Philadelphia Phillies (72-88) at Atlanta Braves (95-65)
Saturday, September 28 - 7:10 PM EST
Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia
The Atlanta Braves look to inch closer to clinching the top spot in the National League playoffs when they continue a four-game series with Philadelphia on Saturday. With a 1-0 win Friday behind eight dominant innings from Kris Medlen and a solo homer by Chris Johnson, Atlanta (95-65) remained in a tie with St. Louis with two games to play. The Braves hold the tiebreaker with the Cardinals and would get home-field advantage through the NL playoffs.
Picking on the Phillies has helped Atlanta stay in front in that race. Philadelphia has managed one run and 11 hits in the first two games of the series and has been held to two runs or fewer 18 times during its 6-23 stretch on the road. The Phillies may go with a committee of relievers to get through Saturday - beginning with Ethan Martin, who has thrown just seven innings of relief since his last start Sept. 3.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, CSN Philadelphia (Philadelphia), FSN South (Atlanta)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Phillies RH Ethan Martin (2-5, 6.32 ERA) vs. Braves LH Mike Minor (13-8, 3.22)
Martin is penciled in to make his eighth start of the year in the spot of the rotation previously held by Roy Halladay, who left his last outing with arm fatigue. Martin has pitched out of the bullpen after making seven straight starts from Aug. 2-Sept. 3, during which he was 2-4 with a 6.90 ERA. The former first-round pick made two of those starts against Atlanta, which got to Martin for nine runs in 9 1/3 innings.
Minor is 0-3 with a 4.15 ERA in four starts this month but has lasted at least six innings in each outing and is on the verge of reaching the 200-inning mark for the first time in his young career. He allowed three runs in seven innings and did not walk a batter for the 10th time this season in a loss to Milwaukee on Monday. The 25-year-old yielded two runs in seven frames in his lone appearance versus Philadelphia in 2013.
1. Philadelphia has lost eight of nine overall.
2. Atlanta has clinched the best home record in the majors.
3. Braves C Brian McCann is expected to miss the remainder of the series due to an adductor strain.
PREDICTION: Braves 6, Phillies 3