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PIT@ATL: Hanson limits Pirates to one run over six

The 2012 season series between the Phillies and the Braves picked up right where the 2011 series left off -- with a Philadelphia victory.

Following a 4-2 win Tuesday night, the Phillies have now won eight straight against their National League East rivals, and there's no pitcher they'd rather have on the mound trying to make it nine on Wednesday.

Two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay toes the rubber for the Phils, and he'll face Braves righty Tommy Hanson.

Halladay's 1.95 ERA is indicative of how well he has pitched this season, but his back-to-back losses and 3-2 record demonstrate how poorly the Phillies have hit with him on the mound.

He has quality starts lasting at least seven innings his last two times out, but he picked up the loss in both, receiving a single run of support in each game. Halladay is trying to avoid three consecutive losses for the first time since June 2010.

"We need to win more games. That's the bottom line really," Halladay said after his last start. "How we go about doing that is going to have to be a team effort."

For the Braves, second baseman Dan Uggla has hit Halladay well in the past. In 25 at-bats, Uggla has posted a .400 average with three homers and six RBIs.

Hanson gets the ball for Atlanta after having gone seven innings and allowing three or fewer runs each of his last two times out.

Hanson's fastball has been livelier as the the season has progressed, and as a result, he has three straight starts lasting at least six innings. He hasn't allowed more than two runs in his last two outings, which lowered his ERA to 3.00.

Phillies: In need of relief
• The Phillies are looking for more consistency out of their middle relievers, leading up to setup-man Chad Qualls and closer Jonathan Papelbon.

Antonio Bastardo (4.15 ERA in 4 1/3 innings), Jose Contreras (7.36 ERA in 3 2/3 innings), David Herndon (4.70 ERA in 7 2/3 innings), Michael Schwimer (7.71 ERA in 2 1/3 innings) and Mike Stutes (6.35 ERA in 5 2/3 innings) have all struggled. Herndon and Stutes are currently on the disabled list.

"That's a concern," manager Charlie Manuel said, "but at the same time, those guys have to pitch for us to see what they can do, and we've got to have them get their work in to help us. We called them up. Of course we're going to use them. We have to use them, and we have to show confidence in them."

• The Phillies have not posted a sub-.500 May since 2002, when they went 12-14.

• The Phillies bullpen has picked up wins in back-to-back nights. Philadelphia on Monday became the last relief corps in the NL to record a victory.

Braves: Heyward eyes Thursday for return
• Braves right fielder Jason Heyward said his sore right oblique muscle was feeling better Tuesday than it had the day before. But it's likely the club's medical staff will keep him out of the lineup until at least Thursday afternoon's series finale.

"I feel a lot better today, but I'm still not allowed to do anything," Heyward said. "I still have a lot of soreness and tenderness. But it feels a lot better pain-wise."

Heyward felt soreness in his right side when he awoke on Monday morning, but he doesn't recall what led to the injury.

• The Braves are 10-2 when Chipper Jones is a part of the starting lineup.

• The Braves have four hits in their last 36 at-bats (.111 average) with runners in scoring position.

Worth noting
• The Braves haven't beaten the Phillies since July, 9, 2011. During that stretch, Philadelphia has outscored Atlanta, 51-14.

• Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman hit his first career Major League home run against Halladay. He has three hits in seven at-bats against the Phillies righty. Comments