To say that the Braves are not looking forward to facing Phillies lefty Cole Hamels on Labor Day afternoon at Turner Field might be an understatement. Atlanta has not beaten the Philadelphia hurler since Opening Day 2013.
In four starts since, Hamels has compiled a 1.16 ERA and surrendered 17 hits while walking five and fanning 33 in 31 innings against the Braves. Atlanta hopes to get the best of Hamels this time around as it tries to gain ground in the National League Wild Card race. The Braves enter Monday 1 1/2 games back of the second NL Wild Card spot.
Hamels appears to be as vulnerable as an ace with a 2.59 ERA can look in his past three starts, giving up three earned runs in each game. However, the Phillies have managed to win all three, including a 4-3 victory over the Nationals on Tuesday.
"He had everything working," Washington infielder Ian Desmond said of Hamels. "He had a good tempo going. Everything was working for him. But that's a testament to us, rattling off three runs."
However, if Julio Teheran keeps pitching the way he has in recent weeks, three earned runs could be plenty against Hamels. Since giving up 11 earned runs in his first two starts of August, Teheran has a 1.47 ERA in his past three turns.
Opposing batters have hit just .177 in the past 18 innings against Teheran. But he faces a tall order in stopping the Phillies. Philadelphia has scored four or more runs in 10 of its past 14 games, posting a 9-5 record in those contests.
"Every time I go out there, it is an important game for me and my team," Teheran said after giving up one earned run in 6 1/3 frames against the Mets on Wednesday. "All I try to do is do my best, and I know my teammates are going to do their part."
With a win over the Marlins on Sunday and a Nationals' loss, the Braves moved within six games of first-place Washington in the NL East. Atlanta went 14-14 in August, finishing at .500 for the second straight month.
Phillies: Revere swipes his 40th
Ben Revere matched his career high of 40 stolen bases on Sunday and became the 12th Phillies player to reach the mark. Jimmy Rollins was the last Philadelphia player to accomplish the feat, swiping 47 bags in 2008.
Revere, who stole 40 bases as a member of the Twins in 2012, has also become only the fourth Phillies outfielder since 1911 to record 40 stolen bases and 150 hits in a single season. Most recently, Bobby Abreu reached both marks in 2004.
Braves: Upton ending stellar August
Justin Upton has been phenomenal at the plate since July began, batting .305 (60-for-197) with 10 home runs, 15 doubles and 35 RBIs. But August really inserted him into the NL MVP discussion as he tallied a Major League-best six game-winning RBIs.
Upton's nine go-ahead RBIs lead the NL and not only has he already notched a career-high 91 RBIs, but his 26 homers are only one shy of last year's total and five short of his career-best mark of 31 set in 2011.
• Upton is batting .310 (9-for-29) with a homer, three doubles and nine strikeouts against Hamels.
• Rollins recorded his 657th career multihit game Sunday, tying Richie Ashburn's franchise record.
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.