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Philadelphia Phillies Lose the First Game of the Second Half to Atlanta Braves

July 18th, 2014 at 10:44 PM
By Andrew Waltz

The Philadelphia Phillies went in to the break losing their last two games to the Washington Nationals. On Friday, they made it three in a row, losing 6-4 to the Atlanta Braves. The Braves trotted Ervin Santana to the mound to start their second half and he pitched six solid innings allowing four runs, three of them earned. Santana only managed one strikeout and allowed three walks, but it was enough for the win against an anemic Phillies offense.

Grady Sizemore from Flickr via Wylio? 2009 Keith Allison, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

On the other side, the Phillies started A.J. Burnett. Burnett was handed a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning before promptly giving up four runs in the bottom half – the first of which was Jason Heyward’s inside the park homerun. Burnett allowed six earned runs all together on 10 hits, one walk, and five strikeouts. He only lasted 77 pitches. The bullpen continued their dominance, pitching three perfect innings with no walks and two strikeouts.

I already mentioned Heyward’s inside the park home run and I’d prefer not to dwell on that. With the exception of first baseman Freddie Freeman, every Brave starter had a hit in the ballgame, including Santana. Centerfielder B.J. Upton, shortstop Andrelton Simmons and second baseman Tommy La Stella added RBIs of their own.

On the Phillies side, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Cody Asche and Cameron Rupp added one hit each. Grady Sizemore, the man quickly making a bid to keep the left field job for the rest of the season, managed two hits. Utley’s hit was his 25th double of the season.

Perhaps the one shining light of the Phillies loss was the 3-4 with runners in scoring position. The Phillies have been awful in that category for the entire season; A.J. Burnett was the only person who came to the plate and didn’t connect with runners on second or third.

The Phillies continue their series in Atlanta Saturday night at 7:10pm ET. Cole Hamels will take the mound against Aaron Harang. 

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