for this game

Braves hold on to top Phillies

Aug 12, 2007 - 4:50 AM By Vince DiGregorio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Kelly Johnson and the Atlanta Braves' bullpen made sure another early four-run lead was not squandered for the second straight game.

Johnson homered and drove in three runs as the Braves defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, 7-5, to move back into second place in the National League East Division.

Willie Harris added two doubles and scored two runs for Atlanta (62-55), which has won five of its last seven games in climbing within 2 1/2 games of division-leading New York (64-52). The Braves also pulled one-half game behind the San Diego Padres (62-54) in the NL wild card race.

The Phillies (61-55) trail the Mets by three games.

In Friday's contest, each team scored four runs in the first inning before both starting pitchers settled down to toss five hitless frames. Philadelphia scored a late unearned run to pull out a 5-4 victory.

In this one, Atlanta again built an early 4-0 lead and led, 6-1, after four innings before Philadelphia pulled within two. However, the Braves' bullpen was able to shut the door as Ron Mahay (1-0) combined with three other relievers to seal the win.

"You get leads like that, you really don't want to give them up," Johnson said. "Just the way things have been going, you want to get runs early and get them often. It was nice to do that again and even nicer to be able to hold onto it."

Mahay tossed a scoreless fifth inning and Oscar Villarreal worked two more frames without allowing a run before Rafael Soriano surrendered a solo homer by Aaron Rowand in the eighth. Bob Wickman worked around a leadoff double by Chris Coste in the ninth to notch his 19th save in 24 opportunities.

"The bullpen was awesome," Johnson said. "You get performances like that out of your bullpen guys, you're gonna win a lot of games."

The Phillies had their first five batters reach safely in the fifth and scored three runs against Atlanta starter Lance Cormier to cut the deficit to 6-4. Cormier, who entered the contest with a 15.58 ERA, gave up two singles and a walk to load the bases before Tadahito Iguchi delivered a two-run double and scored on a single by Pat Burrell.

Mahay replaced Cormier with runners on first and third and struck out Ryan Howard and Rowand before getting Greg Dobbs on a groundout.

"My job is to get (Cormier) off the hook, and that's just basically it," Mahay said. "Stop the bleeding, more or less. Fortunately, I got out of there unscathed. I honestly didn't think about (the situation). I was more concerned about me getting loose because everything happened so quickly."

Braves manager Bobby Cox praised Mahay for his effort.

"He saved the ballgame," Cox said. "He gets two big strikeouts, almost struck out Dobbs. He's been terrific. I thought he was the key to the game."

Harris led off the game with a double high off the right field wall and went to third on a groundout before Chipper Jones lifted a sacrifice fly to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.

"I just want to play my game," said Harris, who had a 10-game hitting streak halted Friday. "Hit a double and maybe we could get a rally. We were fortunate enough to do that. I think it was huge for us to score early."

Harris ignited a two-out rally in the third that saw Atlanta score three runs, lining a double just inside the right field line. Johnson then drove a 1-0 pitch into the right field seats for a two-run homer.

"It's a good park to hit in," Johnson said. "For me, that's one of those situations where I got a breaking ball and got lucky."

The advantage was stretched to 4-0 as Jones and Mark Teixeira followed with triples on consecutive pitches. Jones flared Adam Eaton's first pitch down the line in left, past diving left fielder Burrell. Teixeira followed with a drive to left-center that deflected off Burrell's glove.

"Two triples by those guys? Probably won't see that again in the history of the game, at least in our franchise's," Cox joked. "Two triples by two switch hitters. Hard to do."

Jimmy Rollins got back a run for Philadelphia in the third, when he hit a solo home run - his 21st of the season - inside the right field foul pole.

The Braves took a 6-1 lead in the fourth on Jeff Francoeur's leadoff homer - his 14th - and Johnson's RBI single.

Both starting pitchers were ineffective, with neither reaching the fifth inning. Cormier allowed four runs and seven hits in four-plus frames, while Eaton (9-8) lasted just three-plus innings, surrendering six runs and eight hits.

"I took some solace in the fact that I do have nine wins," said Eaton, who fell to 1-3 over his last six starts. "At the same time, with the team that we have, if I just pitched the way I'm capable of, we'd be in first place."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ATLANTA 1 0 3 2 0 0 0 1 0 7 13 0
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 1 0 3 0 0 1 0 5 9 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: ATL - LANCE CORMIER, RON MAHAY (5TH), OSCAR VILLARREAL (6TH), RAFAEL
    SORIANO (8TH), BOB WICKMAN (9TH) AND BRIAN MCCANN
    PHI - ADAM EATON, CLAY CONDREY (4TH), JOSE ME

    Aug 11 10:02 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY AARON ROWAND (19) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 8TH OFF RAFAEL SORIANO.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 7, PHILADELPHIA 5
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: G DOBBS (.289, 1-FOR-3)

    Braves vs. PhilliesAug 11 9:35 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ANDRUW JONES SCORED JEFF FRANCOEUR.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A JONES ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 7
    PHILADELPHIA 4 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: Y ESCOBAR (.318, 1-FOR-3)

    Braves vs. PhilliesAug 11 9:24 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY PAT BURRELL SCORED JIMMY ROLLINS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, P BURRELL ON FIRST, T IGUCHI ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 6
    PHILADELPHIA 4 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: R HOWARD (.268, 0-FOR-2)

    Braves vs. PhilliesAug 11 8:34 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY TADAHITO IGUCHI SCORED CHRIS COSTE AND CHRIS
    ROBERSON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, T IGUCHI ON SECOND, J ROLLINS ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 6
    PHILADELPHIA 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: P BURRELL (.267, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Braves vs. PhilliesAug 11 8:33 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KELLY JOHNSON SCORED ANDRUW JONES.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, K JOHNSON ON FIRST, Y ESCOBAR ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 6
    PHILADELPHIA 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C JONES (.340, 1-FOR-1, SF, RBI)

    Braves vs. PhilliesAug 11 8:10 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JEFF FRANCOEUR (14) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF ADAM EATON.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 5, PHILADELPHIA 1
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: A JONES (.213, 0-FOR-1)

    Braves vs. PhilliesAug 11 7:58 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JIMMY ROLLINS (21) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF LANCE CORMIER.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 4, PHILADELPHIA 1
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: T IGUCHI (.370, 0-FOR-1)

    Braves vs. PhilliesAug 11 7:52 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY MARK TEIXEIRA SCORED CHIPPER JONES.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, M TEIXEIRA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 4
    PHILADELPHIA 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.270, 0-FOR-1)

    Braves vs. PhilliesAug 11 7:46 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY KELLY JOHNSON (13) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF ADAM EATON SCORED WILLIE HARRIS.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3, PHILADELPHIA 0
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C JONES (.338, 0-FOR-0, SF, RBI)

    Braves vs. PhilliesAug 11 7:44 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ATLANTA 1 1 1 0
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: ATL - LANCE CORMIER
    PHI - ADAM EATON

    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: J ROLLINS (.288, 20 HR, 68 RBI)
    T IGUCHI (.377, 1 HR, 3 RBI)
    P BURRELL (.264, 17 HR, 59 RBI

    Braves vs. PhilliesAug 11 7:14 PM
  • 10
    roots
    PhilsPhan33 Added 5 roots

    Braves vs. PhilliesAug 11 6:03 PM
  • 5
    roots
    dseligsohn Added 5 roots

    Braves vs. PhilliesJul 18 4:25 PM