Series: Game 1 of 4

Atlanta leads 1-0 (as of 9/26)

Game 1: Thursday, September 26
Game 2: Friday, September 27
Game 3: Saturday, September 28
Game 4: Sunday, September 29

Phillies 1

(72-87, 29-49 away)

Braves 7

(94-65, 54-24 home)

    7:10 PM ET, September 26, 2013

    Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia 

    123456789 R H E
    PHI 010000000 1 9 1
    ATL 52000000 - 7 12 1

    W: D. Hale (1-0)

    L: T. Cloyd (2-7)

    Phillies-Braves Preview


    The Atlanta Braves might be a little short-handed for their pursuit of the NL's best record.

    With suspensions possibly coming after a brawl in their most recent game, Atlanta is hoping to get another strong start from David Hale on Thursday night against the Philadelphia Phillies.

    After a 4-0 loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday, Atlanta (93-65) is now one-half game behind St. Louis in the race to earn home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs. What happened during the first inning of that defeat could play a big part in that chase.

    The Brewers' Carlos Gomez got into a verbal argument with pitcher Paul Maholm and first baseman Freddie Freeman after hitting his 23rd homer, and catcher Brian McCann kept him from touching the plate when he confronted him between third and home. That resulted in a benches-clearing brawl that led to ejections for Freeman, Gomez and Braves backup catcher Gerald Laird.

    After the game, Gomez said he was upset because Maholm hit him in the leg with a fastball in a 7-4 loss June 23.

    "If you have a beef with the pitcher, have a beef with the pitcher," Freeman said. "Don't make us get involved. That's us. We're going to back up our pitcher. I'm fine with how everybody handled it."

    With MLB potentially meting out punishment as soon as Thursday, Atlanta will have to see who is available to open this four-game series against Philadelphia (72-86).

    The Braves might not need too much help if Hale can duplicate his impressive major league debut.

    While starting in place of an ailing Maholm, the 25-year-old Hale set a franchise record with nine strikeouts in his first game Sept. 13 against San Diego. The right-hander also pitched five scoreless innings, but the Padres denied him a win by rallying for a 4-3 victory.

    "David was outstanding," manager Fredi Gonzalez told the team's website. "We couldn't ask any more, really. Couldn't have been a better script. He was outstanding."

    Hale (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will next face a Phillies team that's batted .215 and scored 18 runs while dropping six of seven. Philadelphia had 10 hits Wednesday in Miami but lost 3-2.

    Hale will also pitch opposite a struggling Tyler Cloyd (2-6, 5.40). The right-hander is 0-3 with an 11.77 ERA in three starts since being recalled from the minors Sept. 3.

    Cloyd, who has never faced Atlanta, allowed one run in his first five innings against the New York Mets on Saturday but didn't make it out of the sixth. He was charged with all four runs in that frame in a rain-shortened 5-4 loss.

    "I wish I could figure it out," he said. "I'll keep continuing to work on everything I need to work on."

    The Braves have won four of their six home games against the Phillies this season, but they endured a three-game sweep in Philadelphia during the most recent matchup Sept. 6-8.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

    Current StreakL1W1
    Last 102-86-4

    Pitching Matchup

    T. Cloyd
    2-7, 6.56 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/29 at ATL
    1.0 IP, 2 ER
    Dec = ND
    D. Hale
    1-0, 0.82 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/26 at ATL
    6.0 IP, 1 ER
    Dec = Win

    Gameday Lineups

    1. C. Hernandez, CF J. Heyward, CF
    2. J. Rollins, SS E. Johnson, 2B
    3. D. Brown, LF F. Freeman, 1B
    4. D. Ruf, RF E. Gattis, LF
    5. K. Frandsen, 1B B. McCann, C
    6. C. Asche, 3B C. Johnson, 3B
    7. E. Kratz, C A. Simmons, SS
    8. F. Galvis, 2B J. Schafer, RF
    9. T. Cloyd, P D. Hale, P