Phillies 5, Braves 4
A strong offense and a solid bullpen performance helped Cliff
Lee overcome his worst start in two months.
Humberto Quintero and Ryan Howard hit home runs to give Lee a
five-run cushion, and the Philadelphia Phillies held on for a 5-4
victory over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.
Dan Uggla hit a three-run shot, and the Braves snapped Lee’s
streak of 11 straight games pitching at least seven innings and
allowing three earned runs or less.
But Lee (10-2) still won his eighth straight decision. He
allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings.
”It was hot, but I felt I could continue to pitch,” Lee
He didn’t have to. The bullpen bailed him out.
J.C. Ramirez and Antonio Bastardo combined for five outs.
Jonathan Papelbon finished for his 18th save in 22 tries.
Right fielder John Mayberry Jr. helped Papelbon with a sliding
catch on Brian McCann’s sinking liner for the second out.
”I felt he was spent. He perspired a lot,” Phillies manager
Charlie Manuel said of Lee. ”It happens sometimes to guys who can
go deep and finish games.”
Paul Maholm (9-7) gave up five runs – four earned – and nine
hits in six innings. Tim Hudson was scheduled to start for the
Braves, but he was pushed back one day because of a stiff neck.
Desperate to avoid falling further behind in the NL East
standings, the Phillies (42-45) opened an important 10-game
homestand before the All-Star break looking to gain ground. The
first seven games are against the two teams above them in the
”The only way to definitely gain ground on teams ahead of you
is to beat them,” Lee said. ”We have to win this series and as
many games as we can heading into the All-Star break.”
The division-leading Braves have lost three in a row. The
Phillies have won three of four, including two of three at major
league-leading Pittsburgh. Fifteen of Philadelphia’s last 75 games
are against the Braves.
Lee cruised into the seventh inning with a four-hitter before
running into trouble. Lee hit Freddie Freeman, and Chris Johnson
followed with a single. Uggla then hit a drive to left-center to
get the Braves within 5-3.
”I threw five straight changeups,” Lee said. ”I tried to come
up and in with a fastball. It was up, but not in.”
After Lee gave up a one-out double to McCann, pinch-hitter Reed
Johnson singled to chase him. Ramirez came in and allowed a
sacrifice fly to Andrelton Simmons that cut it to 5-4.
Quintero drove an opposite-field shot out to right to make it
3-0 in the second. A Braves fan dropped the ball back onto the
field, and Quintero stopped at second before being awarded the
homer. The ruling was upheld after the umpires looked at a video
”It feels good to get this win,” Quintero said. ”We have to
win the series.”
Howard connected in the third, hitting a towering shot way out
to right-center for his 11th homer.
Quintero’s RBI double drove in Delmon Young for a 5-0 lead in
Braves catcher Gerald Laird was ejected by plate umpire Angel
Hernandez after getting called out on a pitch that appeared high
and outside in the third. Laird was tossed after shouting an
expletive as he walked toward the dugout. He turned around and ran
at Hernandez, going nose-to-nose in a heated exchange while manager
Fredi Gonzalez tried to calm him. Gonzalez also was ejected.
”The catcher threw the ball back to the pitcher,” Gonzalez
said. ”(Laird) was saying even the Phillies catcher knew it was a
A throwing error by first baseman Freeman gave the Phillies a
1-0 lead in the first.
NOTES: Lee is 11-2 in last 14 starts against NL East opponents.
… The Phillies are 8-14 vs. Atlanta since 2012. … Braves C Evan
Gattis was cleared to start having a catch. Gattis has been
sidelined with a strained right oblique. … RHP Luis Ayala
returned to Atlanta’s bullpen for the first time since being
diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in late April. … Hudson (4-7,
4.22) goes against Kyle Kendrick (7-5, 3.59) Saturday night. Hudson
is 0-6 with a 4.50 ERA in 10 starts since his last win on May