After winning the first game of their all-important homestand, the Phils fell totally flat on Saturday in a 13-4 loss to the Braves.
Kyle Kendrick labored through five arduous innings, allowing six runs on a career-high 12 hits, and he even escaped a couple of jams to keep his line from bursting through the roof. The righty left the ball elevated and Atlanta capitalized, battering Kendrick for a pair of homers before the Braves did more damage on the bullpen.
Atlanta tallied 19 hits, the most surrendered in a game by the Phillies since Sept. 2, 2010. Jason Heyward and Dan Uggla had three RBIs apiece, Brian McCann finished with four hits and Andrelton Simmons posted three runs and three hits.
The Phils’ offense was no better than its own pitching. Atlanta’s Tim Hudson (7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 4 K) made things look easy, retiring his final 11 batters in a row to earn his first win since May 5.
The Phillies failed to work a three-ball count in the loss as Hudson went seven frames in 92 pitches compared to Kendrick’s five in 99. The Phils plated three of their four runs in the final two innings when the game was out of hand.
With the loss, Charlie Manuel's club (42-46) dipped back to 8 1/2 games behind the first-place Braves (50-37) in the NL East. The Phillies are 8-15 in their last 23 games against Atlanta, a team they face 14 more times this season.
In the grand scheme of the Phils’ homestand, it’s just one loss. However, that makes Sunday that more critical and the pressure that more amplified.
Prior to the game, Domonic Brown and Cliff Lee were named to the NL All-Star team. It’s Brown’s first selection and Lee’s fourth.
The sting of Saturday’s drubbing can be alleviated if the Phillies win the series against Atlanta on Sunday. Jonathan Pettibone (4-3, 3.99) starts for the Phils and opposes the Braves’ Kris Medlen (6-7, 3.11).
The Phillies then welcome the Nationals (45-42) to Citizens Bank Park for four more pivotal games.