Seven exceptional innings of relief from the Phillies' bullpen went for naught when Dan Uggla legged out a grounder to short to prevent a double play and drive in the winning run Saturday evening at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies fought the Braves for 12 innings, but lost 5-4 to fall to 50-60 on the season.
Jake Diekman took the loss. With one out and a man on second in the 12th, he intentionally walked Evan Gattis but then inexplicably walked Paul Janish -- who has the second-worst batting average in the NL to Michael Martinez since Mini-Mart entered the league -- on four pitches. That set up the game-winning RBI groundout by Uggla off of Justin De Fratus.
The Phillies had chances. Delmon Young demolished a ball to dead-center in the eighth, but a would-be home run fell two feet short of the fence. Kevin Frandsen led off the 10th by hitting a ball as deep as possible to left field, but Justin Upton caught it against the wall.
John Mayberry's two-run homer in the second inning put the Phillies up 3-0. It was Mayberry's eighth of the season. He also laced a single later in the game off Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy, which was a positive sign for the streaky Mayberry.
John Lannan's day ended early when the fifth inning spun out of control, due mostly to Cody Asche's third error in four games. With a man on third and one out, Andrelton Simmons grounded a ball to third base that ate Asche up. Instead of two outs-runner on third, the situation became first and third-one out. Justin Upton walked and Freddie Freeman drove in a pair. The Braves scored three in the inning to chase Lannan, who was starting on three days rest.
It was another rough day for Asche, who is 1-for-17 in five games.
Jimmy Rollins tied the game in the seventh with a clutch, two-out RBI double, but the Phillies stranded him at second.
This was the sixth straight time the Phillies have lost with a pitcher on three days rest. Their last win in that situation came in September 2008.
The Phillies fell to 13-21 in one-run games, worst in the National League.
Cliff Lee is finally back on the mound tomorrow night after missing a start with a stiff neck and being pushed back twice this weekend. He'll face Braves rookie left-hander Alex Wood, a second-round pick in 2012 that the Phillies have never faced as a starter.