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Preview: Braves (55-83) at Phillies (53-85)
Venue: Citizens Bank Park
Date: September 08, 2015 7:05 PM EDT
The Atlanta Braves have ended their worst single-season losing streak since 1977, but the prospects of a repeat effort don’t seem high. The last time Atlanta won consecutive road games, it was four out of first place and teetering at .500.
Weight has since been loaded almost entirely on the loss column. Promise has been drained from the season, but the Braves can at least try to continue holding off the last-place Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park with Ryan Weber making his major league debut.
The Braves (55-83), who last won two in a row on the road during a three-game streak June 28-July 7, had dropped 12 straight overall and 13 in a row away from home before Monday’s 7-2 win over Philadelphia. The team’s 12-hit effort matched its best over a 4-23 span that had it within a game of matching the Phillies (53-85) for baseball’s worst record.
Andrelton Simmons was 3 for 4 to break an 0-for-18 slump, and Hector Olivera was 2 for 5 with a home run, double and four RBIs after going 2 for 15 in his first five big league games.
“I’m just happy I could contribute and help the club win,” Olivera said through an interpreter. “I feel that it builds more confidence, and the more we get going, I’ll start feeling better. All in all I’m just happy we were able to get the win.”
The Braves passed baseball’s longest losing streak down to Philadelphia at five. The Phillies, in danger of matching their season-low water mark of 33 games under .500, have scored two runs in three straight games with Ryan Howard in an 0-for-19 slump over his last five.
“That was a disappointing start to the homestand,” interim manager Pete Mackanin told MLB’s official website. “We caught a team that’s down, and we couldn’t do a whole lot.”
It hasn’t been any better on the mound as they’ve posted a 6.77 ERA over a 3-11 span, and rookie Aaron Nola (5-2, 4.02 ERA) was even worse than that in his last start after two extremely promising outings. Nola had allowed one run and five hits over his past 15 innings before surrendering a season-high six runs and nine hits over four in Wednesday’s 9-4 loss at the New York Mets.
“I felt good out there,” Nola said. “Things kind of just unraveled. I missed a couple spots and they really made me pay for it.”
The right-hander earned a 12-2 home win over Atlanta on Aug. 1, giving up two runs in five innings. Freddie Freeman, who homered Monday and is batting .395 in his last nine games against the Phillies, was 2 for 2.
Weber is debuting less than two months after Nola, joining Atlanta after going 6-3 with a 2.21 ERA in 27 games – six starts – with Triple-A Gwinnett. The right-hander went 2-1 with a 2.81 ERA and .179 opponent batting over his last three starts. In 99 2-3 total minor league innings this season, the 25-year-old has issued just 10 walks.
Atlanta’s Cameron Maybin has missed consecutive games due to a left cornea abrasion and is day to day.