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News » Braves-Phillies Preview 2009-05-08

Braves-Phillies Preview 2009-05-08

Braves-Phillies Preview 2009-05-08
Cole Hamels has been roughed up in his last two starts, and it's had nothing to do with his pitching.

After being injured in each of his previous two appearances, Hamels returns to the mound Friday night when the Phillies open a three-game home set against the Atlanta Braves.

April was a tough month overall for Hamels (0-2, 7.27 ERA), the 2008 World Series and NLCS MVP, who has pitched into the sixth inning once in four starts.

First, he missed his scheduled opening day start against Atlanta (13-15) due to minor elbow problems. When he finally took the mound, Hamels allowed 12 runs in 9 2-3 innings over his first two starts.

On April 23 against Milwaukee, he was struck in the shoulder by a line drive and left after pitching 3 1-3 innings in a 6-1 loss.

In his last outing on April 28, Hamels turned his ankle in a 7-1 win over Washington after 4 1-3 scoreless innings. The Phillies pushed his scheduled start Monday against St. Louis to Friday to make sure he is ready.

"I'd rather have had these sort of injuries than say take one off the face and be out on the DL for about 60 days," Hamels told the Phillies' official Web site.

Hamels hopes to help the AL East-leading Phillies (14-12) bounce back after being swept in a two-game road set against the New York Mets.

The left-hander is 6-3 with a 3.45 ERA in 11 starts against Atlanta.

The Braves, who took two of three in the season-opening set at Citizens Bank Park, opened an eight-game road trip by sweeping a two-game set from Florida.

Casey Kotchman homered and backup catcher David Ross added a two-run shot in Atlanta's 4-2 win over the Marlins on Thursday. The Braves had lost four in a row entering the trip.

Chipper Jones, who was given the day off Thursday, is 5 for 15 with three doubles and two home runs against Hamels.

After doing a rehab stint in the minors to get accustomed to his new glasses, catcher Brian McCann is expected to be activated from the disabled list Friday.

"I'm pretty sure I'll be in the starting lineup, ready to go," said the three-time All-Star, who's batting .195 with two homers and seven RBIs in 13 games.

Jo-Jo Reyes (0-1, 5.00) takes the ball for the Braves. He allowed four runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings, but didn't factor in the decision of a 7-5 loss to Houston on Sunday.

The left-hander hasn't won since June 18 - a span of 16 starts.

"I've just had no luck so far," Reyes said. "But our time is going to come. This can't last all season."

It may through this start as Reyes takes an 0-2 career record with a 6.23 ERA against the Phillies into his fourth start against them.

Jayson Werth is 4 for 9 all-time against Reyes and had four hits with a two-run homer Thursday for the Phillies.

Ryan Howard also homered and drove in two runs, while Shane Victorino singled to extend his hitting streak to 16 games. Victorino is batting .352 (25 for 71) with three homers and 15 RBIs during that span, but is 2 for 13 against the Braves this season.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 8, 2009

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