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Howard Returns, But Phillies Get Blanked By Braves

Brian McCann hit a grand slam, Tim Hudson tossed four-hit ball over seven innings and the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-0 to spoil Ryan Howard’s season debut Friday night.

Drew Hallowell, Getty Images

Howard doubled in his first at-bat and was 2 for 4 in his first game since rupturing his left Achilles tendon on the final swing in a postseason elimination loss to St. Louis last October.

But even with their regulars together for the first time, the struggling Phillies generated nothing on offense. The five-time defending NL East champions are a season-worst 11 games under .500.

Hudson (7-4) nearly went pitch-for-pitch with Kyle Kendrick, who also threw seven scoreless innings and allowed four hits. Kendrick had five strikeouts; Hudson had none. But Hudson got the W.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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