Errors cost Phillies in 10-3 loss to Braves for doubleheader sweep
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Anemic offense and shoddy defense doomed the Philadelphia Phillies in a doubleheader sweep by the Atlanta Braves.
Ryan Doumit homered and Tommy La Stella had two doubles and drove in a pair of runs to lead the Braves to a 5-1 victory over the Phillies in the nightcap Saturday.
La Stella hit a three-run triple in Atlanta’s 10-3 win in the opener.
Cameron Rupp had two hits with a double for the slumping Phillies, who have lost seven of nine. Philadelphia totaled four runs in the two games and now have scored three runs or less 41 times, dropping to 7-34 in those contests. The Phillies also fell to 18-26 at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park, where they entered Saturday batting .229 as a team.
“We had tough going on the offensive side and couldn’t get anything going,” Sandberg said. “It’s disappointing. We came in with some momentum, but the last three games it was lack of offense and not many good plays on defense. We have to do things differently, we have to score more runs and put the pitching and defense together.”
Atlanta right-hander David Hale (3-2) made his first start since being moved to the bullpen on April 30 and allowed one run on four hits with three strikeouts and a walk in five innings. Anthony Varvaro, Jordan Walden and Gus Schlosser combined to pitch four scoreless innings of relief. The four pitchers limited Philadelphia to six hits.
The Phillies called up Sean O’Sullivan (0-1) from Triple-A Lehigh Valley for a spot start and the right-hander lasted 5 2-3 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits with three strikeouts. O’Sullivan, who has had stints with the Angels, Royals and Padres, made his 38th big league career start.
“I would’ve liked to have gone deeper in the game, but I thought I came right after them,” O’Sullivan said. “I tried to eat as many innings as I could.”
Justin Upton’s RBI single in the first staked Atlanta to a 1-0 lead. The Phillies tied it in the third on Jimmy Rollins’ sacrifice fly before the Braves used a three-run sixth to take the lead for good.
In the opener, Ervin Santana (6-5) snapped a four-game winless streak, allowing two runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk in 6 2-3 innings. Santana had lost his last three starts with a 5.89 ERA in those outings.
Philadelphia also didn’t help itself on the defensive end in the first game.
The Phillies held a 2-0 lead with one out in the fourth before consecutive miscues by first baseman Ryan Howard allowed the Braves to tie the score.
“It changed the whole game,” Sandberg said.
Tony Gwynn Jr. and Ben Revere had a pair of hits for the Phillies.
While the offense didn’t shine, it was the defense that really let Philadelphia down this time.
Freddie Freeman’s hard-hit grounder went through Howard’s legs and the error put runners on second and third.
“It was a possible double-play ball and we would’ve been out of the inning,” Sandberg said.
The next batter, Upton, hit a medium grounder to first but reached safely when Howard bobbled and then lost control of the ball.
Andrelton Simmons scored on that error and Freeman, who went to third on the play, then came home on Jason Heyward’s groundout to first. Fans gave a sarcastic cheer when Howard made the putout of Heyward.
“We have to tighten up on the defensive end,” Sandberg said.
Atlanta then went ahead in the sixth on Upton’s two-run double off the wall in left.
Roberto Hernandez (3-7) didn’t allow a hit through 3 1-3 innings and ended up giving up just three hits in seven innings with two strikeouts and three walks. Two of the four runs he allowed were unearned.
“His pitching was better than his line,” Sandberg said. “The defense let him down in the fourth inning, but he hung in there and pitched pretty well.”
The Braves broke the game open in the eighth when they scored five runs off Antonio Bastardo, snapping an 11 1-3 inning scoreless streak for the Philadelphia bullpen.
“The bullpen let us down for the first time in a long stretch,” Sandberg said.
The Phillies jumped in front 2-0. Gwynn Jr. snapped an 0-for-23 skid by tripling with one out in the first and scored on Howard’s single to left. It was Gwynn’s first hit since the June 16 death of his father, Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. Hernandez helped himself in the second inning when he recorded his first career RBI by singling home Koyie Hill.
NOTES: Hill, a catcher, started the opener following his call-up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley Friday after Carlos Ruiz was placed on the seven-day DL with concussion-like symptoms. Philadelphia’s regular backup catcher, Will Nieves, has been on the DL since June 19 with a right quad strain. … Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason, in town for the NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center Friday and Saturday, was in attendance for the first game. … The Phillies and Braves will conclude their four-game series at 1:35 Sunday afternoon with Atlanta RHP Aaron Harang (6-6, 3.78) facing Philadelphia RHP David Buchanan (4-3, 4.79). … The Phillies sent SS Ronny Cedeno to Triple A-Lehigh Valley following the first game to make room for O’Sullivan.
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