(SportsNetwork.com) - If Kyle Kendrick can figure out how to get through the first inning unscathed Sunday, he may have a chance to keep his record at Turner Field unbeaten.
Kendrick takes the mound this afternoon for the Philadelphia Phillies in the rubber match of a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves. The right- hander is 4-0 with a 2.47 ERA in 12 games (seven starts) all-time at Turner Field, part of an 8-3 ledger with a 3.32 ERA in 23 contests (17 starts) versus the Braves.
In his last five starts, Kendrick has gone 1-3 and has been victimized by first-inning failures. He gave up a three-run homer to Jayson Werth in the first frame of a 10-3 loss to the Nationals on July 13. In the start prior to that, on July 8, Kendrick surrendered five runs at Milwaukee on homers to Scooter Gennett and Lyle Overbay, but the righty managed to win that game in a 9-7 final. His ERA in the first inning is 11.37. Kendrick has surrendered seven homers in that inning alone this season.
Alex Wood counters for the Braves. The lefty is 0-1 over his last three starts. He threw 5 1/3 frames of a no-decision at Wrigley Field on July 11. Wood is 1-1 with a 2.86 ERA in eight games (three starts) versus the Phillies.
Last night, Jimmy Rollins' two-run homer in the seventh inning proved to be the difference in Philadelphia's 2-1 win.
Phillies starter Cole Hamels (4-5) was outstanding through seven innings, allowing just one run on four hits with nine strikeouts in the win.
"He threw the ball well," Atlanta's Justin Upton said of Hamels. "He beat us. You just have to regroup and come back tomorrow."
Grady Sizemore went 3-for-4 with a run scored, while Marlon Byrd and Domonic Brown each collected two hits for the Phillies, who snapped a five-game losing streak to the Braves and halted their three-game skid overall.
Hamels had little trouble with the Atlanta lineup in the early going, carrying a no-hitter through 4 2/3 innings, but Tommy La Stella split the gap in left center for a double to give the Braves their first hit. The southpaw didn't give in, however, striking out Christian Bethancourt on three pitches to end the frame.
"I thought he had an opportunity to throw a no-hitter the way his stuff was," Rollins said of Hamels. "He was throwing his cutter well. His fastball was good."
Philadelphia has won five of its last six road games.
The Braves are 7-5 against the Phillies this season.