National League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, July 29th (All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Phillies (45-56) at Atlanta Braves (56-44), 1:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - Roy Halladay (4-5, 4.32) Atlanta - Tim Hudson (9-4, 3.71)
(Sports Network) - Tim Hudson and the Atlanta Braves are on a hot streak. Today, Atlanta can not only complete a weekend sweep of the last-place Phillies, but the Braves aim to win their sixth in a row against Philadelphia for the first time in more than a decade.
The Braves haven't won six in a row against the Phillies since July 31, 1999 - May 5, 2000, also a six-game run.
Hudson has done his part to keep the Braves in the thick of the wild card race and close to the first-place Nationals in the NL East. The right-hander has gone 3-0 over his last four starts since a July 1 loss to the Nationals. Included in the successful run is a July 6 victory at Philadelphia when he threw seven shutout innings.
Hudson is 8-8 with a 3.54 ERA in 23 career games against the Phillies.
Roy Halladay has yet to win since his return from the disabled list. The two- time Cy Young Award winner is 0-2 over his last four starts and doesn't have a decision in his last two appearances since coming back from a latissimus dorsi strain.
Halladay owns a 4-1 mark with a 2.89 ERA in eight games (7 starts) versus Atlanta.
Last night, Mike Minor retired the final 13 batters he faced and the Braves made a pair of early runs hold up in a 2-1 win.
Minor (6-7) tied a season-high with nine strikeouts over eight innings and snapped a personal two-start winless skid. In this last three appearances, the left-hander has given up just four earned runs covering 21 innings.
Jason Heyward and Chipper Jones each knocked in a run, as Atlanta won its fourth in a row.
"He was really good," Jones said of Minor. "I know we keep saying this, but after certain starts that he has, the kid just continues to get better, get that confidence and be able to work a lineup like that ... he really only made one mistake."
Chase Utley homered in the fourth inning, but he was caught looking at strike three from Craig Kimbrel to end the game. Kimbrel locked down his 30th save.
The Phillies, who had just four hits and none after the fourth inning, have lost two straight following a four-game winning streak.
"You just play. You just continue to stay focused, play the game, and not worry about what's going on," outfielder Shane Victorino said of the Phillies' season-long struggles. "We have to find a way to win games, especially against your division teams."
Joe Blanton (8-9), making his 100th start in a Phillies uniform, surrendered four hits and the two runs over seven frames. The right-hander also had seven strikeouts.
Atlanta has taken six of eight from Philadelphia so far this season.
07/29 10:23:04 ET