The Atlanta Braves ' offense is struggling.
The Braves hope their first day off in three weeks and a return home can help wake up their slumping bats as they meet Halladay and the Phillies on Friday night.
Finishing a stretch of 20 games in as many days, the Braves (74-57) completed a 4-6 road trip with Wednesday's 8-2 loss to San Diego.
The NL wild-card leaders, batting .211 over the last 12 games, totaled four runs and struck out 24 times while dropping two of three to the Padres.
"You've got to give a little credit to the Padres with the way they pitched us," manager Fredi Gonzalez told the Braves' official website. "But we've got to get it going a little bit."
The Braves have had few problems offensively against Philadelphia (62-69) this season, averaging 5.3 runs while winning nine of 12.
Atlanta has tagged Halladay (8-7, 3.88 ERA) for 18 hits, including three homers, and 11 runs in two matchups this season - both at Turner Field. He gave up season highs of 12 hits and eight runs in a 15-13, 11-inning loss to the Braves on May 2.
Halladay, though, is 4-1 with 2.75 ERA in five August starts. He's pitched at least seven innings each time during that stretch after going seven in Saturday's 4-2 win over East-leading Washington.
It was Halladay's eighth start following a two-month stint on the disabled list with a strained right lat.
"I think he's on the right track now and will finish the year strong," manager Charlie Manuel told the majors' official website.
The Braves counter with left-hander Mike Minor (7-10, 4.71).
He received no run support in losing three consecutive outings, including a 3-0 loss to Philadelphia on Aug. 7, before beating San Francisco on Saturday as he gave up three runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 7-3 victory.
"I was ecstatic about Minor's performance," Gonzalez said.
Minor is just 2 for 43 at the plate, but with the Braves' offense slumping - the team has two runs in his two starts against Philadelphia in 2012 - he may have to swing the bat better. He went 1 for 2 with a double, a walk and two runs Saturday.
"A lot of it I think was luck, but I did work a little bit with (hitting coach Greg Walker ) just about approach," Minor said.
Braves catcher Brian McCann should keep the same approach against Phillies pitching. The six-time All-Star is 12 for 36 with six homers and 17 RBIs versus Philadelphia this season, including two grand slams - one off Halladay on May 2.
Chipper Jones ' .526 batting average (10 of 19) off the right-hander is his second highest against pitchers he's faced more than 17 times.
It's uncertain if Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins will face Minor after getting benched for the start of the seventh inning in Thursday's 3-2 win over the New York Mets following two baserunning mistakes.
"You want guys to be able to go out and hustle," first baseman Ryan Howard said. "... It's simple, be on time, hustle. That's it. That's two things that you can control. Go out there and do it. Charlie took care of it."
The Braves took care of the Phillies' in their last series at Turner Field, sweeping three games July 27-29. Atlanta's last four-game home winning streak over Philadelphia was April 18-May 5, 2000.
|August 29, 2012||Cole Hamels||Day-to-Day||Gastrointestinal illness|
|August 29, 2012||Vance Worley||15-Day DL||Loose bodies in right elbow|
|August 28, 2012||Domonic Brown||Day-to-Day||Left game - left knee soreness|
|August 24, 2012||Brian Schneider||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|August 13, 2012||Nate Schierholtz||15-Day DL||Fractured right big toe|
|August 03, 2012||Carlos Ruiz||15-Day DL||Plantar fasciitis, left foot|
|August 25, 2012||Ben Sheets||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|August 10, 2012||Chipper Jones||Day-to-Day||Back tightness|
|August 01, 2012||Jair Jurrjens||15-Day DL||Strained right groin|
|July 31, 2012||Tommy Hanson||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|July 31, 2012||Tommy Hanson||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|July 20, 2012||Matt Diaz||15-Day DL||Right thumb surgery - out for season|
ATLANTA (AP) -- With All-Star catcher Carlos Ruiz still nursing a left foot injury, Roy Halladay is growing pretty fond of Erik Kratz .
"I didn't know he was going to hit the way he has hit," Halladay said, "with the power that he has."
Kratz homered in the ninth inning off Braves closer Craig Kimbrel and John Mayberry Jr. hit a three-run shot off Cristhian Martinez in the 10th to help the Philadelphia Phillies rally for an 8-5 victory over Atlanta on Friday night.
Josh Lindblom (3-3) pitched a scoreless ninth, allowing one walk and striking out one.
Jonathan Papelbon earned his 31st save in 34 chances by striking out Dan Uggla , getting Paul Janish to fly out and striking out Eric Hinske in the 10th.
Martinez (5-4) allowed three hits, three runs, one walk and struck out two.
The Braves, who have lost two straight and three of four, dropped 6 1/2 games behind first-place Washington in the NL East.
Philadelphia has won two straight and six of eight. The Phillies are 18 games back in the NL East, but they finished August with a 17-12 record.
"I've got a headache," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said while a smile as he shook a bottle of aspirin. "It was a mentally tough game. It's amazing. It's unreal. Good game. Good comeback win."
Kevin Frandsen led off the 10th with a single, moved to second on Martinez's balk and advanced to third on Chase Utley 's groundout. After Ryan Howard was intentionally walked, Martinez struck out Juan Pierre before Mayberry's 13th homer landed in the seats in left field.
Kratz's homer made it 5-all in the ninth. The save opportunity was just Kimbrel's third since Aug. 3. Though Kimbrel has converted 32 of 35 chances this season, his last blown save came July 20 on a homer by Washington's Danny Espinosa .
Kratz finished the game 3-for-5 and has hit safely in 15 of his 25 starts. With Ruiz hopeful to come back soon from the disabled list, Kratz might hope the Phillies remember that 15 of his 27 hits this year are for extra bases.
"You can't say enough about Kratzy's at-bat," Mayberry said. "Kimbrel's obviously one of the best closers in the game. For him to come up with a clutch hit like that was huge and kind of put the momentum on our side."
Uggla homered off Jeremy Horst to break a 4-all tie in the sixth.
Martin Prado and Freddie Freeman hit two-run homers in the fifth off Halladay, Philadelphia's starting pitcher, to give the Braves a 4-1 lead.
Howard, whose 10th homer made it 1-0 in the second, cut Atlanta's lead to 4-3 in the sixth with a two-run single that chased Atlanta starter Mike Minor . Ty Wigginton 's sacrifice fly off Chad Durbin made it 4-all.
Halladay gave up seven hits, four runs, four walks and struck out three in 4 2-3 innings.
Halladay is 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA in four starts at Turner Field this year. The two-time Cy Young Award winner had gone 4-1 with a 2.75 ERA in his first five August starts.
Not until the third inning did Halladay tell anyone that he had been sick the night before. He delivered the news to pitching coach Rich Dubee.
"I didn't feel very good last night," Halladay said. "I was just zapped once I got out there. I tried to battle as much as I could. I just didn't have enough there by the fifth inning."
The Phillies have won just two of their last nine against Atlanta.
Minor led off the fifth with a single and scored with one out on Prado's eighth homer. After Jason Heyward 's popup, Hallaway walked Chipper Jones before Freeman launched his 19th homer to make it 4-1.
In the sixth, Minor loaded the bases on singles by Jimmy Rollins , Frandsen and Utley. Howard singled softly to center to score Rollins and Frandsen and cut the lead to 4-3.
"It's obviously not a good thing," Minor said. "If they give me runs, I need to go out there and shut that inning down. But it's obviously disappointing to give up some base hits right there and pretty much all the runners score."
Howard has 40 homers and 115 RBIs in 129 career games against Atlanta.
Minor allowed seven hits and four runs with one walk and three strikeouts in four-plus innings.
On the last play of the fourth, the 40-year-old Jones was trying to score from second on Janish's single to center, but he was tagged out at the plate by Kratz. Though Jones lowered his shoulder and knocked Kratz on his back, Kratz held onto the ball to preserve Halladay's 1-0 lead.
"He got him good," Halladay said. "It was a big play. Knowing you're going to get hit like that and still catching the ball, it takes some toughness."
Notes: Braves SS Andrelton Simmons has been cleared by a team physician to begin baseball activities and could start a rehab assignment on Tuesday. ... Rollins apologized to Manuel before the game and returned to the lineup a day after the former NL MVP was benched in the middle of a game for failing to hustle. ... Minor went 1-1 with 2.40 ERA in his first two starts against the Phillies this year. ... The Braves released SS Jack Wilson before the game and later announced a trade with Detroit for utility man Jeff Baker .