Halladay Gets Little Support From Bats In Phillies’ Loss To Braves
ATLANTA (AP) — Charlie Manuel is growing impatient as he waits for his Phillies’ bats to gain momentum.
Dan Uggla hit a tiebreaking home run off Roy Halladay in the eighth inning to cap a productive afternoon, and the Atlanta Braves beat Philadelphia 3-2 on Sunday to take two wins in the three-game series.
Tim Hudson pitched seven strong innings and combined with Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel on a four-hitter.
“Our hitting’s got to pick up,” Manuel said. “We’ll find somebody. We’ll look until we find somebody.”
The Braves won two of three from the Phillies for the second time in 10 days after winning a series in Philadelphia on May 6-8. The Phillies managed only a combined seven runs in the four losses to the Braves.
The Phillies continue to lead second-place Florida and the Braves in the NL East, but a second series loss to the Braves showed reason for concern.
“We’ve got our work cut out for us,” Halladay said. “We can’t assume anything, that’s for sure.”
The Phillies were without center fielder Shane Victorino, who was held out after leaving Saturday’s game with a sore right hamstring. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro said he doesn’t think Victorino will be placed on the disabled list.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said the Phillies remain the team to beat in the division.
“It keeps us inching to where we want to be,” Gonzalez said. “We’re not there right now.”
Uggla, who began the day hitting only .196, had two hits and a walk and scored each of the Braves’ runs. It was his first multihit game since having three hits against Milwaukee on May 4.
Freddie Freeman drove in two runs for Atlanta, Venters (3-0) pitched a perfect eighth and Kimbrel recorded the final three outs for his 10th save.
Pinch-hitter Ben Francisco led off the ninth with a walk, and he moved to second with two outs on a wild pitch. Kimbrel ended the game on Rollins’ soft fly ball to left field.
John Mayberry had a two-run homer for Philadelphia, and Halladay (5-3) gave up eight hits and three runs in eight innings, striking out seven with a pair of walks.
Uggla hit a 3-2 pitch from Halladay for his seventh homer, barely clearing the wall in left-center to lead off the eighth. It was only the second homer given up by Halladay this season.
“It wasn’t a very good pitch,” Halladay said. “I fell behind and then just really left the ball over the plate. Especially there, I felt like we had to challenge him. He’s been struggling, but he’s still a good hitter.”
Ernie Banks, Morgan Freeman and Carlos Santana received Beacon Awards and Hank Aaron was honored before baseball’s annual Civil Rights Game.
Braves starting pitcher Tim Hudson had an injury scare in the fourth when he slipped trying to spring off the mound and cover first on Ryan Howard’s grounder to Uggla at second base.
He remained in the game after taking warmup throws as manager Fredi Gonzalez watched. Gonzalez said Hudson, 35, felt his hip pop and shrugged it off as a symptom of old age.
Hudson pitched seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits and five walks, one shy of his career high. He struck out three.
The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the fourth, when Uggla singled and scored on Freeman’s infield hit. The Phillies answered in the sixth when Placido Polanco led off with a walk and scored on Mayberry’s line-drive homer to left-center with two outs.
Atlanta tied the game at 2-2 in the sixth. Uggla walked, moved to on Eric Hinske’s single to right and scored on Freeman’s fly ball to left field.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)