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Eaton's quality starts for Phillies continue

ATLANTA - Adam Eaton has pitched better in recent weeks than he did yesterday, but he still kept the game close for the Phillies, and that's his most important job.


Adam Eaton

has pitched better in recent weeks than he did yesterday, but he still kept the game close for the Phillies, and that's his most important job.

He allowed eight hits, two walks and three runs in six innings in a 6-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. It was his fourth straight quality start, the first time he has accomplished that feat since June 6 to July 3, 2004, when he had six straight quality starts for the San Diego Padres.

Eaton is 2-1 with a 2.81 ERA in this stretch. (A quality start is defined as at least six innings pitched, with three earned runs or fewer).

"Keep taking the ball every five days and keep throwing innings up there," Eaton said. "Our offense is going to take care of us. Right now, we're going through a good stretch pitching-wise, and we're kind of taking care of each other."

The Phillies have won 12 of their last 14, and the pitching staff has a 3.33 ERA during that run. The rotation has a 2.18 ERA (eight earned runs in 33 innings) in the last five games, and a 4.10 ERA (41 earned runs in 90 innings) in the last 14.

The Flyin' Hawaiian

Shane Victorino

had quite a weekend in Atlanta.

He hit two triples and threw out the tying run at the plate in the 10th inning in Friday's 4-3 win. He scored the go-ahead run in Saturday's 6-2 victory, and yesterday he went 3 for 5 and knocked in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning with a single to center field to score Eric Bruntlett.

"Jimmy [Rollins] and I, when we get on base, this offense is a very productive offense behind us," Victorino said. "Chase [Utley], Ryan [Howard], Pat [Burrell] - you keep going down the line. When we get on base, we're bound to score runs because of the guys behind us."

Of course, yesterday Victorino did the driving in.

"I was just trying to get a pitch to hit, and I got a fastball," he said.

Victorino is hitting .370 (30 for 81) with six doubles, two triples, one home run, and 10 RBIs since May 18.

Unhittable Lidge

Brad Lidge

needed to throw just seven pitches in the ninth inning to pick up his 17th save.

That tied him with Cubs closer Kerry Wood for the National League lead. Lidge is 1-0 with an 0.96 ERA in 28 appearances. In 28 innings, he has allowed just 15 hits, three earned runs, and 13 walks, and has struck out 35.

Wood entered last night's game against the Dodgers at 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 32 appearances. In 331/3 innings, he has allowed 21 hits, 10 earned runs, and seven walks, and has struck out 38.

Charlie Ball

The Phillies have the best record in the NL since

Charlie Manuel

became manager before the 2005 season.

They are 301-250 (.546), with the Mets second at 298-250 (.544). The Phillies trail only the Yankees (318-231, .579), Angels (317-232, .577) and Red Sox (317-235, .574), who have the top three records in baseball since the end of the 2004 season.

Not so chipper

Chipper Jones

, who went 3 for 6 with a double, home run, two RBIs and three walks this weekend against the Phillies, did not play yesterday because of a slight tear in his right quadriceps. Jones is hitting .420 with 15 homers and 41 RBIs.

The Phillies did not miss him.

Drink responsibly

Mike Schmidt's

wine, Schmidt 548 Zinfandel, will hit Delaware Valley stores this week. Schmidt is giving 100 percent of the proceeds to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.