The Philadelphia Phillies rode a lineup that thrived on the home run to a World Series title last season.
In the 2009 opener, it was the Phillies that were victimized by the long ball.
Philadelphia looks to get its offense in gear and pick up its first victory of the season when it continues a three-game series with the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday.
Philadelphia led the NL with 214 homers and hit 19 more in the playoffs en route to its first World Series title since 1980 last season.
The Phillies raised their championship flag during an hour-long ceremony prior to Sunday’s season opener, but the celebrating didn’t last long.
Brian McCann hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Jeff Francoeur and Jordan Schafer added solo shots in the second in Atlanta’s 4-1 victory. Schafer’s homer came in his first career at-bat and boos were heard while McCann circled the bases.
“That’s part of it. We can handle it,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of the boos. “A lot of people were here. They wanted to see a good game. We got off to a slow start.”
Philadelphia’s lineup couldn’t solve Derek Lowe, who was making his Braves debut after signing a $60 million, four-year contract in January. Lowe allowed two hits, no walks, struck out four and induced 13 groundouts in eight innings of shutout work.
Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard combined to go 1-for-11 with two strikeouts, and they might not have much luck Tuesday against scheduled starter Jair Jurrjens, who’s coming off an impressive rookie season.
Jurrjens went 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA in 31 starts in 2008, leading NL rookies in victories and ERA. The right-hander did an outstanding job of limiting home runs, ranking fifth in the majors with 0.53 homers allowed per nine innings.
Jurrjens went 1-2 with a 3.33 ERA in four starts against the Phillies last year and for the most part, managed to shut down Philadelphia’s big bats. Rollins was 3-for-12 against Jurrjens, Utley went 2-for-10 with a homer and Howard was 2-for-11 with a home run.
Jurrjens was less than five months old when Jamie Moyer, the Phillies’ scheduled starter Tuesday, made his major league debut in 1986.
The 46-year-old Moyer is set to begin his 23rd season in the majors after going 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA in 33 starts in 2008. The left-hander was key to Philadelphia’s late-season surge to catch the New York Mets, going 5-0 with a 3.28 ERA in his final six starts with the Phillies winning each outing.
Moyer failed to record a decision in two starts versus the Braves last season, posting a 6.55 ERA in those contests. He’s 2-3 with a 5.55 ERA in eight starts against Atlanta since being traded to the Phillies in 2006.
Braves left fielder Garret Anderson, who signed as a free agent in February after spending his first 15 seasons with the Los Angeles Angels franchise, has faced Moyer more than any other player in his career. He’s 33-for-104 (.317) with five home runs, nine doubles and 15 strikeouts against him.
“When you’ve faced a guy that many times, there’s a sense of familiarity for both guys,” Anderson told the Braves’ official Web site. “I don’t think it really gives anybody an advantage.”
McCann is 8-for-18 (.444) with a homer and a double versus Moyer.