Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves
- Atlanta leads this season series 8-7, although Philadelphia has won the last three meetings, all of which were games decided by one run.
- Philadelphia is 42-31 (.575) when it scores first in a game this season, compared to just 30-55 (.353) when its opponent scores first. The Phillies fell behind 2-0 in Wednesday's 3-2 loss to the Marlins.
- The Braves need one more win to equal last season's victory total (94). Atlanta lost to Milwaukee 4-0 on Wednesday, the 17th time this season it has been shut out (second most in the majors); four of those shut outs have come in the team's last 10 games.
- Tyler Cloyd has lost his last four starts, posting a 10.42 (22/19.0) ERA during this skid. He joins Cole Hamels as the only Phillies' pitchers to lose 4+ consecutive starts this season, Hamels dropping six in a row, May 4-31.
- Jason Hayward is hitting .311 when he bats first in the Braves' order this season, compared to just .223 when he hits in any other spot in the order. The Braves are 20-6 (.769) when Heyward bats in the leadoff spot, compared to 48-26 (.649) when he plays but bats in any other spot in the order. He did not play on Wednesday.
- David Hale will be making just his second MLB appearance. In his first career start against San Diego on September 13, he threw 5.0 shutout innings while striking out nine batters, becoming the only Braves' starting pitcher since 1921 to put up this type of line in his MLB debut.
- Tigers, Nathan agree to 2-year deal
- ChiSox's Konerko stays for 1 year, $2.5M
- Yanks, Ellsbury reach $153M, 7-year deal
- Rockies plan to shift Gonzalez to CF
- Pierzynski signs 1-year deal with BoSox
By JORDAN GARRETSON
(AP) -- A frustrating night for the Atlanta Braves ended up costing them the advantage in the race for home field in the NL playoffs.
Julio Teheran figures to give them a good chance to bounce back in Sunday's season finale against the Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field.
Atlanta (95-66) slipped behind St. Louis on Saturday for the league's best record with a 5-4 loss to the Phillies. The Braves committed three errors, with two coming in a two-run seventh for Philadelphia, which had lost three in a row and eight of nine. Atlanta rallied for three runs in the ninth, but Chris Johnson was called out on a slide into first base to end the game with two men on base.
Johnson was seen exchanging heated words with first base coach Terry Pendleton in the dugout following the play, though Johnson declined to comment on it after the game. He's 2 for his last 23 with 10 strikeouts, dropping his batting average 11 points to .321. Michael Cuddyer leads the league with a .333 average.
The Braves will need a victory Sunday - combined with a Cardinals loss - to claim home-field advantage by virtue of a tiebreaker. Atlanta won the season series with St. Louis, 4-3.
"That's still a big carrot for us, for us to win and St. Louis to lose to get the No. 1 seed," manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Teheran (13-8, 3.09 ERA) will take the mound against the Phillies (73-88), whose five runs Saturday matched the club's total from its previous five games. He's 6-3 with a 2.66 ERA in 11 outings since the All-Star break, though that includes a 5-1 loss to Philadelphia on Aug. 12. He went six innings and yielded four runs and six hits, including a home run to Cody Asche.
He is 3-1 in his last four games after striking out seven over six innings of a 5-2 road win over the Chicago Cubs last Sunday. The right-hander also hasn't walked a batter over 12 2-3 innings in his last two starts after issuing 14 bases on balls over 25 innings in his previous four.
"He's been unbelievable all year and what he did today in the six innings that he pitched was pretty unbelievable," Freddie Freeman, who is 25 for 56 (.446) over his last 17 game, told the team's official website. "It was a big day and he did an unbelievable job."
Jimmy Rollins is 4 for 6 off Teheran with a homer while Chase Utley is 3 for 4.
Atlanta catcher Brian McCann missed his second straight contest Saturday since leaving Thursday's game with a strained adductor muscle, but Gonzalez said he might be available Sunday.
Zach Miner (0-1, 3.08) will get the nod for the Phillies. After being called upon when Kyle Kendrick was shut down due to an injury, he's limited opponents to one run over seven innings over his first two big league starts since 2009.
The right-hander made two relief appearances versus Atlanta earlier in the year, throwing 5 1-3 scoreless innings with three hits and a walk.
Updated September 29, 2013