The Atlanta Braves’ dreadful home record has them out of serious contention for a 15th straight division title. The Braves try to win their first home series since before the All-Star break when they conclude their three-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field on Wednesday.
Atlanta (52-60) finished with a 53-28 home record last season, tied with Houston for the best in the National League. This season, the Braves own the worst home record in the NL at 23-29.
Atlanta had allowed 30 runs in its last three home games before a 3-1 victory on Tuesday. That victory snapped a five-game home losing streak for the Braves, who haven’t won a home series since winning three of four over the Reds July 6-9.
“It’s a good win for us,” said Tuesday’s winner, Tim Hudson. “Things are tough right now. We’ve dug ourselves a big hole. But you never know what may happen.”
Brian McCann hit his 19th double of the season on Tuesday, and is 11-for-16 (.688) in his last four games.
Marcus Giles went 2-for-4, and is batting .449 (22-for-49) with six doubles and eight RBIs in his last 12 contests.
Rookie Chuck James (4-3, 5.07 ERA) looks to avoid losing his fourth straight start when he takes the mound for Atlanta Wednesday.
James won his first four starts of the season while posting a 4.32 ERA from June 25-July 16, but has an 8.78 ERA during his losing streak.
The 24-year-old left-hander was in position to end his skid in his last start against Cincinnati, but couldn’t make it out of the sixth inning. James retired 16 of the first 18 Reds he faced, and pitched 5 1-3 innings of no-hit ball. He never recorded another out, though, giving up four runs, two hits and three walks in a 5-4 loss.
“I’ve been struggling hitting my spots lately, but I had the good fastball tonight that I hadn’t had in a while,” James said.
The Phillies (54-58) have lost three of their last four, totaling just five runs in the losses. Philadelphia, Colorado and Houston all trail the Reds by 3 1-2 games for the wild card lead.
Randy Wolf (0-0, 6.48) searches again for his first win when he starts for the third time this season on Wednesday.
Wolf, who missed more than a year after undergoing ligament replacement surgery on his pitching elbow, has allowed six runs in 8 1-3 innings in his two outings this year.
The left-hander gave up three runs and seven hits in four innings of a 5-3 victory over the New York Mets on Friday. He threw 95 pitches that ranged from 63 to 90 mph with various stops in between.
“I’m this close with my offspeed pitches,” said Wolf, holding his thumb and forefinger about a centimeter apart. “It’s an adjustment that, once I find it, will be big. I have all the confidence in my fastball, my slider is 50-50, my curve is something else.”
Wolf is 4-9 with a 4.65 ERA in 19 career games against Atlanta.