for this game

Braves take advantage of Hamels, edge Phillies

Sep 24, 2008 - 3:51 AM By Vince DiGregorio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Mike Hampton won his first game in over a month and helped the Atlanta Braves take care of a nemesis in the process.

Hampton pitched six effective innings as the Atlanta Braves edged the Philadelphia Phillies, 3-2, on Tuesday to even the best-of-three series.

Casey Kotchman hit a solo home run for the Braves, who defeated the Phillies for just the third time in 17 meetings this season.

Philadelphia (89-69) lost for only the second time in its last 12 games and saw its lead dwindle to 1 1/2 games over the New York Mets (87-70) for first place in the National League East after the Mets defeated Chicago, 6-2.

"I don't think there's any need to panic," Philadelphia's Ryan Howard said. "We lost a game. I don't think that there's a need to go into a frenzy or anything. That's baseball."

Cole Hamels (14-10) suffered his first loss against Atlanta this season. The lefthander had entered the contest with a 3-0 mark against the Braves and was a major reason for the Phillies' domination against the division rivals this season.

Hampton (3-3) went six innings and allowed two runs and six hits with three walks and four strikeouts in recording his first victory since August 16.

"(Philadelphia's) lineup is tough. There's not much breathing room anywhere," Hampton said. "I felt that I made quality pitches."

Despite the winless drought, the lefthander pitched well and had the misfortune of facing the top pitchers from the opposing teams.

"When you're matching up against the likes of (Johan) Santana and Hamels, you're gonna have to be on your game until you get wins," Hampton said. "I felt that I pitched pretty good, but a lot of times, you have to be lights out against those pitchers."

Atlanta manager Bobby Cox concurred with Hampton's assessment.

"Hampton keeps picking the tough pitchers," Cox said. "He pitched against Santana (the last time)."

Hampton was asked afterward if this outing may have been his last appearance for Atlanta.

"There's just too much left up in the air," said Hampton, who is a free agent at season's end. "Who knows what's gonna happen? I can't play scenarios. I've just got to go out there and pitch and prove to everybody that I can still do it."

Mike Gonzalez earned his 14th save by getting Carlos Ruiz to ground into a game-ending double play in the ninth.

Kelly Johnson gave the Braves a 1-0 lead in the first inning when he blooped a run-scoring single to center after Martin Prado doubled with one out. The base hit extended Johnson's hitting streak to 21 games.

Atlanta had a chance to extend its lead, but left two runners on in both the first and second innings. Philadelphia then tied it in the bottom of the second on a two-out, RBI single by Pedro Feliz.

The Braves regained the lead in the third, thanks to Hamels. With runners on first and second and two outs, Johnson broke for third and would have been out easily except Hamels threw wildly past the bag, allowing Johnson to score to make it 2-1.

"When you go out to play baseball, you want to play as clean and as perfect as you possibly can," Hamels said. "That's why we practice endlessly during spring training. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make a good throw.

"I think that's why I'm not a professional quarterback. I don't have to hit guys on the run. I just need to be better and set my feet."

The Phillies threatened in the bottom half by loading the bases with two outs, but Prado made a fine catch of Pat Burrell's foul pop over the railing in front of the Braves' dugout.

Hamels settled down and retired 10 in a row, but with two outs in the sixth, Kotchman blasted a first-pitch offering into the right-field seats for a solo home run to increase Atlanta's margin to 3-1.

"I don't analyze anything," Kotchman said. "I just try to do the best that I can and accept the results that come from it. I was just fortunate to square a ball up. I'm trying to have a decent at-bat."

The lefthanded Kotchman notched his third career homer against the lefthanded Hamels in nine at-bats.

"(The home run pitch) was a curve ball," Hamels said. "I had thrown some pretty good curve balls during the game. For some odd reason, (Kotchman) has my number."

Philadelphia cut the deficit to one in the bottom half after Ryan Howard led off with a triple and scored on Burrell's double.

Hamels tossed seven frames and surrendered three runs - two earned - on eight hits. The lefthander walked one and struck out seven in his 116-pitch outing.








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

    BATTERIES: ATL - MIKE HAMPTON, WILL OHMAN (7TH), JEFF BENNETT (8TH), MIKE
    GONZALEZ (9TH) AND BRIAN MCCANN
    PHI - COLE HAMELS, SCOTT EYRE (8TH), CHAD DURBIN (8TH),
    J.C. ROMERO

    Sep 23 9:53 PM
  • 89
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    alamowx Added 5 roots

    Braves 3, Phillies 2  Bot 8, 0 OutsSep 23 9:31 PM
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    Braves 3, Phillies 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 23 9:08 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY PAT BURRELL SCORED RYAN HOWARD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, P BURRELL ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3
    PHILADELPHIA 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: S VICTORINO (.291, 0-FOR-2)

    Braves 3, Phillies 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsSep 23 8:52 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CASEY KOTCHMAN (2) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF COLE HAMELS.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3, PHILADELPHIA 1
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B LILLIBRIDGE (.186, 0-FOR-2)

    Braves 3, Phillies 1  Top 6, 0 OutsSep 23 8:45 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 39 roots

    Braves 2, Phillies 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsSep 23 8:33 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY COLE HAMELS ALLOWED KELLY JOHNSON TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, O INFANTE ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 2
    PHILADELPHIA 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C KOTCHMAN (.226, 1-FOR-1)

    Braves 2, Phillies 1  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 23 7:56 PM
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    McTool Added 5 roots

    Braves 1, Phillies 1  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 23 7:52 PM


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    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY PEDRO FELIZ SCORED RYAN HOWARD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, P FELIZ ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 1
    PHILADELPHIA 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: C RUIZ (.227, 4 HR, 30 RBI)

    Braves 1, Phillies 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsSep 23 7:43 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: ATL - MIKE HAMPTON
    PHI - COLE HAMELS

    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: J ROLLINS (.280, 11 HR, 59 RBI)
    C UTLEY (.288, 32 HR, 100 RBI)
    J WERTH (.275, 23 HR, 66 RBI

    Braves 1, Phillies 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 23 7:16 PM
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    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Braves vs. PhilliesSep 23 10:05 AM