Los Angeles (60-58) at Atlanta (68-49)

Fair Currently: Atlanta, GA
Temp: 62° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Mon Aug 16, 2010
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Atlanta Braves have enjoyed a string of quality starts this month. Right-hander Tommy Hanson(notes) would like to see another offensive outburst from his teammates.

Looking for his first victory since July 3, Hanson gets the ball Monday when the NL East-leading Braves go for their fourth straight series win at Turner Field as they complete a four-game set versus the Dodgers.

With Jair Jurrjens(notes) pitching seven innings of one-run ball, the Braves (68-49) tagged Dodgers pitching for a season high-tying 16 hits Sunday to win 13-1.

“We’ve all got to step up,” said All-Star catcher Brian McCann(notes), referring to the team learning Friday that Chipper Jones(notes) needed season-ending ACL surgery.

Atlanta’s starters, though, have carried the club in August, going 6-2 with a 1.58 ERA. The Braves were batting .218 and averaging 3.6 runs this month prior to Sunday.

Despite posting a 2.03 ERA and holding opponents to a .213 batting average in his last seven starts, Hanson (8-8, 3.51 ERA) is 0-3 in that span. Atlanta has averaged 3.1 runs during this stretch, and the bullpen hasn’t done much to help the right-hander.

Hanson was in line for the victory Wednesday at Houston after giving up one run and two hits over seven innings, but closer Billy Wagner(notes) blew his third save in the right-hander’s last five starts.

“I definitely had some of my better stuff today,” Hanson said after McCann’s 10th-inning grand slam lifted the Braves to a 8-2 win. “Even warming up, my slider, my curveball felt really good and I felt really good command-wise.”

Hanson is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two career starts versus the Dodgers. He allowed two runs in six innings of a 9-3 win in Los Angeles on June 5.

Chad Billingsley(notes) (9-7, 3.78), who lost that matchup after yielding three runs over six innings, has allowed just five runs in his last five starts. The right-hander, however, is 2-2 during this span as Los Angeles has backed him with five total runs - only one in his last three outings.

Billingsley, who has a 0.96 ERA in his last three road starts, gave up two runs and five hits over six innings of Wednesday’s 2-0 loss at Philadelphia.

“We had opportunities, couldn’t get the big hit, nothing you can do about it,” he told the Dodgers’ official website.

Billingsley is 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in two career starts in Atlanta.

While the Braves own a major league-best 41-16 home record, Los Angeles (60-58) has lost 13 of 16 on the road and averaged 3.1 runs in 30 games since the All-Star break.

“I don’t sense anyone throwing up his hands,” manager Joe Torre said. “There is no give-up out there. We have to pick ourselves up.”

Left fielder Scott Podsednik(notes) has provided the Dodgers with a boost since being acquired from Kansas City last month, hitting .314. Podsednik, who is batting .380 during a 12-game hitting streak, has never faced Hanson.

Rookie right fielder Jason Heyward(notes) could return to the Braves’ lineup after missing Sunday’s game with a swollen right knee. He is 1 for 8 in the series.

McCann, who has one hit in nine at-bats in the series, is 1 for 11 with a solo home run lifetime against Billingsley.

The Braves will try to win the season series versus Los Angeles for the fourth consecutive year.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Billingsley Phi vs. T. Hanson CWS
12-11 Record 10-11
3.57 ERA 3.33
171 K 173
69 BB 56
1.28 WHIP 1.17


Monday, Aug 16