National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, July 5th
(All times Eastern)
Atlanta Braves (49-36) at Philadelphia Phillies (41-45), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Atlanta - Tim Hudson (4-7, 4.22)
Philadelphia - Cliff Lee (9-2, 2.59)
(Sports Network) - It's been exactly two months since Atlanta Braves veteran
ace Tim Hudson has prevailed on the mound. The Braves are hoping Hudson can
turn it around when he gets the call Friday in the opener of a three-game
series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Hudson hasn't won since May 5 and is 0-6 with a 4.50 earned run average in his
last 10 starts. The Braves are 4-6 in that time and still couldn't get Hudson
a win in last Saturday's 11-5 beating of Arizona. The right-hander allowed
four runs in 5 2/3 innings before the Braves turned it on late offensively.
In 17 starts this season, Hudson is 4-7 with a 4.22 ERA and did not record a
decision versus Philadelphia April 1 at Turner Field. He lasted 4 1/3 innings
and was touched for three runs and six hits. Hudson is 10-9 with a 3.81 ERA in
28 career starts against the Phillies.
The Braves blew a 3-0 lead in Thursday's 4-3 setback to the Miami Marlins and
dropped the last two installments of the three-game series. Donovan Solano's
RBI single scored Ed Lucas and Braves closer Craig Kimbrel absorbed the loss.
"We had some opportunities and scored three runs right off the start," Atlanta
manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "But we couldn't get much going after that and
they just kept chipping away."
Freddie Freeman drove in a pair of runs and Brian McCann had two hits and an
RBI for the NL East-leading Braves, who had won four straight and six of seven
until losing two in a row to Miami. Julio Teheran started on Thursday and gave
up three runs in five innings.
Atlanta is six games ahead of Washington and 8 1/2 games in front of
Philadelphia for the division lead. The Braves hope they can keep the Phillies
at bay in this upcoming series at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies took two of three to cool off the sizzling Pittsburgh Pirates and
capped the series with Thursday's 6-4 win. Cole Hamels ended a four-start
drought (0-2) for his third win of the season (3-11) by giving up just two
runs, one of which was earned, in seven innings. Hamels, who took some extra
days' rest, struck out eight batters and did not issue a walk.
"His command was sharp today compared to what we'd seen in the last few
outings," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Hamels. "His fastball command
he mixed with the early changeup, which came into play. The curveball also
came into play. The cutter. As far as his pitch efficiency overall, it was a
good outing overall."
Ben Revere had three hits and two RBI, while Carlos Ruiz had a big two-run
single during a four-run sixth inning for the Phillies, who went 5-5 on their
road trip and will play 10 in a row at home.
Cliff Lee gets the nod in the opener with Atlanta and is riding an 11-game
unbeaten streak in which he is 7-0 with a 2.15 earned run average. The Phils
are 8-3 in that time and Lee last loss on May 1. He has posted back-to-back
no-decisions and previously took the mound in last Saturday's 4-3 loss at Los
Angeles, allowing three runs in seven innings with 10 strikeouts.
The Phillies have lost each of Lee's last two appearances and the veteran
left-hander hopes that trend comes to a halt against an Atlanta team he
defeated on April 4. In that 2-0 win for Philadelphia, Lee fanned eight
batters over eight scoreless innings and is 5-4 with a 2.74 ERA in 11 career
meetings -- all starts -- with the Braves.
Atlanta won two of three in that early April set and is 14-7 in the past 21
matchups between the NL East foes.
07/05 10:41:02 ET