Nationals Braves Baseball

Braves starting pitcher Max Fried will be looking for his eighth straight win and is coming off his best start of the year

The Atlanta Braves did what they needed to do over the weekend and will now head out of the road for a four-game series against Philadelphia.

After winning three of four against the Washington Nationals, the Braves (89-55) have a nine game lead in the National League East and a 14 game lead over the third-place Phillies (74-68). Over the last week, Freddie Freeman, Josh Donaldson and Ozzie Albies have found their home run strokes and it helped the Braves continue their hot streak of winning 20 of its last 25.

The trio combined to have eight home runs and 18 RBIs over the last seven games.

Philadelphia has gone 6-4 in its last 10, and it is still a dangerous club on offense. Bryce Harper comes in leading the team hitting .254 with 30 homers and 100 RBIs, but he hasn’t played since Friday when he got hit in the hand by a pitch. Catcher J.T. Realmuto is hitting .282 with 23 homers and 79 RBIs, which includes a .400 average with three homers and eight RBIs over the last week.

The Braves will complete its seven-game road trip with a weekend series against the Nationals in Washington before coming back to SunTrust Park for a three-game series with the Phillies beginning on the 17th.

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Mike Foltynewicz (5-5, 5.28 ERA) will open the series looking for a fifth win in his last five decisions. Last time out, he pitched five innings of two-hit shutout ball against Toronto to earn the victory in the Braves 7-2 win. The Phillies are scheduled to open with Aaron Nola (12-4, 3.63) who was roughed up in his last start by Cincinnati, when he gave up five runs and five hits in four innings.

Max Fried (16-4, 3.63) will go Tuesday in Game 2. He will be looking for his eighth straight win and is coming off his best start of the year when he threw seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball against Washington. His likely counterpart Jason Vargas (6-7, 4.27) who earned a no-decision against the Reds last time out.

Dallas Keuchel (7-5, 3.37) is scheduled to face Zach Eflin (8-11, 4.38) on Wednesday, while Julio Teheran (10-8, 3.31) is expected to face Drew Smyly (4-6, 6.20) in the series finale.

ON THE AIR

Fox Sports Southeast will air the first three games of the series while Fox will broadcast the game on Thursday. All four games will being at 7 p.m. The games can also be heard on 680 AM The Fan and Rock 100.5 FM.

John Bednarowski is the sports editor of the Marietta Daily Journal and the former president of the Associated Press Sports Editors. He can be reached at sportseditor@mdjonline.com or on Twitter @jbednarowski

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