National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, August 31st
(All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Phillies (62-69) at Atlanta Braves (74-57), 7:20 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - Roy Halladay (8-7, 3.88)
Atlanta - Mike Minor (7-10, 4.71)
(Sports Network) - After stumbling to the finish of their recent road trip,
the Atlanta Braves return home on Friday to begin a three-game series against
the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Braves concluded a 10-game swing with a series loss to the San Diego
Padres, falling in Wednesday's finale by an 8-2 margin. David Ross homered and
Michael Bourn drove in a run, but Tommy Hanson yielded four runs -- three
earned -- over 4 2/3 frames to suffer the defeat.
That left Atlanta with a 4-6 mark on the trip and the current holders of the
first wild card spot in the league sit 5 1/2 games back of the Washington
Nationals for first place in the NL East.
"It's a frustrating end to a road trip," Braves third baseman Chipper Jones
Atlanta left-hander Mike Minor starts this opener after ending his own
frustrations with a victory over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday.
Minor halted a three-start slide by yielding three runs on four hits without a
walk over 6 2/3 innings of a 7-3 decision. He improved to 7-10 with a 4.71
earned run average on the season.
"I'm pleased with the way Minor pitched today. Better than pleased really,
ecstatic, and pleased with the offense," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
The 24-year-old earned his first victory since beating the Phillies at home on
July 28, a start in which he hurled eight innings of one-run ball and struck
out nine. Minor did lose his most recent start to the club at Philadelphia,
touched for three runs over seven innings in a 3-0 loss.
Philadelphia's Roy Halladay hopes to pick up his first victory of the season
over the Braves, having gone 0-1 in two outings with an 8.74 ERA. The right-
hander has allowed 11 runs and three homers while striking out 12 over 11 1/3
innings against them in 2012.
Halladay, though, has won four of his past five starts while going at least
seven innings in each one. He hurled seven frames on Saturday to beat the
Nationals, winning his second straight start after scattering two runs, seven
hits and a walk with six strikeouts.
The 35-year-old went above .500 in the season with the victory, moving to 8-7
with a 3.88 ERA in 19 starts.
Philadelphia sits seven games under the even mark following Thursday's 3-2 win
over the New York Mets. The Phillies avoided getting swept in the three-game
set thanks to a solid outing by Kyle Kendrick as well as an RBI and run scored
from Kevin Frandsen.
Kendrick tossed 7 2/3 innings, giving up a homer to two of the first six
batters faced but just five hits more after that.
"Give the team a chance to win and I was able to do that," Kendrick said.
The win, Philadelphia's fifth in seven games, was overshadowed by manager
Charlie Manuel pulling shortstop Jimmy Rollins after the sixth inning for a
lack of hustle. Rollins failed to run out an infield popup that was dropped by
New York pitcher Jon Niese.
Though Rollins reached first, he probably could have made it second had he
gone full speed.
"I've got two rules, be on time and hustle," said manager Charlie Manuel. "And
running balls out is definitely part of it."
It is unknown if Rollins will face further discipline by not playing today.
"That's between Jimmy and I," Manuel said.
The Braves have won nine of 12 against the Phillies this season.
08/31 10:36:41 ET