=== Halladay hopes to end personal slide in Atlanta ===
(Sports Network) - Roy Halladay hasn't lost three straight starts in almost
two years and is in danger of reaching that dubious distinction tonight
against the Atlanta Braves in the second portion of a three-game series.
Halladay last dropped three starts in row from June 10-20, 2010 and enters
tonight's contest at Turner Field riding a two-game slide. After winning his
first three starts of the 2012 campaign, Halladay has suffered losses to the
Padres and Cubs. In Friday's 5-1 setback to Chicago, he allowed a season-high
three runs on six hits in seven innings.
The right-hander has pitched at least seven innings in each of his five starts
this season and is 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA. Halladay is 2-1 in three road starts
this season and owns a 4-1 mark to go along with a 1.78 ERA in seven career
games (6 starts) against the Braves.
Philadelphia took last night's opener by a 4-2 score and received another
solid outing from Cole Hamels even though he didn't factor in the decision.
Hamels was reached for two early runs in six innings and struck out six, while
Antonio Bastardo grabbed the win with a scoreless seventh inning. Bastardo got
the win after the Phillies plated two in the eighth, as John Mayberry scored
on Jonny Venters' wild pitch and Hunter Pence singled home Jimmy Rollins.
"I saw the ball kind of pop up, so I knew it was going to take a great play
for [catcher Brian] McCann to get the ball," Mayberry said.
Ty Wigginton hit a two-run single for the Phillies, who have won eight in a
row over the Braves and five of seven overall. The Phillies opened a six-game
trip against Atlanta and Washington on a strong note, and also pulled within 2
1/2 games of the Nationals for the NL East lead. However, the Braves are just
one-half game off the top spot and the New York Mets sit 1 1/2 games back.
McCann homered and Juan Francisco knocked in the other run for the Braves,
losers in three of their last four games. Freddie Freeman had a team-best two
hits for an Atlanta club that was without Jason Heyward (oblique) and veteran
Chipper Jones (knee). Jones could return for Wednesday's game.
Venters was saddled with the loss for giving up two runs in two-thirds of an
inning, while starter Brandon Beachy was solid with seven innings of two-run
"I felt good, I just didn't make any pitches when I had to," Venters said.
The Braves are 2-3 on a seven-game homestand and 7-4 as the host. They will
hand the ball to Tommy Hanson tonight in hopes of him extending a personal
winning streak to three starts. Hanson has won two straight and three of four
trips to the hill, including Friday's 6-1 win over Pittsburgh in which he
tossed six innings of one-run ball and fanned five.
Hanson, who was coming off a win at Arizona, improved to 3-2 in five starts
and lowered his earned run average from 3.38 to 3.00. The righty is 1-1 in two
home starts this season and 1-2 with a 2.23 ERA in seven career starts against
the rival Phillies.
Atlanta was eliminated from postseason contention last year by the Phillies
and went 6-12 in this series in 2011. Philadelphia has won four straight at
Turner Field and is 7-7 as the visitor this season.
05/02 10:55:40 ET