(SportsNetwork.com) - Cole Hamels aims to reach double-digit victories for the seventh time in his major league career when the Philadelphia Phillies close the regular season against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park.
Hamels has a 2.47 ERA, which is his lowest of his career. He's also 3 1/3 innings shy of reaching 200 for the fifth consecutive year. The lefty is 16-8 with a 3.25 ERA in 34 games (33 starts) against Atlanta.
James Russell will start today's game for the Braves, but he's only expected to last three innings before handing off the ball to the bullpen. The lefty has pitched in 21 games in relief this season and has started only five of his 337 major league appearances. Those starts came in 2011 with the Cubs.
The Braves had scheduled Alex Wood to start, but he was scratched because of left forearm discomfort.
Last night, Justin Upton and B.J. Upton both homered and threw a runner out at home as the Braves held on for a 4-2 victory.
Justin Upton broke a tie with a two-run blast in the seventh off Philadelphia starter A.J. Burnett (8-18).
The Phillies loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, but closer Craig Kimbrel earned his 46th save when Andrelton Simmons snagged Ben Revere's liner. The shortstop had committed a fielding error earlier in the inning.
Aaron Harang (12-12) gave up two runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings to pick up the win, just the third in the last 15 games for Atlanta.
"He's been a pleasure to watch pitch every fifth day," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He's a tremendous presence in the clubhouse."
Burnett, who has hinted that this could be his final season, allowed four runs on five hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings.
"It's obviously been a frustrating year," Burnett said. "You come over here and you expect to make an impact, but I made the wrong impact. I gave it all I had, that's all I can say."
Ryan Howard finished 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI for Philadelphia. His leadoff smash to right-center field tied the game at 1-1 in the second.
The Braves lead the season series with the Phillies 10-8, winning seven of nine in Philadelphia.