The Atlanta Braves capped off a three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies Sunday afternoon at Turner Field. The 6-2 ballgame finished the second Braves sweep of the Phillies this season, the first time that has happened since 2000.
The sweep was also exactly what the Braves needed to start a 10-game homestand against the bottom dwellers in the division as well as the Houston Astros, who are in the basement of the entire world.
"This was a big, big, big sweep for us," Chipper Jones said. "We wanted to get this homestand kicked off on a good start. We're playing good baseball and we feel like we should be able to dominate this homestand."
In a series in which the Braves only trailed in the first inning of Friday night's game, Atlanta outscored Philadelphia 14-4. Atlanta jumped on Roy Halladay in the first inning, touching him for a solo homer by Jason Heyward and a rare RBI-double by Dan Uggla.
Chipper would add a solo shot to lead off the third. The homer would move Jones into second place on the all-time list of extra-base hits by a switch hitter with 1,042.
The three-run lead gave Tim Hudson the ability to be aggressive within the strike zone, as he struck out five and gave up two runs in 5 2/3 innings.
"The guys are playing with confidence right now," Hudson said. "As a starting pitcher, you have to realize that and try to keep the pressure off of them. The way to do that is to put up zeros after [your team] scores."
Shane Victorino scored both of Philadelphia's runs off Hudson. The first came via a solo homer in the fourth, and the second came when Carlos Ruiz drove him in with a single in the sixth. Otherwise, the once legendary Phillies offense was flat, and Ryan Howard struck out eight times in the series.
The Braves would add three insurance runs off Jake Diekman in the seventh, two of those courtesy of a Freddie Freeman single.
With seven games left in a homestand against teams with losing records, Jones said he would be disappointed if the Braves ended the series with less than eight wins, and Heyward emphasized the need to not let up.
"Don't stop. You don't ever want to stop," Heyward said. "You want to keep it going, you want to keep winning. It's the second half. We want to keep pushing for as many wins as possible."
The Washington Nationals won a wild 11-inning game against the Milwaukee Brewers to keep their lead over the Braves at four games.
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