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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, July 18 (All times Eastern)

Philadelphia Phillies (42-53) at Atlanta Braves (52-43), 7:35 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - A.J. Burnett (6-8, 3.83) Atlanta - Ervin Santana (7-6, 4.01)

(SportsNetwork.com) - While the rest was certainly welcomed, the Atlanta Braves hope that the All-Star break didn't cool off their awaking offense.

The Braves eye up a third straight victory on Friday night as they begin a three-game series with the visiting Philadelphia Phillies.

Following a 1-5 stretch in which they were held to four runs or fewer in each game, the Braves plated 21 runs over the weekend in a pair of wins over the Chicago Cubs.

Third baseman Chris Johnson was at the front of the surge, notching five hits, three homers and seven RBI in the two wins.

The back-to-back wins allowed Atlanta to head into the break in a virtual tie with the Washington Nationals for first place in the NL East and the club will look to snap that stalemate in the opener of an 11-game homestand.

Philadelphia, meanwhile, lost its final two games following a five-game winning streak and sits nine games under .500 as well as 10 games back of Washington and Atlanta for first place.

Shortstop Jimmy Rollins entered the All-Star break on a five-game hitting streak for the Phillies, going 7-for-21 with three homers, seven RBI and six runs scored.

Rollins will try to extend that streak against Atlanta righty Ervin Santana, who was denied a third straight winning start with a 4-1 loss at the New York Mets on July 9. He was touched for four runs on six hits and two walks over seven innings.

Santana is 7-6 with a 4.01 earned run average on the season and the 31-year- old holds a lifetime mark of 2-1 with a 2.10 ERA in four starts versus the Phillies.

Philadelphia opens this set with 37-year-old veteran A.J. Burnett on the mound. He went 6-8 with a 3.83 ERA in the first half, snapping a three-game winless drought (0-2) with a 6-2 win over Washington last Friday.

Burnett allowed two runs on five hits and four walks over 7 2/3 frames, striking out six while notching his seventh straight outing of allowing three earned runs or fewer.

"Burnett has been a steady force, he's been a leader, he's been a veteran guy, he's been a workhorse. He really seems to be getting better, pitching quality games and continuing to do that," said Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg.

The right-handed Burnett is 5-12 with a 3.90 ERA in his career versus the Braves, getting a no-decision in the lone previous meeting this season back on April 17. He hurled seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball.

The Phillies recorded a three-game sweep in Atlanta from June 16-18, but the Braves responded by taking all four meetings of a set in Philadelphia in late June to take a 6-4 lead in the season series.

07/18 10:38:42 ET

  • CBB: North Carolina vs. Ohio State

    Saturday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: UCLA vs Kentucky

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego at San Francisco

    Saturday at 8:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Cleveland

    Monday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • WBB: Duke vs. UMass Lowell

    Tomorrow at 6:30 pm on 620am

  • NFL: Philadelphia at Washington

    Saturday at 4:25 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
Final
CHI 103
NYK 97
Final
HOU 90
NOP 99
3rd
SAC 69
MIL 65
 
2nd
GSW 60
OKC 52
 
Final
RICE 72
STTHOMASTX 61
 
Final
UVA 70
CLST 54
Final
LIU 69
FIU 58
 
Final
STET 67
GSOUT 76
 
Final
QUIN 80
LEH 65
 
Final
SFLA 69
SHU 89
Final
RICH 65
SALA 54
Final
CAN 60
USB 59
 
Final
DEL 62
TEMPL 82
Final
WCU 56
WRST 69
 
Final
VERM 56
YALE 57
 
Final
SDKST 75
IDST 72
 
Final
RIDE 62
MRGST 48
 
Final
LATU 79
NICST 54
 
Final
CHAR 75
APP 65
Final
MISS 71
CCAR 68
 
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
Final
BRAD 80
EUREK 38
 
Final
PEAY 76
OAKC 52
 
Final
JST 66
SMISS 46
 
Final
SD 55
MNTST 53
 
Final
UAB 70
LSU 79
Final
EVAN 81
OHIO 69
 
2nd
CSFU 62
CSDH 43
 
2nd
ORST 65
DEP 42
 
2nd
PAC 48
NEV 41
 
2nd
USF 77
PORST 35
 
2nd
IDAHO 75
WALLA 31
 
2nd
UTST 37
CALST 28
 
Final
PIT 1
COL 0
Final
PHI 1
FLA 2
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
CLB 4
WAS 5
Final
MON 1
ANA 2
2nd
SJS 1
EDM 1
 
2nd
LOS 1
STL 3
 
Final
JAC 21
TEN 13