Braves-Phillies Preview

The Associated Press

The Atlanta Braves haven't enjoyed this type of dominance against the Philadelphia Phillies for 15 years.

Brian McCann is playing a major role, and that may continue against Cole Hamels.

McCann will try to help the surging Braves make it eight straight wins against the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night.

Atlanta (63-46) has won 11 of 13 and four of those victories have come against the Phillies (49-60), who occupy the NL East basement after five straight division titles.

The Braves have capitalized on struggling Philadelphia all season, winning eight of 10 and seven in a row for the first time since taking nine in a row bridging 1996-97.

McCann is hitting .333 with six homers and 17 RBIs in his last eight games against Philadelphia after he had two hits, including a run-scoring single in Monday's 6-1 victory to open this three-game set.

He has three homers and nine RBIs in four games at Citizens Bank Park this season. McCann has a .278 average against Hamels - Tuesday's scheduled starter - but nine of his 15 hits in 54 at-bats have gone for extra bases with three leaving the park - two this year.

Hamels (11-6, 3.34 ERA) will try to avoid losing three consecutive starts for the first time since August 2010. He's 0-2 with a 5.03 ERA in his last three outings despite striking out 22 over 19 2-3 innings during that span.

The left-hander, however, pitched well enough to win Thursday at Washington, yielding three runs with nine strikeouts in seven innings but the Phillies were held to three hits in a 3-0 loss.

Facing Atlanta at home could help Hamels get back in the win column. He's 4-1 with a 2.85 ERA over his past six home meetings.

The Phillies have already equaled their loss total from last year, and had a streak of 257 consecutive sellouts snapped Monday.

"It's kind of up to us that we get our team together, get better and get our crowd back," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I'm sure we can. I'm sorry because we didn't sell out. It just goes to show you what kind of a season we've had."

Atlanta is scheduled to turn to Mike Minor (6-7, 5.01) for the first time since weather interrupted his latest appearance.

The left-hander allowed two hits in 3 2-3 scoreless innings Thursday before becoming a spectator following a 42-minute rain delay, as four relievers finished off a 6-1 win over Miami.

That appearance came five days after Minor matched his season high with nine strikeouts and allowed one run and four hits in eight innings of a 2-1 victory over the Phillies.

"I think you're looking at a kid who has kind of realized what he is capable of doing," third baseman Chipper Jones said.

Minor is 3-1 with a 2.50 ERA in his past six outings, but five of those have come at home. He lost the lone road game of that stretch on July 23 against the Marlins despite giving up two runs in seven innings.

Minor is 2-5 with a 6.16 ERA in 10 road games this season, losing three straight. He lost his only appearance in Philadelphia on Sept. 21, 2010.

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