National League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, August 4th (All times Eastern)
Atlanta Braves (66-45) at Philadelphia Phillies (50-60), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Atlanta - Alex Wood (1-2, 3.51) Philadelphia - Cliff Lee (10-4, 3.05)
(Sports Network) - Cliff Lee hasn't pitched since July 21 due to a stiff neck. He's sure gotten used to turning around watching hits leave the ballpark.
The Philadelphia Phillies left-hander has given up seven homers over his last two starts, but Sunday night faces a tough task, stopping the Atlanta Braves from their second 10-game winning streak of the season.
The Braves, who won 5-4 in 12 innings Saturday, are on the verge of a three- game sweep at Citizens Bank Park. Atlanta won 10 straight from April 5-16.
Lee was the subject of trade rumors, but remained with the Phillies after the July 31 non-waiver dealing deadline. Now the veteran is out to break a two- start skid that has seen him allow 16 hits and nine earned runs over 13 innings pitched in losses to the Mets and Nationals.
Lee is 6-4 with a 2.97 ERA in 12 career starts against the Braves.
Left-hander Alex Wood makes his fourth major league start in his 19th appearance Sunday for the Braves. Wood picked up his first major league victory Tuesday against Colorado when he pitched seven strong innings.
Dan Uggla brought in the deciding run in the 12th inning Saturday. Freddie Freeman drove in two runs and Justin Upton added a solo homer for the Braves, who haven't tasted defeat since July 25 at New York.
Atlanta's run, stretching to 11-2 over the last 13 games, has opened up a comfortable double-digit lead in the NL East over second-place Washington and a 15 1/2-game edge over Philadelphia.
Luis Avilan (4-0) tossed a scoreless 11th and Craig Kimbrel followed suit in the 12th to post his 33rd save.
John Mayberry hit a two-run shot and Jimmy Rollins finished with two hits and an RBI for the Phillies, who have dropped 12 of their last 13 games.
"We have a hard time getting going," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We're having a hard time playing good enough or doing enough to win. We're playing the game out and staying there with it. We're just getting beat right now."
Jake Diekman (0-2) walked three over 1 1/3 innings, and was charged with the winning run.
Diekman began the 12th by walking Upton, who moved up on a groundout. Evan Gattis drew a free pass and Paul Janish worked a base on balls before Uggla grounded into a fielder's choice to second against Justin De Fratus which brought Upton home with the lead run. The Atlanta second baseman was safe by inches, as Phils first baseman Kevin Frandsen was pulled slightly off the bag while gloving the throw from Chase Utley.
"Everybody knows the situation. You have to beat the ball out to get a run there," Uggla said. "So everybody is going to be busting it and giving it everything they got, whatever they've got left in the tank. That's what it takes to win sometimes."
The Phillies' Darin Ruf extended his streak of reaching base to 31 consecutive MLB appearances since Sept. 25, 2012, the longest streak for a Phillie since Utley's 33-game run Sept. 7, 2008 - April 22, 2009.
Atlanta leads the season series, 5-3.
08/04 10:31:00 ET