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Long Ball Plagues Phillies In Loss To Braves

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jair Jurrjens pitched neatly into the seventh inning, Freddie Freeman, Alex Gonzalez and Eric Hinske homered, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-2 on Sunday night.

Jurrjens (4-0) allowed one run and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings to outduel Cole Hamels.

Jurrjens hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any start, and has a 1.50 ERA.

Hamels (4-2) gave up three runs and five hits, striking out nine in seven innings. Coming off a complete-game win over Washington, Hamels could’ve gone the distance if he had a lead. He threw 92 pitches before being removed for a pinch hitter.

Jonny Venters pitched out of trouble after allowing a run in the eighth and Craig Kimbrel tossed a scoreless ninth for his eighth save in 10 tries. Kimbrel allowed a single and a walk with one out before striking out Shane Victorino looking and retiring Placido

Polanco on a shallow fly to center.

The Braves have won nine of 12. They head home for eight games, including a three-game series against Philadelphia next weekend.

The NL East-leading Phillies lost just their third series of the season, and remained tied with Cleveland for the best record in the majors. They’ll hit the road for eight games, starting at second-place Florida on Monday.

On a Mother’s Day when many players around the majors wore pink wristbands and pink necklaces and used pink bats to show their support for the fight against breast cancer, Freeman was the only starter for either team wearing pink spikes. The 21-year-old first baseman, who was 10 when his mother died of melanoma, finished 3 for 4.

He may want to stick with those shoes.

Freeman led off the fifth with a solo shot to right to give the Braves a 3-1 lead. Hamels had allowed just two homers all season before the Braves connected twice.

Freeman started a two-out rally in the second with a single. Gonzalez then drove a 2-1 pitch into the seats in left for a 2-0 lead. He later left the game with a slight groin strain and is day-to-day.

Hinske, pinch-hitting for reliever Eric O’Flaherty, connected off Michael Stutes to make it 5-1 in the eighth. Hinske struck out against Brad Lidge for the final out of the 2008 World Series, clinching Philadelphia’s win over Tampa Bay.

The Phillies cut it to 2-1 in the third. Jimmy Rollins singled and scored on Polanco’s two-out single to center.

Victorino tripled and scored on Polanco’s infield single in the eighth to get Philadelphia within 5-2. Venters later retired pinch-hitter John Mayberry Jr. on a fly to center with two runners on to end the inning.

Jurrjens pitched out of a first-and-third, one-out jam in the sixth by getting Wilson Valdez to ground into a double play.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • Concerned Fan

    The Phillies played good baseball lastnight: good hitting and good fielding. The problem was that we did not have enough ping in the bats. Where’s Howards home runs when you need them the most? Anyways, home runs aren’t everything and hits base knocks are.

    Now the Phillies will be facing the Marilns this week. A pretty tough match-up as evidence by thethe last stand-off between the two teams. I would like to Mayberry get more time at the plate, and possibly start over Fransisco. The Phillies need more speed on the bases and a stronger arm in the right field. Valdez should start at second. Pete Orr should pick up the remains of second, depending on the situation of the game and production by Valdez.

    I’m not too concerned with Halladay’s performance, but the Phillies must back him up with run production or else we might see a repeat of last Friday nights game when Cliff Lee struck out 16 batters and lost the game.

    Accuracey and balance of bats appear to be the issue with the Phillies at this point in time.

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