Giants at Braves
Brandon Phillips is enjoying his first season playing in his hometown, and the Atlanta Braves second baseman comes into Monday’s opener of a four-game home series with the San Francisco Giants after a great weekend. Phillips recorded walk-off game-winning hits on Saturday and Sunday, as Atlanta won a three-game series with Miami and begins the week leading the majors with 11 victories in its final at-bat.
Phillips, an Atlanta native who was traded to the Braves from Cincinnati in the offseason, is hitting .306 on the season and .339 since May 16. San Francisco was two outs away from ending a five-game losing streak, but closer Mark Melancon allowed four runs in the ninth inning Sunday as the Giants fell to Colorado 7-5. Shortstop Brandon Crawford snapped a 6-for-36 skid with three hits, including a two-run homer, and catcher Buster Posey enters this series hitting a major-league leading .354 on the season. The Giants beat Atlanta twice during a three-game series May 26-28 in San Francisco.
TV: 7:35 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Bay Area (San Francisco), FSN Southeast (Atlanta)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants RH Johnny Cueto (5-6, 4.57 ERA) vs. Braves RH R.A. Dickey (4-5, 5.35)
Cueto looks to rebound from a rough outing Wednesday against Kansas City, allowing five runs on a season-high 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings. Homers have stung the 31-year-old hurler throughout the season, as he has given up 16 in 86 2/3 innings after surrendering only 15 in 219 2/3 innings a season ago. Cueto beat the Braves on May 28, holding Atlanta to one run on six hits in six innings.
Dickey also had a difficult time in his last start, a five-inning stint Tuesday against the Nationals in which he allowed eight runs on eight hits. The 42-year-old knuckleballer has posted a 6.23 ERA across his past eight starts, going 1-3 with a .293 batting average against. Dickey faced Cueto in the matchup last month, giving up seven runs (six earned) on six hits with five walks over six innings.
1. Giants INF Eduardo Nunez, who has reached base in 29 consecutive games (longest active streak in the majors), has missed the last three contests due to left hamstring tightness.
2. Atlanta OF Nick Markakis begins the series just 35 hits shy of reaching 2,000 for his career.
3. San Francisco has been outscored 47-26 during its current six-game skid and is just 4-15 in its past 19 games.