It took Mike Hampton a while to find some consistency in Atlanta. Now that he has, he’s been dominant.
Hampton will shoot for his eighth straight win as the Braves conclude a four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Turner Field.
Hampton, who was traded to the Braves from the Colorado this past offseason, struggled for the first three months of the season. Over his last eight starts, however, the 30-year-old left-hander is 7-0 with a 3.57 ERA.
It’s his longest winning streak since he won 11 straight decisions in 1999.
Hampton was brilliant against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday, allowing one run and three hits over eight innings.
“His ball is moving all over the place,” Braves right fielder Gary Sheffield said of Hampton. “They really didn’t get a lot of good swings against him. I’m glad he’s on our team.”
On Sunday, the Braves saw their four-game winning streak end when Curt Schilling pitched one-hit ball and struck out 12 over eight innings to lead Arizona to a 2-0 victory.
STANDINGS: Diamondbacks - 2nd place, 8 1/2 GB, NL West. Braves - 1st place, NL East.
DIAMONDBACKS PROBABLE STARTER: Miguel Batista (7-6, 2.86 ERA). Batista has not received a decision in his last three starts. During that span, the 32-year-old right-hander has allowed eight earned runs in 19 innings. He worked six innings on Wednesday, giving up one run and nine hits in the Diamondbacks’ 3-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds. Batista is 3-3 with a 5.15 ERA in 13 career games against the Braves.
BRAVES PROBABLE STARTER: Hampton (10-5, 4.21 ERA). In 13 career games against the Diamondbacks, Hampton is 5-6 with a 6.03 ERA.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Diamondbacks - Luis Gonzalez, .310 avg., 21 HRs, 80 RBIs and 76 runs; Steve Finley, 9 SBs. Braves - Sheffield, .335 avg., 97 RBIs and 100 runs; Javy Lopez, 33 HRs; Rafael Furcal, 21 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Braves, 4-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Diamondbacks - LF Gonzalez is batting .367 (11-for-30) with four homers in his career against LHP Hampton. … 2B Junior Spivey is 30-for-60 with six homers in his career against the Braves. … C Barajas returned to the lineup on Sunday, two days after he was struck on the right thumb by a foul tip. Braves - 3B Vinny Castilla is 7-for-14 with two homers and six RBIs in his career against RHP Batista. … The Braves have been shut out just four times this season. … RF Sheffield is batting .405 (32-for-79) during a career-high 21-game hitting streak.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Diamondbacks - 30-35 on the road; Braves - 44-19 at home.
INJURIES: Diamondbacks - 1B Mark Grace (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Mike Koplove (shoulder), 15-day DL. Braves - RHP Paul Byrd (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Roberto Hernandez (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Darren Holmes (shoulder), 15-day DL.
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