Phillies look to seal series win in Atlanta (Jun 07, 2017)

BY AP • June 7, 2017

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves have used the same five starting pitchers all season.

That streak will end after veteran Bartolo Colon was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday due to a left oblique strain, though it will remain intact Wednesday when the Braves host the Philadelphia Phillies.

Atlanta right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (3-5, 3.90 ERA) will oppose Philadelphia right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (0-6, 5.13) in the third game of a four-game set. The Phillies won the first two games of the series and have won their past five games against the Braves.

The 44-year-old Colon (2-7, 7.78) has made 12 starts, but he has not pitched past the sixth inning in his past eight starts. The worst came on Monday when the right-hander allowed eight runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Phillies.

There was some question about whether Colon might be released after his extended lack of success. In seven starts since May 1, he is 1-5 with a 9.90 ERA. However, Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said Colon has been dealing with the oblique issue for some time and would take some time off to regroup.

"He's been getting treatment on it," Snitker said. "I don't think it's a huge issue, but I kind of feel there's something going on that's not allowing him to perform the way he's capable."

The Braves will wait until later this week to name a replacement for Colon, but it will likely come from the Triple-A Gwinnett roster. Matt Wisler and Aaron Blair both have major league experience, and Sean Newcomb and Lucas Sims have pitched well, although Sims was touched up for six runs in five innings on Monday.

Snitker indicated the plan is to skip Colon for one or two starts and give him a chance to get healthy again.

In the meantime, Foltynewicz will look to continue the momentum from his most recent start. He pitched seven shutout innings against Cincinnati on Friday, but the bullpen couldn't hold a 2-0 lead in an eventual 3-2 loss.

Foltynewicz pitched seven innings against the Phillies on April 23 and did not figure in the decision when he allowed one run on four hits with nine strikeouts.

He has made five appearances, four starts, against the Phillies in his career, going 2-1 with a 4.68 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 25 innings.

Eickhoff started against the Braves on April 22 and received a no decision despite allowing only one run on two hits in five innings. He struck out seven and walked two. In seven career starts against the Braves, Eickhoff is 2-1 with a 1.58 ERA.

Eickhoff's last start wasn't good. He lasted only 2 2/3 innings against the San Francisco Giants on Friday and was chased after allowing five runs, four earned, on six hits and a career-high five walks.

Philadelphia manager Pete Mackanin had a meeting with Eickhoff and Aaron Nola before the team left for its current road trip, delivering a message that both needed to pitch better. Nola answered the challenge with eight strong innings Tuesday in the Phillies' 3-1 win over the Braves.

"I challenged both of them to pitch the way they're capable of pitching," Mackanin said. "I just wanted to pose them a challenge to wake up and say, 'You're better than this. We know you're better than this. Start doing it.'"



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