The Atlanta Braves had been tough to beat at home this season - until Philadelphia came to town.
The NL East-leading Phillies will be trying to build on the best road record in the league and complete a three-game sweep on Sunday when they meet the Braves.
Philadelphia (38-26) improved to 17-13 on the road with Saturday’s 6-2 victory over Atlanta. The Phillies, who have won 11 of 13 overall, moved into position for their first sweep of the Braves (32-31) since May 25-27 last season, when won three straight at Turner Field.
“Things are working out for us,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “Things are going our way. We’re getting the breaks, and we’re getting the starting pitching.”
The Phillies have won four of five this season against the Braves, who own the second-best home record in the NL at 25-10, behind only the Chicago Cubs. However, Atlanta is a major league worst 7-21 on the road.
The Braves, 3-3 on their current seven-game homestand, open a 10-game road trip on Tuesday against the Cubs. They have dropped back-to-back home games for the second time this season and first since April 22 against Washington and April 23 versus Florida.
“To lose a series at home is tough, the way we’ve been playing on the road,” Atlanta second baseman Kelly Johnson said. “It’s putting pressure on us to be near-perfect at home. We have been. Unfortunately, these two games have not gone our way. That’s one way of putting it.”
“It’s been big for us,” center fielder Shane Victorino said. “When you’re playing a division rival, it’s big. … Look at their home record. They play so well at home.”
Chipper Jones homered for Atlanta and is batting .420 - the highest batting average through June 7 since Paul O’Neill was hitting .431 for the Yankees on June 7, 1994.
Jones is batting .375 (24-for-64) with eight homers and 20 RBIs during a 17-game hitting streak against the Phillies.
“He’s something,” manager Bobby Cox said of Jones. “We need somebody else to go with him here.”
The Braves will try to salvage a game against Philadelphia starter Adam Eaton (2-3, 4.63 ERA).
Eaton has won his last two starts, yielding one run in each, after failing to win in his first 10. He went 6 2-3 innings in Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Cincinnati.
Eaton is 3-3 with a 6.14 ERA in eight career starts against the Braves and has allowed 18 runs in 13 2-3 innings in his last three outings against them.
The Braves will give the ball to Jorge Campillo (2-0, 1.79), who is making his fifth start after 13 relief appearances. The right-hander has been a pleasant surprise for the Braves since joining the rotation, but wasn’t sharp in his latest outing. He gave up four runs, including two homers to Dan Uggla, in four innings of Atlanta’s 5-4 win over Florida on Tuesday.
Campillo has been battling blisters on his pitching hand and has not gone more than five innings in his last three starts.
“I thought he pitched pretty darn good,” manager Bobby Cox told the Braves’ official team Web site after his last start. “The ball was just flying out of here tonight, and he didn’t get roughed up that much, but it’s the most so far.”
Campillo threw 3 1-3 scoreless innings in relief this season in his only two career appearances against the Phillies.