(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Braves will try again to clinch a postseason berth in manager Bobby Cox's final season, as they resume a three-game series tonight versus the NL East-champion Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field.
The Braves are expected to honor their long-time manager before the game and hope the festivities lift the ballclub to a much-needed win. Atlanta leads the wild card by only one game ahead of San Diego, which kept pursuit with a victory over San Francisco last night. A win by the Braves Saturday coupled with a Padres loss to the Giants would clinch a playoff berth for Cox.
Cox hasn't been to the postseason since 2005 and is coming off Friday's 11-5 setback to the Phillies. Brandon Beachy started for Atlanta and suffered the loss for giving up four runs -- two earned -- and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. Derrek Lee had a big night go to waste, as he knocked in all five runs and finished 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles.
"It's tough. We didn't play good baseball at all today," Braves All-Star catcher Brian McCann said. "We really didn't do anything good, but we've got to turn the page. We've got two games left."
Tommy Hanson will try to pitch the Braves back into the postseason when he toes the rubber tonight in Dixie. Hanson is 10-11 with a 3.41 ERA in 33 starts this season and has posted back-to-back no-decisions. In Monday's 2-1 win over Florida, Hanson limited the Marlins to a run and five hits over 7 2/3 frames.
The young right-hander tossed six shutout innings in a no-decision at Philadelphia the start before on Sept. 22, and is 1-2 in five career starts against the Phillies. Hanson is 5-5 in 17 home starts in 2010.
Philadelphia has already locked up the division and homefield advantage, but want to make it tough on the division-rival Braves. Jimmy Rollins did just that with a grand slam last night.
"It's still a division rival. No matter how you look at the game, we go out there to win every single ball game," said Rollins, who helped the Phillies move closer to the best record in baseball. "If they make it to the playoffs, it's going to be because they make it, not because we lay down."
The Phillies moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the Yankees, who were rained out on Friday in Boston, for the majors' best record for the first time in franchise history. Ryan Howard drove in two runs and Carlos Ruiz ended 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI in the victory.
Phils starter Kyle Kendrick earned the win in his final start of the season, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks in five innings.
Taking the mound for Philadelphia tonight will be Vance Worley. Worley is 1-1 with a 2.25 earned run average in four games (1 start) and will face the Braves for the first time in his career. Worley is taking the spot of Roy Halladay so the staff ace can rest for Game 1 of next week's playoffs.
Worley started back on Sept. 6 versus Florida and allowed two runs in five innings of a 7-1 loss. He earned his first career win in relief versus Washington on Sept. 19.
Philadelphia leads the 2010 series with Atlanta by a slim 9-7 margin and swept a three-game series the last time these two clubs met from Sept. 20-22 at Citizens Bank Park. Atlanta is 4-3 in the seven matchups as the host.