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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, June 16 (All times Eastern)

Philadelphia Phillies (29-38) at Atlanta Braves (36-32), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - Cole Hamels (2-3, 3.07) Atlanta - Julio Teheran (6-4, 2.41)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The National League East-leading Atlanta Braves will try to further distance themselves from the last-place Philadelphia Phillies when the two clubs begin a three-game series Monday night at Turner Field.

The Braves have a one-game lead on both Washington and Miami, while New York is 5 1/2 games off the pace and Philadelphia sits 6 1/2 games behind. The Braves rallied for a 7-3 win Sunday night over the visiting LA Angels of Anaheim and took two of three in the set.

Trailing 3-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Braves erupted for four runs to go ahead for good. Evan Gattis and Justin Upton stroked RBI singles and both came home on Tommy LaStella's double. Jason Heyward hit a solo home run in a two-run seventh and LaStella scored on a sacrifice fly to complete the scoring in the eighth.

LaStella ended with three hits, while Gattis, Freddie Freeman and Chris Johnson posted two apiece for Atlanta, which is 5-6 in its last 11 games. Anthony Varvaro threw two scoreless innings of relief for the win and starter Mike Minor allowed three runs and 11 hits in five innings. Closer Craig Kimbrel struck out the last two batters for his 20th save.

"He battled," Johnson said of Minor. "Sometimes you're not going to have your good stuff. He battled and he gave us as much as he could."

Gattis extended his hitting streak to 15 games and LaStella has hit safely in 13 of his 16 games with nine multi-hit performances in that time.

The Braves hope Julio Teheran can get back on track Monday and he had a personal four-game winning streak cut short in Wednesday's 8-2 loss at Colorado, where he allowed seven runs and 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Teheran has given up 11 runs in his last three starts and is 6-4 with a 2.41 earned run average this season. The right-hander has a 2-1 record in seven home starts and tossed a three-hit shutout against the Phillies on April 16, as he struck out four and walked none in a 1-0 win.

In five career appearances, four of which have been starts, against the Phillies, Teheran is 2-2 with a 3.90 ERA.

The Phillies were riding high after a three-game sweep of San Diego, but dropped two of three weekend games to the Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park.

In Sunday's 3-0 loss, Cubs starting pitcher Travis Wood threw eight shutout innings and Neil Ramirez closed the Phillies out in the ninth. Phillies starter A.J. Burnett gave up the three runs in eight innings of work.

"I got to go out there and try to get outs," said Burnett. "I can't worry about that (lack of run support)."

Ben Revere, Phillies all-time hits leader Jimmy Rollins and Cesar Hernandez provided the hits for the Phillies, who will also visit St. Louis for four games on this tough road trip. Rollins is riding a 10-game hitting streak for the Phillies, who will begin a stretch of 32 out of 35 games against teams with a .500 record or better.

It appears Cole Hamels is back to his dominant form and he will take the mound Monday for the Phils. Hamels has allowed only one earned run in his last three starts (0.40 ERA) and is riding a 16 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings streak.

Hamels did not receive a decision in Wednesday's 3-0 win over San Diego, despite fanning 11 batters and walking just one in eight shutout innings.

Hamels is 2-3 with a 3.07 earned run average in 10 starts and 1-1 in four road assignments. The southpaw has made 31 appearances (30 starts) in his career against the Braves, going 14-8 with a 3.54 ERA in that time.

The Phillies lost two of three home meetings with the Braves in mid-April.

06/16 11:12:16 ET

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