National League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, July 8th (All times Eastern)
Atlanta Braves (45-39) at Philadelphia Phillies (37-49), 1:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Atlanta - Jair Jurrjens (2-2, 5.19) Philadelphia - Vance Worley (4-5, 3.46)
(Sports Network) - Jair Jurrjens has looked like a different pitcher since returning from the minors. The Atlanta Braves hurler looks for his third win of the season this afternoon in the finale of a three-game set against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Jurrjens found himself 0-2 with a 9.37 earned run average through his first four starts of the season before a demotion. He returned to the Braves on June 22 and has gone 2-0 with a 1.47 ERA in three starts since.
The right-hander picked up a win over the Cubs on Tuesday, charged with three unearned runs on nine hits in five innings without a walk. He also struck out two in the 10-3 triumph, which lowered his season ERA to 5.19.
Jurrjens, 26, is 5-3 with a 2.45 ERA in 11 career starts versus the Phillies, who counter in this finale with Vance Worley.
Worley has dropped three of his last four starts and lasted a season-low four innings for the second time in 13 starts this season on Tuesday versus the Mets. The 24-year-old righty was charged with a season-high six runs on 10 hits with a walk in an 11-1 defeat.
"Usually he keeps us in the game and most of the time he gives us a chance to win. Tonight, they got on him," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said about Worley. "They were hitting the ball and they were hitting the ball hard. He got hurt."
Worley is 4-5 with a 3.46 ERA on the season and faces the Braves for the first time in 2012. He is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in four career meetings with Atlanta, including two starts.
The Braves came into this series having lost nine of their last 10 to the Phillies, but can sweep a three-game set against the club for the first time since May 31-June 2 of last season in Atlanta. They last swept a series in Philadelphia from April 2-5, 2007.
The Braves got a solo homer and two RBI from Brian McCann in Saturday's 6-3 victory. Michael Bourn, added to the All-Star Game on Saturday, added three hits and scored twice, while Martin Prado drove in two runs in Atlanta's third straight win.
"(Citizens Bank Park) is a hitters' haven," said McCann of Philadelphia's home ballpark. "You can do so many things here. It's a great yard to hit in. I enjoy coming up here."
Tommy Hanson got back in the win column after dropping his last start as he pitched seven-plus innings and gave up three runs on six hits to win his 10th game of the season.
"It's nice going into the (All-Star) break with 10 wins," said Hanson. "Hopefully, I can finish stronger than last year and keep moving forward."
Joe Blanton was touched for six runs -- five earned -- on nine hits with a walk and six strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings for the Phillies, who have dropped three straight and nine of their last 10.
"They had a good approach tonight," said Blanton. "They didn't chase anything. They were super aggressive on balls in the zone. They made me battle really hard tonight and I felt I had pretty good stuff."
Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard made his season debut on Friday after suffering a torn Achilles tendon in his club's Game 5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Oct. 7, but was held out of the lineup yesterday after having also played with Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday. He is expected to start today.
07/08 10:30:47 ET