Roy Halladay picked up win No. 10 with his seventh complete game of the year, and Greg Dobbs belted a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth inning, as the Phillies won, 3-1, to open a three-game series against Atlanta.
Halladay (10-7) pitched his second complete game this season versus the Braves, tossing a five-hitter with seven strikeouts and one walk on 93 pitches to lower his earned run average to 2.33. It was the 56th complete game effort of his career — most among active players.
Dobbs ended 2-for-3 while Juan Castro added an RBI single in the eighth as Philadelphia pulled to within four games of the NL East-leading Braves.
He outdueled Atlanta’s Derek Lowe (9-7), who went seven innings and allowed two runs on six hits while fanning six and walking one. Chipper Jones had two hits, including his sixth home run of the season for Atlanta, which has dropped two in a row after winning three straight.
Jones got the Braves off to a good start with his two-out homer in the first inning.
The Phillies threatened in two of the next three innings but came up empty. Jayson Werth and Dobbs opened the second inning with base hits, moved up a base each on a groundout and were stranded with consecutive strikeouts by Lowe.
Halladay made the final out in the second and again to end the fourth, striking out with the bases loaded.
The hosts broke through in the sixth, though, as Werth singled and Dobbs followed by placing a Lowe pitch into the bleachers in right-center for a 2-1 edge.
Halladay struck out Brian McCann to end the Atlanta sixth after Jones doubled and got a double play to avoid trouble in the seventh after walking the leadoff man.
Gregor Blanco started the Braves’ eighth with a bunt single, but catcher Dane Sardinha threw him out at second on an attempted steal. Halladay fanned the final two batters of the inning and the Phils tacked on an insurance run in their turn at the plate.
Jonny Venters yielded consecutive base hits to Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard to start the frame, and a fielder’s choice left men at the corners. An unsuccessful suicide squeeze from Juan Castro saw Ibanez tagged out heading for home, but Castro delivered an RBI single to left.
Halladay retired the side with ease in the ninth.
Halladay faced the Braves on April 21 and hurled a five-hit shutout with seven strikeouts. He’s now 3-0 in four career games versus Atlanta, three of those starts. Halladay had come up on the losing end in four of his previous five starts…The Phillies were coming off a 4-6 road trip and had dropped three of four in Pittsburgh upon opening this six-game homestand…Atlanta is playing six straight on the road leading into the All-Star break. It was coming off a 6-3 homestand…Lowe lost his second straight start…Brian McCann picked up two hits for Atlanta. Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard collected two hits apiece for the Phils, who evened the season series at 5-5.