Braves win 10th straight, edge Phils
Philadelphia, PA – Chris Johnson collected two RBI and Alex Wood spun six strong innings of one-run ball, as the Atlanta Braves notched their 10th straight victory with a 4-1 decision over the Philadelphia Phillies Sunday at Citizens Bank Park.
Jason Heyward scored twice and knocked in a run, while Justin Upton added a run-scoring double for the Braves, who haven't tasted defeat since July 25 at New York.
Wood (2-2) limited the Phillies to two hits and as many walks while striking out three to earn his second straight victory. Craig Kimbrel worked around a one-out single in the ninth to secure his 34th save of the season.
"He did a nice job today mixing his pitches," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said about Wood. "He threw fastballs in on right-handers, threw some real good change-ups. It was a good outing."
Cliff Lee's first start since July 21 was a forgettable one, as the Braves touched Lee (10-5) for four runs -- three earned -- on eight hits and a pair of walks in just five innings of work.
"I felt fine," said Lee. "I was a little eratic early. I wasn't locating that well, walked the first guy of the game, that's never good."
Michael Young registered one of Philadelphia's four hits and knocked in the only run of the game for the Phillies, who have lost five straight and 13 of their last 14 games.
Lee, who was dealing with a neck strain, was unable to shake of the rust in the early going, as the Braves plated a pair of runs in their first at-bat.
Heyward worked a leadoff walk and Freddie Freeman smacked a one-out single before both runners advanced a base on Carlos Ruiz's passed ball. After Brian McCann fanned, Johnson laced a single to right to make it 2-0.
Wood, meanwhile, held the Phils hitless over the first two frames before Ruiz led off the third with a drive off the top of the wall in left. The umpires originally signaled home run, but video review confirmed the ball did not clear the wall, leaving Ruiz standing on second.
Lee followed with a sacrifice bunt to move his batterymate to third before Young plated Ruiz with a groundout to third to bring the home team within 2-1.
The Braves answered with two more runs in the fourth, as B.J. Upton led off with a blast that reached the first row in right. However, after video review, the umpires ruled a fan reached over the fence, giving Upton a leadoff double.
Lee quickly retired the next two hitters, but Heyward came through with an RBI single off the right-field wall before scoring on Justin Upton's double to center to make it 4-1.
Philadelphia left fielder Darin Ruf extended his streak of reaching base to 32 consecutive MLB appearances since Sept. 25, 2012, the longest streak for a Phillie since Chase Utley's 33-game run Sept. 7, 2008 - April 22, 2009 ... The Braves won 10 straight games from April 5-16 earlier this season. They are just the second team in the last 35 seasons to notch two double-digit winning streaks in the same season ... Lee fell to 6-5 in 13 career starts against the Braves .. The Phillies are 1-13 in their last 14 games, marking the club's worst 14-game stretch since a 1-18 skid from Aug. 28-Sept. 14, 1999.