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ATL@HOU: Harang tosses six strong innings vs. Astros

Two teams have tagged Braves starter Aaron Harang with nine runs in 2014. The Marlins plated that many on 10 hits on April 30 while the Phillies notched eight earned runs (and nine in all) against the right-hander in an 11-hit performance on June 18 at Turner Field.

Philadelphia's outburst opposite Harang shot the veteran's ERA up to a season-worst 3.83, which, to put his success this year in perspective, would still be one of the five best marks of his career. Those two bad nights against National League East foes tarnished his numbers.

Harang will get his shot at redemption as the Braves look to complete the four-game sweep of the Phillies on Sunday.

Take away his two disastrous turns and Harang has compiled a 2.42 ERA and 13 quality starts in his other 14 trips to the hill. He has surrendered two earned runs or fewer in 12 of those starts, including a six-inning effort against the Astros on June 24.

Harang appeared headed for another troublesome outing after giving up an early George Springer homer and putting runners on the corners with no outs in the third. But he escaped the jam unscathed.

He let another run cross in the fourth after putting two men on base for the second straight frame, but Harang regained his command to finish the outing strong.

"His command got better," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He pitched out of trouble a little bit early in the game. You could see the veteran in him. He didn't have his good stuff early on and he didn't give in."

Like Harang, Phillies hurler David Buchanan has had a couple of bad days skew his numbers. He has not been nearly as sharp as Harang, but the right-hander has given up three earned runs or fewer in five of his seven outings.

Four earned runs in six innings against the Reds on June 8 saddled him with a loss, but surrendering seven runs on 10 hits to the Nationals on June 3 cost him more than a run on his 4.79 ERA.

Although Philadelphia would like to see Buchanan last more than the five innings he has logged in two of his past three outings, the club hopes to see more of what he showed when he gave up one run in 7 2/3 frames against the Cardinals on June 19.

"I think he rose to the occasion," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said of Buchanan's gem in St. Louis. "He has that kind of makeup and that kind of character. He seems to be showing improvement and he seems to be adjusting as he's gone along. It looks like he's growing out there."

Braves: Highly touted Bethancourt recalled
• With Evan Gattis still dealing with back spasms, Atlanta recalled catcher Christian Bethancourt, the organization's No. 2 prospect, from Triple-A Gwinnett between the two halves of Saturday's doubleheader. The Braves optioned reliever Juan Jaime to Gwinnett in a corresponding move.

He finished 1-for-3 in Saturday night's 5-1 victory, recording his first Major League hit with an infield single in the top of the sixth.

Bethancourt's defensive skills have long been Major League-ready, but Atlanta has wanted him to improve in the batter's box. He has done that so far this season, batting .273 (63-for-231) with 12 doubles, three homers and 32 RBIs this season.

The move brings Jaime's limited stint in the big leagues to an end. The hard-throwing right-hander gave up a home run, walked one and struck out seven in four innings out of the Braves bullpen.

Phillies: Performing 'pen finally breaks
• Philadelphia's bullpen saw its scoreless innings streak of 11 end on Saturday afternoon when Antonio Bastardo gave up five earned runs in the eighth. Luis Garcia then took over and allowed another run to push the total to six.

B.J. Rosenberg than added one to the total, surrendering a solo shot to Ryan Doumit in the top of the eighth on Saturday night.

The Phillies bullpen began the season with the worst ERA in the Majors at 4.95 through 36 games. However, since June 3, Philadelphia's relievers own a stellar 1.98 ERA in 63 2/3 innings.

Worth noting
• Sandberg said right-hander Mike Adams, who is on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder, has not been cleared to begin his throwing program yet. But when the reliever is ready, he will rehab in Clearwater, Fla.

• Braves outfielder Jason Heyward has reached base safely via hit or walk in 43 of his last 46 games. Comments