He has a chance at a different type of history for the Atlanta Braves .
McCann looks to become the first Brave in 56 years to homer in seven consecutive meetings against an opponent and help his club beat the last-place Phillies for the fifth straight time Saturday night.
McCann, a six-time All-Star, has 19 homers with 75 RBIs against Philadelphia (45-55), his highest totals against any opponent in his eight-year career.
The catcher has been particularly effective this season, hitting .346 with 16 RBIs while connecting for a homer in each of his six meetings with the Phillies.
A homer Saturday would make him the first member of the franchise to put together a seven-game homer streak against one team since Joe Adcock had nine in a row versus Los Angeles in 1956, when the Braves (55-44) were located in Milwaukee.
McCann hit a three-run shot to power Atlanta's 6-1 victory Friday to open this three-game set. He has a .321 average with eight homers and 19 RBIs in his last 15 games, lifting his average 17 points to .242.
"I like hitting right now," McCann said. "It's been a good couple of weeks, a good month I guess. I'm just glad I'm back to where I have been my whole career. My first half was brutal. I just put it behind me.
"To be honest, I think that was the best thing that's ever happened to me. It made me get back to the basics and doing what I've always done. It was a wakeup call, it really was."
McCann is 10 for 24 with three homers versus Joe Blanton , Philadelphia's scheduled starter Saturday.
Blanton (8-8, 4.70 ERA), though, was outstanding in his latest outing at Turner Field, tossing a three-hit gem in a 4-0 win May 3. It was his first victory in Atlanta after going 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in his previous six visits - five starts.
The right-hander struggled in his latest meeting with the Braves on July 7, surrendering six runs and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 6-3 home defeat.
Blanton has been better while going eight innings in each of his last two starts since, yielding five total runs while winning his only decision.
He's also been the subject of trade rumors with the Phillies at the bottom of the NL East - a seemingly insurmountable 14 1/2 games behind first-place Washington.
"It's something I got kind of used to," Blanton told the team's official website. "I got used to it in Oakland. Oakland is an organization that trades players a lot, so I've been used to it my whole career. It doesn't affect me one way or the other."
The Braves are second in the division, four games behind the Nationals.
Mike Minor (5-7, 5.49) will try to help close that gap, and he's 2-0 with a 2.92 in his last four home starts.
The left-hander could have used more help in his most recent home appearance July 18, yielding one run with seven strikeouts in six innings while being backed by one run in a 9-4, 11-inning defeat to San Francisco.
Minor experienced a similar scenario at Miami on Monday, allowing two runs in seven innings while the offense mustered four hits in a 2-1 defeat.
He lasted just 2 1-3 innings in his only start against the Phillies in 2010, giving up three runs and seven hits to take the loss.
|July 26, 2012||Placido Polanco||15-Day DL||Lower back inflammation|
|July 09, 2012||Raul Valdes||15-Day DL||Strained right hip|
|June 25, 2012||Brian Schneider||15-Day DL||Sprained right ankle - out 3-5 weeks|
|June 07, 2012||Freddy Galvis||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|June 05, 2012||Placido Polanco||Day-to-Day||Left game - left index finger laceration|
|June 02, 2012||Jose Contreras||60-Day DL||Torn UCL, right elbow - out for season|
|July 20, 2012||Matt Diaz||15-Day DL||Right thumb contusion|
|July 14, 2012||Jack Wilson||15-Day DL||Dislocated right pinkie finger|
|July 09, 2012||Andrelton Simmons||Day-to-Day||Broken right pinkie|
|July 09, 2012||Andrelton Simmons||15-Day DL||Broken right pinkie finger|
|July 08, 2012||Andrelton Simmons||Day-to-Day||Broken right pinkie|
|July 05, 2012||Jonny Venters||15-Day DL||Left elbow impingement|
ATLANTA (AP) -- Some were ready to give up on Mike Minor when the left-hander gave up six or more runs in four straight starts in April and May.
Suddenly Minor is rewarding the Braves for their patience.
Minor struck out nine and combined with Craig Kimbrel on a four-hitter, Jason Heyward had two hits and drove in a run, and Atlanta edged Joe Blanton and the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 Saturday night.
Minor (6-7) allowed one run on four hits and no walks in eight innings. His nine strikeouts matched his season high. He retired the last 13 batters he faced.
"It takes a little time," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of the 24-year-old Minor. "He's not a finished product by any means. He's heading in that direction pretty quickly and right in front of our eyes. Good for him and good for us as an organization and a team to be patient with that guy."
The Phillies' only run came on Chase Utley 's homer in the fourth.
Minor showed new-found composure as he refused to be deterred by the homer.
The left-hander called his progress during the season "a complete 180, just in confidence and my demeanor on the mound and not letting things get to me."
"I feel like I've had the confidence, it was just more of executing pitches and not blowing up on myself inside and letting it carry over to the next inning or the next at-bat," Minor said.
Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth for his 30th save. Utley was caught looking at Kimbrel's 99 mph fastball for a strike to end the game.
The Braves, who lost 12 of 18 games to the Phillies in 2011, are 6-2 against Philadelphia with five straight wins in 2012. Atlanta swept a three-game series at Philadelphia on July 6-8 and will try to complete another three-game sweep on Sunday.
Minor made his longest start since lasting eight innings in a win at Arizona on April 19. He has not allowed more than two runs in any of his four starts in July and has won three of his last four decisions.
"He's getting better and better and I think he's a guy we're going to rely on down the stretch here to win us some big ballgames," said catcher Brian McCann . "Tonight was one of the steps of doing that."
While Minor is gaining momentum, two straight losses to the Braves could affect plans for the last-place Phillies as they approach Tuesday's trade deadline.
Blanton (8-9) gave up two runs on four hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in seven innings and then talked about the possibility he could be traded.
"I've been in the trade rumors a few times and it's nothing new for me," said Blanton, who will be a free agent after the season.
"All you can do is go out and play."
Blanton said the sudden fall from the top of the division has been difficult to take.
"I think a lot of guys are kind of thrown off by it, trying to figure out why and all that stuff," Blanton said. "It makes your mind spin a little bit."
Before the game, manager Charlie Manuel said the Phillies lack the edge they showed in winning the 2008 World Series and 2009 NL championship.
"One time we had the best attitude and the best hustle of any team in baseball," Manuel said. "We've kind of slipped a little bit. We've got to get that back. ... We get outplayed."
Blanton and Minor began the night ranked first and second, respectively, among NL pitchers in home runs allowed. Minor matched Blanton's 22 homers allowed on Utley's blast into the center field seats.
With one out in the first, Martin Prado singled, advanced to third on Heyward's single and scored on Chipper Jones ' fly ball to center. Instead of throwing to the plate, center fielder Shane Victorino threw toward first base, but first baseman Ryan Howard was not covering the bag and the throw sailed past first for Victorino's first error in 273 games - since Aug. 14, 2010, at the Mets.
The error was not costly, as Heyward was stranded at second.
The Braves pushed the lead to 2-1 in the third when Michael Bourn led off with a single, moved to second on Prado's groundout and scored when Heyward's infield hit bounced off Utley into right field. Utley was positioned in shallow right field and no error was charged on the play.
Blanton recorded 11 straight outs before the streak ended on the Phillies' second error. Brian McCann led off the second with a soft grounder Blanton fielded in front of the mound, but Howard dropped Blanton's throw at first base. Blanton pitched around the error by retiring the next three batters.
NOTES: C Erik Kratz started for Carlos Ruiz , who was given a regular day off, but also is battling plantar fasciitis. Manuel said he believes Ruiz, who lined out as a pinch hitter in the eighth, can play through the foot pain with help from trainers. ... Gonzalez said RHP Kris Medlen will replace RHP Jair Jurrjens in the rotation and start Tuesday against the Marlins. Jurrjens moves to the bullpen. ... RHP Peter Moylan , who is returning from rotator cuff surgery and hasn't pitched in the majors this season, was placed on Triple-A Gwinnett's 15-day DL with right shoulder tendinitis. ... SS Andrelton Simmons , on the disabled list with a broken right little finger, said his cast should come off next week. ... The series ends Sunday when Phillies RHP Roy Halladay faces Atlanta RHP Tim Hudson .