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Braves try to get offense in order in advance of Phils' visit

The Sports Xchange
Notes, Quotes · Roster Report · Braves try to get offense in order in advance of Phils' visit

Through the first five games of the season, the Braves scored 18 runs. Eleven of them came Sunday in an 11-2 win over the Nationals.

In that span, the Braves' starting lineup came up with four home runs, a triple (in the Sunday game) and five doubles (three in the Sunday game). That summed up the number of times a runner touched second base.

The sixth game, Wednesday night, started out more promisingly: Martin Prado led off with a double, and Chipper Jones drove him in with a double. That's as many hits as the Braves had in the whole game while being shut out 2-0 Tuesday. But while Jason Heyward's three-run homer in the sixth Wednesday got the Braves within a run of the Brewers, Atlanta still lost 5-4.

The Braves have faced some good pitching while winning three of their first six, but it hasn't been as good as what they'll see from the Phillies this weekend after playing the series finale in Milwaukee on Thursday.

The home opener features a dandy pitching matchup Friday night, as Atlanta's Tim Hudson, a former AL Cy Young Award runner-up who finished fourth in the NL voting last year, faces Philadelphia's Cliff Lee, the 2008 AL Cy Young winner.

The Saturday afternoon game pits Philadelphia veteran Roy Oswalt against Atlanta rookie Brandon Beachy, who was sharp in his first start of the season Monday.

A pair of pitchers with impressive postseason resumes will start the series finale Sunday: the Braves' Derek Lowe and the Phillies' Cole Hamels.

Perhaps the only break the slumping Atlanta offense will get is missing reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay.

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