The Philadelphia Phillies have a chance to match their longest winning streak of the season, but manager Charlie Manuel won’t have a part in it.
Citing personal reasons, Manuel won’t be in the dugout as the Phillies try for a fifth consecutive victory Saturday afternoon against the visiting Atlanta Braves.
The 66-year-old Manuel wouldn’t go into detail about why he’ll miss this game, but did say it had nothing to do with his health and that he will be back for Sunday’s series finale.
Bench coach Pete Mackanin will manage the Phillies (18-11), who improved to 6-2 on a 10-game homestand after beating Atlanta 7-0 on Friday. Philadelphia won five in a row April 9-14.
Though Werth is 14 for 30 with three homers and 10 RBIs on the homestand, it’s been strong pitching that’s helped Philadelphia string together some victories. Phillies’ starters have allowed two earned runs in 31 innings over the last four games.
After beginning 2010 on the disabled list with a strained oblique, Blanton was solid in his debut until he was charged with four runs in the seventh inning of a 6-3 loss to St. Louis on Monday.
Despite the outcome, Blanton was content with his performance.
“I still felt strong in the seventh,” Blanton said. “I probably felt better than in spring training.”
The right-hander is 1-1 with a 5.45 ERA in six starts against the Braves (12-17), who’ve lost two in a row and 10 of 11 on the road.
Troy Glaus(notes) had both hits Friday for the Braves, who have two runs and six hits in their last two games. The veteran infielder, batting .391 in six games this month, is 2 for 18 against Blanton.
Atlanta played Friday without disabled shortstop Yunel Escobar(notes) (adductor), rookie outfielder Jason Heyward(notes) (strained groin) and catcher Brian McCann(notes), who could play Saturday after missing the last two games with eye problems.
Due to a hamstring injury to Jair Jurrjens(notes), Atlanta will start reliever Kris Medlen(notes) (1-1, 2.55) in this game. The right-hander is 1-2 with a 6.38 ERA in four career starts, his last coming July 12.
“I’ve just worked hard to put myself in a position where I can be as versatile as I can be, and hopefully, eat up some innings for my team,” Medlen told the Braves’ official website.
Medlen, who has appeared in 12 games out of the bullpen this season, has allowed six runs in eight innings of relief against Philadelphia.