for this game

Howard powers Phillies past Braves

Jul 3, 2008 - 4:10 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Ryan Howard and the Philadelphia Phillies keep on piling up the wins at Turner Field.

Howard smashed a three-run homer and Pat Burrell added a solo shot to lead the Phillies to a 7-3 win over the struggling Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.

Chris Coste continued to tattoo Braves pitching by collecting two hits and driving in a run for Philadelphia, which is a perfect 5-0 in Atlanta this season.

"We know it's a tough place to play," Howard said. "You have to have your A game here."

The Braves have had uncanny success against the rest of the league at home, winning 28 of 39 against teams not from the City of Brotherly Love. Somehow, Philadelphia has the antidote to Atlanta's winning formula at home, much to the bewilderment of some of the Phillies.

"I don't know why," Burrell said. "I don't know about those numbers. We match up very well with these guys."

Philadelphia tagged Atlanta starter Jorge Campillo (3-3) for a season-high five runs and eight hits en route to notching its first series victory in seven sets dating to its last visit to Atlanta from June 6-8.

"We keep putting June behind us," Howard said of his club's rough month. "Now that (interleague play) is over, we can get back to playing the other teams in the National League."

The Phillies' slugger also showed just how strong he is when he laced a one-handed homer the opposite way off Campillo in the third. The three-run blast, which was his 21st homer of the season, landed in the left-center field bleachers, giving Philadelphia a 4-0 lead.

"I think that was the pitch of the game," Campillo said of the offering. "He's a strong guy, a very, very strong guy."

It has been a strange season for Howard, who leads the National League with 71 RBI despite sporting an anemic .219 batting average and leading the NL with 115 strikeouts. However, the former MVP has been a totally different hitter in the clutch, batting .333 (34-for-102) with seven homers and 52 RBI with runners in scoring position.

"My average is down and my strikeouts are up, obviously," Howard admitted. "I want to fix it and get more hits."

One thing that does not need fixing right now is the swing of Burrell in Atlanta. The left fielder, who homered in Tuesday's win, also found the seats in this one, blasting a solo shot for his 21st of the season in the sixth.

Atlanta, which crept within 5-1 on pinch hitter Ruben Gotay's solo shot in the fifth, had a chance to tie it one inning later.

But after the Braves loaded the bases with none out to chase Philadelphia starter Adam Eaton (3-6), Jeff Francoeur continued his struggling ways by grounding into a tailor-made double play against reliever Chad Durbin.

The Braves plated a run on the play, while the woes for the slumping Francoeur continued. The 24-year-old Atlanta native, who is mired in an 8-for-62 slump, is batting .100 (2-for-20) with six strikeouts with the bases loaded this season.

Francoeur also had a chance to tie the contest in the eighth after Chipper Jones led off with a homer that cut the deficit to 5-3. However, he struck out swinging with one on to end the inning to a chorus of boos from the normally sedate Atlanta crowd.

"We're not here to talk about Francoeur," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox defensively sniped after the game. "We just lost the (darn) game."

While Cox was reluctant to discuss his Gold Glove Award-winning right fielder's struggles, Jones - Francoeur's mentor - did.

"It's a really tough time for him," Jones said. "I've heard a smattering of boos myself. He's never struggled up until this point, ever. He's always been the 'chosen one.' But this game will humble you. He's got a million hitting coaches right now. What he needs to do is come to the ballpark and work, and try to get better."

Philadelphia added two insurance runs in the ninth on an RBI triple by Jimmy Rollins and a run-scoring base hit by Chase Utley.

Thanks to two errors by first baseman Howard, Atlanta loaded the bases against Philadelphia closer Brad Lidge in a non-save situation in the ninth. After Mark Teixeira lined the first offering off Lidge 20 feet foul down the right field line, Lidge struck him out on the ninth pitch of the at-bat to end the contest.

"It's a rough time around here right now," Jones said. "A lot of guys are struggling with runners on base. No one is excluded. It's everybody. It's not just one guy."

Eaton allowed two runs and five hits while walking five and striking out two in five-plus innings en route to his first victory since June 3 against Cincinnati.

Jones finished 1-for-4 with a walk to see his league-leading average dip to .391 for Atlanta (40-45), which has dropped six of its last eight games to fall a season-worst five below .500.








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

    BATTERIES: PHI - ADAM EATON, CHAD DURBIN (6TH), J.C. ROMERO (8TH), RYAN MADSON
    (8TH), BRAD LIDGE (9TH) AND CHRIS COSTE
    ATL - JORGE CAMPILLO, JEFF BENNETT (6TH), WILL OHMAN
    (7

    Jul 2 10:24 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CHASE UTLEY SCORED JIMMY ROLLINS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C UTLEY ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 7
    ATLANTA 3 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: R HOWARD (.219, 1-FOR-4, HR, 3 RBI)

    Phillies 7, Braves 3  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 2 10:09 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY JIMMY ROLLINS SCORED ERIC BRUNTLETT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J ROLLINS ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 6
    ATLANTA 3 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: S VICTORINO (.270, 0-FOR-4)

    Phillies 6, Braves 3  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 2 10:09 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CHIPPER JONES (17) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF J.C. ROMERO.
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 5, ATLANTA 3
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M TEIXEIRA (.274, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Phillies 5, Braves 3  Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 2 9:39 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    JEFF FRANCOEUR HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING MARK TEIXEIRA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B MCCANN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 5
    ATLANTA 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M KOTSAY (.284, 0-FOR-2)

    Phillies 5, Braves 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 2 9:08 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Phillies 5, Braves 1  Top 6, 0 OutsJul 2 8:49 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RUBEN GOTAY (2) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    5TH OFF ADAM EATON.
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 5, ATLANTA 1
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: G BLANCO (.276, 1-FOR-2)

    Phillies 5, Braves 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 2 8:40 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY PAT BURRELL (21) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    5TH OFF JORGE CAMPILLO.
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 5, ATLANTA 0
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: J WERTH (.265, 0-FOR-2)

    Phillies 5, Braves 0  Top 5, 0 OutsJul 2 8:36 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY RYAN HOWARD (21) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF JORGE CAMPILLO SCORED JIMMY ROLLINS AND CHASE UTLEY.
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 4, ATLANTA 0
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: P BURRELL (.274, 0-FOR-1)

    Phillies 4, Braves 0  Top 3, 0 OutsJul 2 7:59 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CHRIS COSTE SCORED PEDRO FELIZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C COSTE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 1
    ATLANTA 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: A EATON (.154, 0 HR, 1 RBI)

    Phillies 1, Braves 0  Top 2, 0 OutsJul 2 7:38 PM