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Nix continues to make the most of his chances off the bench

The Sports Xchange
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--1B Laynce Nix went 2-for-3 with a solo home run in the Phillies' 4-0 win in Atlanta on Thursday. Nix has made six straight starts. He is batting 353 (12-for-34) with two home runs, five doubles and nine RBI in 12 starts this season. "That's usually the way it goes, if you're swinging a good bat, you get at-bats," Nix said. "I was really prepared for anything (coming into the season). I was on my toes for pinch-hit duty and part-time playing, but also making sure I was ready to play every day and produce, too."

--RHP Joe Blanton pitched a three-hit shutout, the third of his career, in the Phillies' 4-0 win in Atlanta on Thursday. Blanton's last shutout came on June 2, 2007, when he was a member of the Oakland Athletics. "Joe did great," catcher Brian Schneider said. "He really mixed up all his pitches and threw all his pitches, got ahead of a lot of hitters. It was one of those games where a lot of guys were swinging early."

--RHP Roy Halladay left the team to tend to a family matter on Thursday. Halladay is expected to rejoin the team in Washington on Friday.

--RHP Kyle Kendrick will pitch against ace Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals when the Phillies begin a three-game series at Nationals Park on Friday. Kendrick, in the rotation in place of injured LHP Cliff Lee, bounced back from a rough first start by holding the Cubs to two earned runs in six innings of a 5-1 loss on April 29. Kendrick is 2-3 with a 5.46 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) against Washington in his career.

--SS Jimmy Rollins singled and scored in the first inning of Thursday's 4-0 win in Atlanta. Rollins has hit safely in six consecutive games. He is batting .308 (8-for-26) with a double, two RBI, five runs and a stolen base in those six games.

BY THE NUMBERS
2:02 -- The time of game Thursday, the quickest game the Phillies have played this season. Joe Blanton made that possible by pitching a three-hit shutout in which he faced 29 batters, two above the minimum.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"What Joe did today ... it goes to tell you what your fifth starter means to you, and what it takes to make a team. When we get beat in a game like last night and he comes back and pitches like that, that just goes to show you what we can do when we want to, when we have fun playing and relax and concentrate on out-playing somebody." -- Manager Charlie Manuel, of No. 5 starter Joe Blanton's shutout following a night that saw ace Roy Halladay cough up a 6-0 lead in a 15-13, 11-inning defeat.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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