Braves keep rolling, Phils' misery extended
Philadelphia, PA – Brian McCann and Chris Johnson stroked back-to-back homers as part of a five-run fifth inning that lifted the Atlanta Braves to a 6-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies Friday in the opener of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park.
Johnson added a double in Atlanta's eighth straight victory to extend his streak of multi-hit games to eight, tying a franchise record for the longest such stretch in club history.
Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Joey Terdoslavich chipped in with an RBI apiece to provide just enough run support for starter Kris Medlen (8-10), who struck out eight and gave up four runs on six hits over six frames to earn the win.
David Carpenter and Jordan Walden each pitched a perfect inning in relief before Craig Kimbrel fired a 1-2-3 ninth to secure his 32nd save.
"Everything's a run, whether you get a good run of hitting or a good run of pitching," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "It seems like our run of pitching has been really consistent all year."
Atlanta did all of its damage against Philadelphia starter Ethan Martin, who was making his major league debut after lefty Cliff Lee was scratched from his second straight start with a neck strain.
Martin (0-1) surrendered all six runs on eight hits and three walks over 4 1/3 frames.
"Adrenaline was going and I was trying to stay within myself the whole night," Martin said of his debut.
Delmon Young, Chase Utley and Darin Ruf each clubbed a solo shot for the Phillies, who have lost 11 of their last 12 games.
Ruf and Young led off the second with back-to-back homers to put the Phillies in front, but the Braves answered in the third when Andrelton Simmons worked a leadoff walk, moved to second on Medlen's sacrifice bunt, and scored on a Heyward single to make it 2-1.
Martin worked out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the fourth, but was unable to evade trouble in the fifth, as the Braves pushed five runs across in the frame to seize control.
Heyward led off with a double to right and Upton followed with a single to center to tie the game. After Freddie Freeman flied out, McCann and Johnson scorched back-to-back blasts to give Atlanta a 5-2 lead.
Martin then walked Dan Uggla to spell the end of his debut, as Luis Garcia entered from the bullpen and was greeted by Terdoslavich, who laced a double off the wall in right-center to score Uggla for a 6-2 edge.
The Phils battled back with a pair of runs in the sixth, starting with Utley's one-out shot into the first row in left-center field. Ruf followed with a walk and Young doubled before Cody Asche slapped a grounder to second that scored Ruf to bring the Phils within 6-4.
With Medlen finished after 96 pitches, Carpenter, Walden and Kimbrel combined to hold the Phils hitless over the final three frames.
Hank Aaron was the last Brave to record eight-straight multi-hit games back in 1959 ... Ruf has reached base safely in a major-league best 30 straight games ... Asche's RBI was the first of his career ... It was Johnson's 37th multi- hit game of the season ... Martin was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley prior to the game, while pitcher Jonathan Pettibone was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder.