Even ace-of-staff Cliff Lee wasn't enough to stop Atlanta, which won its 10th straight contest in a seemingly effortless victory Sunday night, 4-1.
Lee (10-5) needed 95 pitches as he labored through five innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits. He struck out eight and walked two. He didn't allow a homer for the first time in five games — a B.J. Upton shot was originally ruled gone but changed to a double in the fourth. Upton scored anyway.
The loss was Lee's third straight in as many games. Lee's last five contests: 31.1 IP, 19 ER, 36 H, 34 K, 6 BB, 9 HR. He's allowed at least three earned runs in each game.
And as the Phillies have been known to do, they had no answer for rookie left-hander Alex Wood. In six innings, the Phils got just two hits off Wood (2-2) and one run. The 22-year-old was starting his fourth career game.
In total, the Phillies managed four hits, courtesy of Michael Young, Carlos Ruiz and two from Darin Ruf.
With two base knocks, Ruf extended his on-base streak to 32 games — the longest active streak in the majors. He's about the only thing going right for the Phillies nowadays. His average sits at .299, with a .413 OBP. The next highest OBP in the lineup Sunday was Kevin Frandsen (.347).
Delmon Young struck out four times and was booed accordingly.
Next up for the Phillies (50-61), it's the Cubs (49-62), who are buried in fourth place in the NL Central. Here are the pitching matchups for you diehards:
Kendrick (9-8, 4.29) vs. Edwin Jackson (7-11, 4.65)
Wednesday: Cole Hamels (4-13, 3.87) vs. Travis Wood (7-8, 3.05)
Thursday: Ethan Martin (0-1, 12.46) vs. Jeff Samardzija (6-10, 3.78)
Brown to begin rehab games
Domonic Brown will play in rehab games on Monday and Tuesday and could rejoin the Phillies as early as Wednesday.
Brown will play Monday with Single-A Lakewood and Tuesday with Double-A Reading. He's been out since July 23 with concussion symptoms.
In his absence, the Phillies have gone 1-10. He still leads the team in homers (24), RBIs (69), runs (51) and slugging (.531).