Hampton looks to continue his dominance of Philadelphia as the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves open a four-game series with the Phillies at Turner Field.
Hampton allowed one run and two hits over eight innings in Tuesday’s 5-3 win over Eric Milton and the Phillies for his ninth victory in 10 decisions. The 31-year-old left-hander improved to 3-0 with a 1.21 ERA in four starts against Philadelphia this season.
“It seems whenever he pitches against us, he keeps the ball down and throws strikes,” Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. “He’s been good against us all year.”
Hampton, who retired the first 10 batters he faced, has been pitching well against every team lately. He began the season 1-7 but is 9-1 since the start of July.
“Confidence is pretty high and, in this game, when you’ve got confidence anything can happen,” Hampton said.
“I felt like I didn’t pitch that poorly,” he added. “I didn’t pitch great, but with a couple of bounces or hops going my way that I still could have got off to a pretty good start. Things are just going my way.”
Milton, who will square off against Hampton again on Monday, blew his chance to become the first Phillies pitcher in 114 years to start a season 14-2. The left-hander, who was struggling with back spasms, allowed his NL-worst 37th homer—tying Seattle’s Jamie Moyer for the major league lead.
Mike Lieberthal and Jimmy Rollins each homered in the Phillies’ 4-2 win over the New York Mets on Sunday. Philadelphia has won six of nine, but is 6 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants in the NL wild-card race.
Billy Wagner pitched a perfect eighth inning in his first appearance since July 21. The Phillies’ closer had been out with a strained left rotator cuff.