The Philadelphia Phillies have rebounded from an awful start. Their top offseason pitching acquisition, though, has yet to round into form.
Philadelphia (12-14) defeated the Braves 6-4 on Tuesday to win for the eighth time in its last 11 games after starting the season 4-11.
Shortstop Jimmy Rollins went 2-for-5 for his fourth multihit game in his last five, while center fielder Aaron Rowand had two run-scoring singles. Second baseman Chase Utley went 3-for-5, making the top three spots in the order a combined 7-for-14 in Tuesday’s win.
Now that the offense is clicking, the Phillies hope to get a solid start from Garcia (1-1, 5.65 ERA) in the series finale.
Garcia, who won 17 games last season with the Chicago White Sox before being traded to Philadelphia in December, has yet to pitch more than five innings in any of his three starts after opening the year on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis.
On Friday, the right-hander threw 106 pitches in just 4 2-3 innings, as he gave up four runs, seven hits - including two homers - and two walks while striking out eight in a 6-5 win over Florida.
Garcia’s only career start against the Braves was a 2-1 victory for Seattle on June 13, 2003, when he gave up one run in 7 1-3 innings.
Left fielder Pat Burrell went 0-for-3 on Tuesday, and is hitless in 14 at-bats in his last five games, but may have a good chance to break out of his slump against Wednesday’s Braves starter Chuck James (3-2, 4.73), against whom he’s 5-for-10 lifetime with two homers and a double.
After losing back-to-back starts, James allowed four runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 9-7 victory over Colorado on Friday.
The left-hander is 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA in four career games - three starts - against Philadelphia.
Atlanta (16-10), which leads the NL East by one-half game over the New York Mets, will try to avoid losing consecutive games for the first time since April 12 and 13.
Chipper Jones homered twice on Tuesday, and is batting .354 (17-for-48) with six home runs, five doubles and 12 RBIs during a season-high 11-game hitting streak.
Jones leads the NL with 10 homers, but has been experiencing discomfort in his right quadriceps muscle and may rest for the series finale.
Braves catcher Brian McCann may also miss this game after he had his glove knocked off by a swing Tuesday and eventually left the game with a sore hand. X-rays were negative, and he is listed as day-to-day with a bruised ring finger.
“You need your fingers to catch a baseball,” said McCann, who is batting just .158 (3-for-19) in his last six games. “When one of them is giving you trouble, it’s tough to do your job.”