Phillies at Braves
7:10 p.m. on CSN
The Phillies recovered from Jonathan Papelbon's second blown save of the season to beat the Braves, 6-1, in 13 innings in Monday's series opener.
Now they look to wrap up a quick series win and pull to within 4 1/2 games of first place in the NL East, as improbable as that sounds.
Here are five things you need to know ahead of Tuesday's game:
1. Relief provided
The Phillies' bullpen has been very effective in June, posting a 2.93 ERA.
Justin De Fratus has pitched 12 scoreless innings with 13 strikeouts since being recalled in late May. The Phillies have long been high on the right-hander and he is finally making the most of an opportunity.
Antonio Bastardo's ERA is all the way down to 2.94. Over his last 14 appearances he's allowed one run in 17 innings, putting 13 men on base and striking out 20.
When you add in Papelbon and the dynamic stuff of Jake Diekman and Ken Giles, April's biggest weakness is turning into the Phillies' strength.
2. Innings needed from Kendrick
The Phillies are hoping Kyle Kendrick (2-6, 4.09) is able to go deep into Tuesday's game after they were forced to use the bullpen for six innings in the series opener.
The good news is that Kendrick has averaged 6.3 innings per start this season and is on pace for a career-high 205 innings.
Kendrick has not faced the Braves this year but has held them in check in his career, going 7-2 with a 3.28 ERA in 21 games (15 starts). In 44 career innings at Turner Field, his ERA is 2.45 despite him having more walks (18) than strikeouts (17).
The Braves who have hurt Kendrick the most are Dan Uggla (.308 BA, four doubles, two homers), Justin Upton (5 for 14, two HR) and Chris Johnson (5 for 13, two doubles). But oddly, left-handed hitting Jason Heyward is just 3 for 22 (.136) against KK.
3. Struggling Santana
Ervin Santana got off to a terrific start for Atlanta after signing a one-year deal in mid-March, but he's been lousy since.
Through six starts, Santana was 4-0 with a 1.99 ERA. He struck out 43 and walked just nine, and held his opponents to a .221 batting average.
But over his last six starts, Santana is 1-3 with a 6.44 ERA and his opponents have hit .312 with 14 extra-base hits in 36 1/3 innings.
The Phillies faced him in his second start of the year, and Santana allowed a run on four hits over six innings with 11 strikeouts.
The book on Santana is slider-slider-slider. Since 2013, he's used the slidepiece 37.2 percent of the time, most in baseball by a right-handed pitcher.
Current Phillies are just 11 for 61 (.180) against Santana, with Marlon Byrd accounting for six of those hits in 30 at-bats.
4. Cold Braves bats
The two most important Braves are first baseman Freddie Freeman and outfielder Justin Upton, and both are scuffling at the plate.
Since May 20, Freeman has hit .220 with two home runs in 26 games. Upton has hit .200 with one homer and four RBIs in his last 16 games.
Both are very streaky hitters and that word defines these Braves, whom the Phillies and other NL East teams must take advantage of now while they're in a cold spell.
5. This and that
- Chase Utley needed a hit in his final at-bat (before extra innings, that is) to avoid going hitless in consecutive starts for the first time all season. Sure enough, Utley worked the count against lefty Luis Avilan before depositing a base-hit to keep his streak in tact. Only Utley and Matt Adams can say they haven't been held hitless in back-to-back starts all year.
- Cole Hamels' last eight starts: 1.56 ERA, .200 opponents' batting average, 1.01 WHIP, 62 strikeouts and two homers allowed in 57 2/3 innings. Hamels hasn't allowed a run in 24 1/3 innings.
And how about this one: Hamels has made three straight starts of 7-plus innings, 0 runs, and no more than five hits allowed. No pitcher in the last 12 seasons has had a longer streak.
- Ryan Howard on-pace update: 29 HR, 102 RBIs
- Reid Brignac has driven in nine runs this season, six in the ninth inning or later.