Billingsley makes debut for Phillies in Atlanta
(SportsNetwork.com) - Chad Billingsley's two-year road to recovery from a pair of arm surgeries will reach a major league mound on Tuesday night when the Philadelphia Phillies resume a three-game series with the Atlanta Braves.
Billingsley has not started in the major leagues since April 15, 2013 with the Los Angeles Dodgers because of first Tommy John surgery and then a procedure on his flexor tendon to repair an injury sustained while rehabbing.
The 30-year-old went 1-1 with a 4.74 earned run average in four minor league starts this season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, throwing 99 pitches in his most recent outing.
"It's going to be really fun," said Billingsley on Philadelphia's website. "I've missed that part of the game, having my mind worry about [hitters] and not worrying about this [right elbow]. I'm just really happy and relieved. This is all in the past now. It's been two years since I've been out there every fifth day on a regular basis. It hasn't really sunk in yet."
The right-hander, signed to a one-year deal in the offseason, is 2-3 with a 3.14 ERA in 10 career games against the Braves with eight starts.
Shelby Miller looks to rebound from his first loss in a Braves uniform tonight.
Miller won his third consecutive start with a 5-2 decision in Philadelphia on April 25. The first-year Brave allowed only two runs on three hits and a pair of walks over six innings, moving to 2-1 with a 3.28 ERA in four games versus the Phillies.
The right-handed Miller then lost a 5-1 decision to the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday, though he didn't pitch poorly. He held them to three runs -- two earned -- on six hits and three walks over a season-high seven innings. He gave up a pair of homers, but also fanned nine.
Miller has been an excellent addition to the Braves rotation this season, going 3-1 with a 2.17 ERA.
He'll try to even this series after the Phillies won last night's opener 5-2 behind the efforts of a pair of former Braves.
Aaron Harang, who made 33 starts with Atlanta last season, hurled six innings of one-run ball and Jeff Francoeur had four hits and two RBI. Francoeur spent his first four-plus major league seasons with the Braves and notched his first four-hit game since May 20, 2012 with Kansas City.
"Last year I came back (to Atlanta) and it was weird. I felt like I tried so hard and it was only my third game back in the big leagues," said Francoeur. "I'm on this team to go after lefties and do my job. I needed to pick it up today and do it and luckily we were able to do it."
Darin Ruf added three hits and the Phillies banged out 14 as a team for their second win in a row on the heels of a five-game losing streak.
Braves starter Alex Wood went just 4 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and two walks. Atlanta has lost each of the young left-hander's last five starts and five of the past seven overall.
"Everything will straighten itself out," said Braves center fielder Cameron Maybin. "We just have to put good at-bats together."
The Phillies took two of three at home versus the Braves from April 24-26 and won six of nine last season in Atlanta.