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Philadelphia at Atlanta

Venue: Turner Field
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The last time Philadelphia and Atlanta met, the Phillies left the field victorious and ready to begin the playoffs. The Braves walked off stunned that they would be missing the postseason after holding a seemingly insurmountable wild-card lead just weeks earlier.

Atlanta and Philadelphia open a three-game series Tuesday night at Turner Field, the site where the Phillies eliminated the Braves from playoff contention on the final day of the 2011 regular season.

Had Atlanta managed to win just one of its six games against Philadelphia last September, it would have forced a one-game playoff with St. Louis for the NL wild card. The Braves, however, dropped all six meetings - part of their 9-18 September collapse - including a season-ending sweep at Turner Field.

Philadelphia limited Atlanta to 11 runs in the six September meetings, while Hunter Pence hit .364 with seven RBIs.

Atlanta's late-season struggles carried into 2012, as the Braves (14-9) opened 0-4, but they've won 14 of 19 since to pull within one-half game of NL East-leading Washington. They enter this series, however, coming off a four-game split at home against Pittsburgh.

The Phillies (11-12) are also coming off an uninspiring four-game split with a lesser opponent, the Chicago Cubs.

"We're close," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said after Monday's 6-4 win. "Our pitching is there. We have to improve our defense mentally and our timely hitting."

Cole Hamels (3-1, 2.73 ERA) was the lone starter in Philadelphia's rotation not to take the ball versus the Cubs, but starting him in the opener against the Braves could work to the Phillies' advantage.

Hamels has compiled a 2.14 ERA in winning his last three starts, and is looking to win four in a row for the first time since a career-best five start streak Aug. 29-Sept. 20, 2010. The left-hander retired 18 consecutive batters at one point during Wednesday's 7-2 victory over Arizona, and ended up allowing two runs and four hits in eight innings.

Hamels also has a strong track record in the month of May.

Since his rookie season in 2006, Hamels' .810 winning percentage in May leads all pitchers with at least 20 decisions. He is 17-4 with a 3.68 ERA in 30 May starts, and is 5-1 with a 3.69 ERA in seven outings versus Atlanta during that month.

Hamels typically fares well against the Braves regardless of what the calendar says, as his 11 wins over Atlanta since 2007 are his most against any opponent. He went 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA in four starts against the Braves last season.

Shane Victorino batted .377 with 11 runs against Atlanta in 2011, while Carlos Ruiz hit .304 with nine RBIs.

Ruiz arrives in Atlanta batting .467 with six RBIs during a four-game hitting streak, and is 5 for 8 with a homer and two doubles against scheduled Braves starter Brandon Beachy (2-1, 1.05).

Beachy gave up two runs, seven hits and a walk while striking out six in 6 1-3 innings of Wednesday's 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, but didn't receive a decision. It marked the first time he gave up more than one earned run all season, causing his ERA to more than double from 0.47.

The Braves have lost all six of Beachy's starts against the Phillies, with the right-hander posting a 3.94 ERA.

Atlanta outfielder Jason Heyward could return to the lineup Tuesday after missing Monday's 9-3 loss to the Pirates with soreness around his right oblique muscle.

Heyward is 3 for 13 lifetime against Hamels, while second baseman Dan Uggla is batting .160 with 15 strikeouts in 50 at-bats against the Philadelphia southpaw.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Cole Hamels, LHP
2012 stats
32.1 Innings Pitched 32.2
3-1 Wins-Losses 2-1
2.78 Earned Run Average 1.38
5 Walks 7
36 Strikeouts 22
0.0 Pitches Per Start 0.0
Career vs. opponent
148.2 Innings Pitched 36.2
11-6 Wins-Losses 0-3
3.69 Earned Run Average 3.68

Brandon Beachy, RHP
Weather
weather image  Partly sunny. Warm.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
87°F68°F7mph/S47%5%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Philadelphia5th NL East2756.325191-9 L 6
Atlanta3rd NL East4041.49455-5 W 4
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Brandon Beachy
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Ruiz85110.625
Schneider21100.500
Victorino104012.400
Polanco113000.273
Rollins112000.182
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Cole Hamels
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Martinez110001.000
Prado4214123.333
Jones3410277.294
Bourn154012.267
McCann4913169.265
 

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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Philadelphia 115 Atlanta -125
Injuries
Philadelphia
PlayerInjury
A. HarangFoot
M. HollandsElbow
C. LeeForearm
J. PettiboneShoulder
C. UtleyAnkle
J. WilliamsHamstring
Atlanta
PlayerInjury
B. ArroyoElbow
M. BanuelosCramping
B. CunniffGroin
F. FreemanWrist
A. McKirahanSuspension
M. MinorShoulder
J. OutmanShoulder
W. PerezFoot
S. SimmonsElbow
D. WinklerElbow
C. WithrowElbow
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 24PHIPHI 1-0Giles Johnson 
Apr 25PHIATL 5-2Miller Buchanan 
Apr 26PHIPHI 5-4Williams Cahill 
May 4ATLPHI 5-2Harang Wood 
May 5ATLATL 9-0Miller Billingsley 
May 6ATLATL 7-5Foltynewicz Williams 
Jul 3ATLATL 2-1Teheran Morgan 
Jul 4ATLATL 9-5Wood Correia 
Jul 5ATL 1:35 PM EDT  
Jul 30PHI 7:05 PM EDT  
Jul 31PHI 7:05 PM EDT  
Aug 1PHI 7:05 PM EDT  
Aug 2PHI 1:35 PM EDT  
Sep 7PHI 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 8PHI 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 9PHI 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 18ATL 7:35 PM EDT  
Sep 19ATL 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 20ATL 1:35 PM EDT