Published September 06, 2013
| Sports Network
The Atlanta Braves are closing in on a National League East title and will square off with the Philadelphia Phillies Friday in the opener of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park.
The Braves' magic number to clinch a division title is 10. However, they are coming off Wednesday's 5-2 loss to the New York Mets and Kameron Loe was lit up for five runs and 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings.
"I felt great in the 'pen, and I think I was rushing a little bit once I got out there," Loe said. "(I) just didn't stay back and let my arm work and get the good action that I've had on my stuff lately."
Freddie Freeman homered and both Elliot Johnson and Paul Janish recorded two hits for the Braves, who are 14 games ahead of Washington in the division. The Braves had won eight of nine games.
Atlanta will also visit Miami for four games on its road trip and Mike Minor takes the ball Friday night. Minor is 13-5 with a 3.08 ERA in 27 starts and has won each of his last four decisions.
In six career games (5 starts) against Philadelphia, Minor is 2-2 with a 3.94 ERA.
Philadelphia has lost four of five games and dropped a 3-2 decision to the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.
Chase Utley had three hits and Cesar Hernandez knocked in a pair of runs for the Phillies. Roy Halladay was solid in the no-decision and gave up only a run in six innings. Jake Diekman allowed the go-ahead run in the eighth inning to suffer the loss.
"Those first couple of innings I was a little inconsistent with my mechanics," said Halladay.
Cliff Lee will follow Halladay in the rotation and is 11-6 with a 3.09 ERA in 26 starts this season. Lee is 1-4 in his previous five decisions and 6-5 with a 3.12 ERA in 13 career starts against the Braves.
Atlanta is 8-4 against the Phillies this season.