(SportsNetwork.com) - Despite being six games under .500, the Philadelphia Phillies have hope of moving up in the NL East race this weekend when they tangle with the Atlanta Braves in a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies come into the day four games behind the second-place Braves and five in back of the division-leading Washington Nationals.
Thursday produced Philadelphia's seventh win in 11 games when Chase Utley belted a two-run homer in the 14th inning in a 5-3 final over the Miami Marlins.
Jimmy Rollins reached on an infield single to begin the inning before Utley slammed his sixth homer into the seats in the right to make a winner out of Justin De Fratus (2-0), who allowed a hit and a walk over two scoreless innings of relief.
Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels gave up three solo home runs among six hits and struck out seven without a walk in seven innings of work. He had surrendered just four homers in his first 12 starts this season.
Kyle Kendrick, who is 2-0 over his last three home starts, gets the ball tonight for the Phillies. Kendrick is coming off a loss at St. Louis Sunday. He's 12-3 lifetime against the Marlins with a 3.75 ERA in 23 games (18 starts). Kendrick lost his only start this season against the Marlins, giving up seven hits and six runs in 5 2/3 innings on May 21 in Miami.
Julio Teheran, who is 0-2 over his last three starts, counters on the mound for Atlanta. Teheran piled up a season-high 10 strikeouts over seven innings last Saturday at Washington, but the Braves lost 3-0.
Teheran is 2-2 with a 3.28 ERA in six games (five starts) versus the Phillies. He threw a three-hit shutout at Citizens Bank Park on April 16.
The Braves suffered a 6-1 loss at Houston Thursday afternoon. Atlanta starter Mike Minor (2-5) was reached for five runs over six innings. The Braves were trying for a three-game sweep.
"It's important for us to be able to go into Philly and try to win that series," Braves outfielder Justin Upton said.
The Phillies swept a three-game set at Atlanta June 16-18. Philadelphia leads the season series, 4-2.