the Phils to just two runs over seven innings, despite giving up 11 hits. The veteran right-hander pitched himself in and out of trouble, holding Phillies batters to 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranding eight men on base, as he lowered his ERA to 3.69.

"He battled," Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman said. "No big hits."

Harang has struggled against Arizona, going a mere 3-9 against them with a 3.27 ERA in 18 games (17 starts).

Arizona, meanwhile, will turn to right-handed rookie Mike Bolsinger, who is 1-4 wtih a 4.53 ERA. Bolsinger lost his third straight decision on Sunday in San Diego, as he allowed two runs and three hits over isx innings, but walked four batters.

"Since I've been up here I've been proud of myself for not walking people, and like the San Francisco game the one walk I gave up scored," Bolsinger said. "That's just something that I've got to try to eliminate. Besides that, everything else felt pretty good."

Bolsinger has put together back-to-back quality starts, allowing four runs in 13 2/3 innings.

"You've just kind of got to build on every start and that's what I'm trying to do," he said. "The only thing that kind of went backwards today was the walks. Hopefully my next start I can eliminate that and keep us in the gameplan."

Atlanta drew first blood in this series on Friday, as Freddie Freeman knocked in two runs to back a strong start from Ervin Santana, and the Braves won,. 5-2. Andrelton Simmons, Justin Upton and Jason Heyward each knocked in a run for the Braves, who have won eight straight.

"We've done a good job of putting runs up," Upton said. "Pitching has done a good job of shutting down and keeping us in the game."

Santana (7-5) hurled 7 1/3 innings and was charged with two runs, six hits and struck out six to earn the win.

Josh Collmenter (7-5) took the loss after giving up five runs on 11 hits over six-plus innings of work.

Arizona had dropped four of its last five.

"It's hard to explain," Arizona's Martin Prado said of the team's recent struggles. "We're trying everything we can to turn around things. It ain't happening."

The D-backs have lost 10 of their last 11 in Atlanta.

07/05 09:54:13 ET

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