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National League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, September 8th (All times Eastern)
Atlanta Braves (85-56) at Philadelphia Phillies (65-77), 1:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Atlanta - Paul Maholm (10-10, 4.41) Philadelphia - Cole Hamels (6-13, 3.50)
(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Phillies have won each of Cole Hamels' last five starts and will try to extend that streak when they go for a three- game sweep of the Atlanta Braves Sunday afternoon.
Hamels is 2-0 in that span and delivered seven innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts in Monday's 3-2 win over Washington. He left the game with back discomfort and it's not deemed serious. Hamels, the 2008 World Series MVP, has struck out eight or more batters four times in the past five starts and is 6-13 in 29 starts with a 3.50 ERA.
The left-hander is 13-8 with a 3.60 ERA in 30 games, 29 of which have been starts, lifetime against the Braves. He is 1-1 in two starts in this series in 2013.
Philadelphia has won the first two contests of this set and pulled off a dramatic 6-5 win Saturday on Freddy Galvis' game-winning solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Galvis got Jonathan Papelbon off the hook after the closer served up Andrelton Simmons' game-tying two-run home run with two out in the top of the inning.
"My approach was to stay to the middle, to be on base," Galvis said. "That pitch was a hanger and I made a good swing. Thank God I hit a homer. It feels really good to hit a walkoff homer."
Galvis went 4-for-5 with two RBI, Cesar Hernandez and Kevin Frandsen both had three hits and Carlos Ruiz knocked in three runs for the Phillies, winners in three of the last five games. The Phillies will host San Diego for three games this week at Citizens Bank Park.
Phils starter Kyle Kendrick struck out eight batters and allowed three runs in six innings for the no-decision.
Atlanta has dropped three in a row and four of its last six games and looks to avoid the sweep Sunday. Simmons' blast rallied the Braves, but veteran pitcher Freddy Garcia allowed Galvis' homer in the bottom of the ninth.
"We battled back and tied it but Freddy Galvis got us," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We had opportunities but haven't had that bloop single or ground ball through the middle, but we'll keep plugging away."
Freddie Freeman had two RBI and starting pitcher Alex Wood was reached for four runs in 4 2/3 innings for the no-decision.
The NL East-leading Braves are 13 games ahead of Washington for division supremacy and will open a four-game set in Miami on Monday. Their magic number to clinch an NL East title is nine.
Braves starter Paul Maholm was able to stop a nagging winless streak his last time out and gets the nod in the finale with the Phillies. Maholm was 0-4 in his past five starts, then got great run support in Monday's 13-5 win over the New York Mets.
Maholm allowed three runs in five innings and pushed his record to 10-10 in 23 starts to go along with a 4.41 ERA. Maholm lost to the Phillies on July 5, when he yielded five runs -- four earned -- in six innings of a 5-4 loss and is 5-3 with a 4.78 ERA in 11 career starts against them.
Atlanta is 8-6 against the Phillies this season.
09/08 10:31:42 ET
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