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ATL@PHI: Lee fans four in solid outing vs. Braves

The Phillies will look to win their third straight series on Wednesday when they host the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park.

Philadelphia has won three in a row and will go for its first four-game win streak in over a month with staff ace Cliff Lee on the mound. The Phillies are 4-1 on their 10-game homestand and have won six of eight overall.

The Nationals, meanwhile, have dropped two straight following a four-game win streak and are 4-4 over their past eight games. They've fallen six games behind the Braves in the National League East, while the Phillies have moved within 1 1/2 games of Washington for second place.

The Phillies took two of three from the Braves over the weekend, and have won the first two games of a four-game set against the Nationals.

"They're that much more important because you can gain ground there," Lee said of games against clubs the Phillies are chasing in the division.

Lee beat the Nationals on June 18, striking out nine over eight innings while allowing just two runs on five hits. He's 6-3 with a 2.48 ERA in nine career starts against Washington, with 66 strikeouts in 65 1/3 innings.

Gio Gonzalez will start for the Nationals in search of his fourth straight win. Washington has won each of the left-hander's past four outings, averaging over eight runs per game -- a stark contrast to the run support Gonzalez received over his previous 14 starts.

"I've never lost faith in these guys," Gonzalez said. "They've been doing it since last year. You just got to keep them in the game, and if you show them signs of life, they're going to go out there and do the job."

Gonzalez will face the Phillies for the second time this year. He settled for a no-decision in Philadelphia on June 19, charged with two runs on two hits in seven innings with 11 strikeouts.

Nationals: Hairston gets early action
Newly acquired outfielder Scott Hairston made an early impact in his first game with the Nationals on Tuesday.

Acquired in a trade with the Cubs on Monday, Hairston batted leadoff and started in left field. He singled to center on the third pitch he saw with his new club and finished the game with two of the Nationals' seven hits.

Washington is the sixth team Hairston has played for during 10 seasons in the Major Leagues. He's also spent time with the D-backs, Padres, Athletics and Mets.

"I haven't been in a winning environment in quite a while," Hairston said. "It feels good."

Phillies: Aumont optioned, Garcia promoted
The Phillies optioned right-hander Phillippe Aumont to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday, and selected the contract of right-hander Luis Garcia to take his place.

Aumont was 1-3 with a 4.19 ERA in 22 appearances with the Phillies. Over 19 1 /3 innings, he struck out 19 against 13 walks and allowed 24 hits, as opponents hit .308 against him. The Phillies want Aumont to use his time in the Minors to work on his mechanics and approach.

"Consistency is a big factor, and sometimes it's hard to use him in some situations," pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "He needs more reps. He needs to go down there and pitch. He hasn't been getting any ground-ball outs, which is disturbing. I think he's got one ground-ball out this month, to [Pittsburgh's Jordy] Mercer the other day. He should be a sinkerball, ground-ball machine."

Garcia had a combined 1.67 ERA in 31 appearances this season with Class A Clearwater, Double-A Reading and Lehigh Valley. He struck out 39 against 12 walks in 37 2/3 innings. To make room for Garcia on the 40-man roster, the Phillies transferred right-hander Mike Adams to the 60-day disabled list.

Worth noting
• Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki is 7-for-20 (.350) in his career against Lee, with two doubles and three RBIs.

• The Phillies are 23-13 against the NL East, and 10-4 over their past 14 games against clubs with winning records. Comments