Phils rock Braves rookie for key win
The Philadelphia Phillies have one last trip to prove they are the best road team in baseball.
They're off to a good start.
The Phillies ended rookie Tommy Hanson's streak of 19 consecutive scoreless innings, beating Atlanta 4-2 Sunday and damaging the Braves' faint NL wild-card hopes.
The Phillies won two of three against the Braves to improve to 45-39 away from Philadelphia for the best road record in the major leagues.
There are seven games remaining in the Phillies' final 10-game road trip. They need only three more wins to match their team-record 48 road wins in 1976.
There was a rain delay of 1 hour, 51 minutes in the middle of the fifth inning, ending Cliff Lee's start for the Phillies. Lee said he wanted to remain in the game.
"I'm never going to be happy coming out after four innings regardless of what the circumstances are," Lee said. "I want to go out there and get deep in games."
Lee threw briefly in front of the Phillies dugout during the delay, but manager Charlie Manuel said he doesn't like to send a starter back after delays longer than about 40 minutes.
"He was doing pretty good," said Manuel of Lee, who gave up five hits and one run in four innings.
Brad Lidge, the fifth Phillies reliever, pitched another shaky ninth inning but posted his 31st save in 41 chances. The NL East-leading Phillies took two of three in the series.
The Braves fell 5 1/2 games behind wild-card leader Colorado.
"It's discouraging," said Atlanta's Chipper Jones. "We played pretty well. We thought we swung the bats real good today, just hit a lot of balls at people.
"It's not over until you're mathematically eliminated. Obviously we need some help but we've still got to take care of business."
Hanson (10-4) threw a combined 15 scoreless innings in his last two outings to join Pete Smith (1988) and Paul Marak (1990) as only the third Atlanta rookie to pitch at least seven scoreless innings in back-to-back starts, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Hanson, who ended his Sept. 3 start at Florida with two scoreless innings, opened Sunday's game with two scoreless innings to stretch his streak to 19. The string ended when he gave up a run in the third on Ben Francisco's RBI double.
Hanson had a longer streak of 26 consecutive scoreless innings earlier in the season.
The Phillies tagged Hanson for four runs and seven hits, including four for extra bases, in five innings.
"This is a good team. I felt like I made some good pitches and they got some good hits," Hanson said. "The biggest thing was the bottom of the order, having those bloop hits."
Tyler Walker (2-0) gave up only one hit in two scoreless innings following the delay. He said he spent the rain delay preparing to take over for Lee and "go until I couldn't go anymore."
Walker said he tried to prepare as if he were starting a new game.
"Now I know why I'm not a starter anymore," Walker said. "I was sweating like a hostage out there."
Ryan Madson struck out the side in the eighth and Lidge took over with a 4-1 lead to begin the ninth.
With two outs, Lidge walked Brooks Conrad and gave up Brian McCann's RBI single. Lidge struck out Nate McLouth to end the game.
Lee allowed a first-inning run when Martin Prado doubled and scored on a single by Matt Diaz.
The Phillies took a 3-1 lead with two runs in the fourth. Jayson Werth walked, Raul Ibanez hit an RBI double and Pedro Feliz singled home a run.
Jimmy Rollins led off the fifth with a double and scored on Chase Utley's triple to the soggy right-field corner.
Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino, who returned after missing one start with flu-like symptoms, was ejected in the first inning after he was thrown out trying to steal second base. Second base umpire Chad Fairchild called Victorino out on the throw from catcher David Ross to shortstop Omar Infante.
Victorino threw his helmet down and was ejected for continuing to argue as Fairchild began to walk away.
Chipper Jones had two hits for Atlanta. His third-inning double off the left-field wall was his first extra-base hit since his double at Florida on Sept. 2.
The Braves won the season series 10-8. ... Phillies C Carlos Ruiz missed his second straight start after spraining his left wrist Friday night. ... The Braves were missing two starters, 1B Adam LaRoche (sore back) and SS Yunel Escobar (bruised elbow). LaRoche left Saturday night's game early and said he had lingering soreness after taking swings in the batting cage before Sunday's game. Escobar was hit by a pitch in Saturday.