Phillies homer in ninth and 10th
Craig Kimbrel hopes Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez gives him the ball again on Saturday.
Kimbrel doesn’t want to wait too long for another chance after blowing just his third save in 35 opportunities this season.
”Any time you give up the lead, you’re never happy about,” he said. ”Nothing I can do about it. All I can do is that if the situation comes up tomorrow, is take the ball and go out there and do my job.”
Erik Kratz homered in the ninth inning off Kimbrel and John Mayberry Jr. hit a three-run shot off Cristhian Martinez in the 10th to give the Braves an 8-5 loss to Philadelphia 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.
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 eighth homer made it 5-all in the ninth. The save opportunity was just Kimbrel’s third since Aug. 3. His last blown save came July 20 on a homer by Washington’s Danny Espinosa.
”That’s the location I was trying to put it,” Kimbrel said. ”I was trying to elevate on him, and it didn’t go high enough. He’s a good fastball hitter. He put the barrel on it. You saw what happened, but all we can do is come out tomorrow and keep on playing.”
According to the Braves, the homer marked the first time Kimbrel has given one up with the count no balls, two strikes. The 23-year-old Kimbrel, last year’s NL Rookie of the Year, has allowed six homers in his career.
”We give the ball to Craig, and we’ve gotten spoiled over the last couple of years,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ”He usually shuts those things down, and today it was a fastball that got too much of the plate.”
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 Phillies starter Roy Halladay 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.
Hallaway 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.
”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.”
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’s fine,” Gonzalez said of Jones. ”It was just two big boys colliding there.”
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 manager Charlie 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.