Phillies 5, Braves 3
The Philadelphia Phillies bullpen finished what Cole Hamels started, and Placido Polanco, Jayson Werth and Shane Victornio provided the offense.
Each of them hit solo home runs Sunday, and the Phillies' bullpen worked four perfect innings in relief of a shaky Hamels to give Philadelphia a 5-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
``It's nice to get outs,'' said Chad Durbin, who worked the sixth and seventh innings. ``It's the same as when you're in Little League, get outs so you can hit.''
The Phillies hit enough on a chilly afternoon at Citizens Bank Park, building a 4-0 lead off Kenshin Kawakami. They scored twice in the first inning after loading the bases with one out, then got homers from Polanco and Werth in the second and third innings.
Hamels (3-2) gave most of that back in the fifth, after dodging trouble in the third and fourth innings. The left-hander began the fifth by allowing five straight batters to reach base, starting with a walk to Kawakami. Omar Infante, Martin Prado, Melky Cabrera and Troy Glaus each followed with singles, allowing Atlanta to pull within 4-3.
Hamels regrouped to retire Brian McCann and Matt Diaz, then worked around a walk to Brooks Conrad to escape further damage. Hamels wound up lasting five innings, allowing eight hits four walks but surrendering only the three runs. He struck out five.
``I wasn't giving myself an opportunity,'' said Hamels, who allowed one run in eight innings in his previous outing. ``When you're throwing a lot of balls, the crowd dies and the energy dies. I was fortunate to get out of that inning with a lead.''
The bullpen protected it.
Durbin struck out four of the six batters he faced, and Jose Contreras pitched the eighth on a day when both their mothers were in attendance for Mothers Day. Contreras' mom saw her son pitch in person for the first time last week, while Durbin's mom joined the Phillies broadcast team in the booth for a few innings.
``I heard my mom did a decent job on the telecast,'' Durbin said.
Brad Lidge did a decent job earning his first save of the season with a perfect ninth, and his first regular-season save since Sept. 20. He missed April recovering from off-season knee and elbow surgery, and was making his fourth appearance of 2010.
Entering with a two-run lead, Lidge's surrendered long fly balls to pinch hitter Eric Hinske and Infante, but the wind knocked both down at the warning track. He then retired Prado on a groundout to end the game.
``When Carlos (Ruiz) and I got out (to the mound), he said, 'Just throw strikes, because if they get it up there in the wind, it's not going to go very far,''' Lidge said. ``I didn't mean to take him quite as literally. That was the game plan, throw strikes. They put some good swings on them, but they came down in somebody's gloves.''
Lidge has converted 37 of 38 save chances at Citizens Bank Park, including 16 in a row.
Victorino's home run to right field gave the Phillies an insurance run with one out in the seventh. Kawakami (0-6) lasted 6 2-3 innings for the Braves, allowing five runs on seven hits and a pair of walks.
``If I said I wasn't frustrated, I'd be lying,'' said Kawakami, whose ERA rose to 5.73. ``They have too much power.''
Atlanta fielded a lineup without regulars Jason Heyward, Chipper Jones and Yunel Escobar. Four of Sunday's starters, excluding the pitcher, entered the game batting below .200.
The Phillies head to Colorado for a game Monday night, but finished 7-3 on the home stand against New York, St. Louis and Atlanta.
``We're starting to hit stride a little bit,'' Werth said, ``and play good baseball.''
Werth is playing especially good baseball, hitting .349 with 16 doubles and seven homers. He will be a free agent after the season, but would like to return.
``I definitely feel at home here in Philadelphia and love playing for the Phillies,'' he said. ``Coming to work with these guys everyday would be tough to beat. That said, it's a business and I've said it before that I've played my whole career for this season right here and I plan to see it through.''
NOTES: Werth's homer was the 100th of his career. He also leads the NL with 23 extra-base hits. ... The Phillies placed C Brian Schneider on the DL before Sunday's game with a strained left Achilles' tendon. He was replaced on the roster by Paul Hoover. ... Hayward (right groin) said he hopes to return on Tuesday.