The Atlanta Braves opened up their series with the Philadelphia Phillies Friday with a loss, but offense came at a premium for both clubs.
The division-leading Braves (85-55) suffered a 2-1 setback in the series opener as the teams combined for seven hits. Cody Asche 's two-run homer in the seventh was the difference for Philadelphia (64-77), while Atlanta's only run came on Andrelton Simmons ' home run as Cliff Lee struck out 10 over eight innings.
Asche, who was called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on July 31, is hitting .452 over his last eight games with nine RBIs. He started off his major league career by going 1 for 17 over five games.
"I wouldn't say my nerves have dissipated," Asche said. "I just think you learn to control them."
The Braves will hope to keep Philadelphia grounded with Wood (3-3, 3.15 ERA) on the mound. The left-handed rookie gave up a season-high seven runs and eight hits in 2 1-3 innings of a 7-0 loss to Miami on Sunday. He had posted a 0.90 ERA over his previous five starts, including six innings of one-run ball in a 4-1 win at Philadelphia on Aug. 4.
However, Wood had also been dominant the first time he faced the Marlins, throwing six shutout innings against them three weeks before Sunday's disappointment.
"I don't think it has anything to do with them getting a second look," Wood said. "I've thrown against some other teams more than once. Give them credit. They beat me like a drum today."
Kendrick (10-12, 4.51) gets the nod for Philadelphia looking to end a career worst-tying four-game losing streak. He is 1-6 with a 6.31 ERA over his last eight games and has thrown six innings or fewer in his last nine starts after throwing more than six nine times in his previous 19 outings.
The right-hander yielded five runs and eight hits over six innings in a 7-1 road loss to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.
"You fall behind, it's tough to pitch," said Kendrick, who is averaging 17.6 pitches per inning in his last nine games compared to 15.0 pitches previously. "I went in and fell behind. That's what happens."
Kendrick owns a 7.80 ERA in his last three starts versus Atlanta. He gave up six runs and 11 hits in five innings of a 13-4 loss to the Braves on July 6. Justin Upton is 5 for 12 off him with two homers.
Simmons, who is slugging .706 over his last 11 games, is 2 for 7 off Kendrick with a homer.
The Braves have won 20 of the last 30 meetings but are 34-35 on the road this season compared to 51-20 at Turner Field.
|August 29, 2013||Justin Upton||Day-to-Day||Left hand injury|
|August 22, 2013||Jason Heyward||15-Day DL||Fractured right jaw|
|August 21, 2013||Brandon Beachy||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|August 20, 2013||Justin Upton||Day-to-Day||Strained upper back|
|August 15, 2013||Tyler Pastornicky||15-Day DL||Torn left ACL - out for season|
|August 13, 2013||Dan Uggla||15-Day DL||Eye surgery|
|August 30, 2013||Domonic Brown||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right Achilles|
|August 28, 2013||Cody Asche||Day-to-Day||Strained left hamstring|
|August 26, 2013||Casper Wells||15-Day DL||Vision complications|
|August 17, 2013||Michael Young||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore left ankle|
|August 15, 2013||John Lannan||60-Day DL||Left knee tendinitis|
|August 14, 2013||John Lannan||Day-to-Day||Knee|
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Freddy Galvis was just trying to drive the ball up the middle. Fortunately for the Philies, he did much more.
Galvis hit a game-ending homer with one out in the ninth inning to lift Philadelphia to a 6-5 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.
Atlanta had trailed 5-3 going into the ninth, but Andrelton Simmons hit a two-out two-run homer off Jonathan Papelbon (5-1), who blew his seventh save in 32 opportunities.
Galvis, who had four hits, got Papelbon the win by connecting on a 1-0 pitch from Freddy Garcia (0-1) into the seats in right field. It was the first four-hit game for Galvis, who had been 0-for-7 since being recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sept. 3. It was his fifth homer of the season.
"My approach was to stay to the middle, to be on base," Galvis said. "That pitch was a hanger and I made a good swing. Thank God I hit a homer. It feels really good to hit a walkoff homer - the best feeling."
It was the second career walkoff homer for Galvis, who also connected off Reds closer Aroldis Chapman on May 19.
"He just reacted to a pitch and got a hold of it, resulting in the home run without a big home-run swing," Philadelphia interim manager Ryne Sandberg said. "I think the hits leading up to the home-run swing all worked. That's his game, for me, is staying on top of the ball and using the whole field with the line-drive stroke."
Carlos Ruiz singled, doubled and drove in three runs, and Cesar Hernandez and Kevin Frandsen each had three hits for the Phillies.
Freddie Freeman had two hits and two RBIs for NL East-leading Atlanta, which dropped its third straight.
"We battled back and tied it but Freddy Galvis got us," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We had opportunities but haven't had that bloop single or ground ball through the middle, but we'll keep plugging away."
Kyle Kendrick was in line for the victory before the ninth. Kendrick, who had lost a career-high tying four-game losing streak, retired the first six Braves before scuffling in the third inning. Freeman's two-run double staked Atlanta to a 2-0 lead.
The Phillies tied it in the bottom of the inning on Ruiz's two-run single. And Ruiz's fifth-inning double put Philadelphia ahead 3-2. Galvis also had an RBI single in the fifth to give the Phillies a two-run advantage.
Chris Johnson 's sixth-inning double pulled Atlanta within 4-3, but the Phillies bullpen held Atlanta scoreless until the ninth. Justin De Fratus and Jake Diekman combined to allow one hit in two scoreless innings before turning the ball over to Papelbon.
Frandsen's RBI single in the eighth put the Phillies back up two runs.
Kendrick matched a career high with eight strikeouts in six innings. The right-hander allowed four hits and walked three. He had been 0-4 with a 5.27 ERA in his last five starts.
Braves rookie left-hander Alex Wood gave up four runs on nine hits in 4 2-3 innings.
"It's very frustrating," Wood said. "I'm trying to help my team clinch a pennant. I'm not doing exactly what I want to do when I go out there."
The Upton brothers continued to struggle for Atlanta. B.J. Upton went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts while Justin Upton was 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts. The Uptons have combined to go hitless in their last 27 at-bats.
"At least we battled back into the game," Simmons said. "If we played any more innings, we might have won it."
Notes: A day after playing in a swift 2 hours, 14 minutes on Friday night, the teams took 3 hours, 18 minutes to finish Saturday's game. . Atlanta left-handed reliever Scott Downs left after taking a Chase Utley line drive off his right hand in the sixth inning. He suffered a non-displaced right ring finger fracture. . Atlanta left-hander Paul Maholm (10-10, 4.41) faces Phillies lefty Cole Hamels (6-13, 3.50) in the finale of the three-game series at 1:35 Sunday afternoon.