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Phillies offense anemic in 4-2 loss to Braves

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Phillies scored three runs or fewer for the 39th time this season, leading to predictable results against the Braves on Friday night.

Atlanta Braves' Freddie Freeman rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run
Atlanta Braves’ Freddie Freeman rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

Freddie Freeman homered, doubled and drove in all four Atlanta runs to back Julio Teheran’s strong pitching in the Braves’ 4-2 victory over Philadelphia.

Ben Revere had three hits, including a triple, but the Phillies lost for the fifth time in seven games.

Philadelphia’s sagging offense, which entered ranked 11th in the NL in batting average at .241, couldn’t do much else. The Phillies dropped to 7-32 in the games in which it has scored three or fewer runs.

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said winning without consistent offense is tough.

“That can be difficult,” he said. “The guys are grinding it. We’re giving ourselves some opportunities, not as many tonight.”

The Phillies’ biggest highlight, perhaps, might have come from a non-player.

Freeman’s three-run homer was caught by Philadelphia play-by-play announcer Tom McCarthy, who was broadcasting the game from center field along with analysts Matt Stairs and Jamie Moyer, both former Phillies.

“It was just really cool, the most unimaginable thing that could happen,” McCarthy said. “It was a remarkable sequence of events. The biggest thing is I was trying to call the play. Then I said, `Please don’t drop it.’”

While neither Stairs nor Moyer brought their gloves, McCarthy had one of his that he uses to play catch with his two teenage boys.

“Just jokingly brought it out more for show than anything,” he said. “There’s no way I would’ve caught it without the glove.”

The announcer received congratulatory texts from his boys and their friends.

“They thought it was awesome,” he said.

The Braves jumped on Kyle Kendrick in the first inning thanks to Freeman’s three-run drive. Freeman’s RBI double in the second boosted Atlanta’s lead to 4-0 before Kendrick settled down.

“This shows how he can carry a ballclub,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Freeman.

Kendrick (3-8) tossed a season-best eight innings, giving up four runs and nine hits with eight strikeouts and two walks.

“It was fun to go eight,” Kendrick said. “Obviously, I wasn’t as good as the other guy.”

The Phillies scored twice in the fourth on Jimmy Rollins’ RBI groundout and Marlon Byrd’s RBI single.

They threatened in the eighth against reliever Jordan Walden, placing runners on first and second with two outs, but Walden fanned Ryan Howard on a 97 mph fastball to end the inning.

“We just couldn’t get the big hit,” Sandberg said.

Teheran (7-5) allowed two runs – one earned – and six hits in seven innings. He struck out nine, walked none and retired his final seven batters for Atlanta, which had lost six of 10 beginning with Philadelphia’s three-game sweep at Turner Field last week.

Craig Kimbrel pitched a scoreless ninth for his 23rd save in 27 chances.

Philadelphia put a runner in scoring position in the ninth. Byrd drew a leadoff walk, but Kimbrel struck out Cody Asche before John Mayberry Jr. flied out to the wall in left-center. Domonic Brown, out of the starting lineup for the second straight day and third time in five games, struck out as a pinch-hitter to end the game.

Gerald Laird replaced Evan Gattis behind the plate for the Braves after the top of the first. Gattis struck out swinging in the first and left the game due to back spasms. Laird went 1 for 3 with a double. Gattis said afterward he would have a better idea of the extent of the injury on Saturday.

NOTES: Philadelphia placed catcher Carlos Ruiz on the seven-day DL with concussion-like symptoms. Ruiz was hit in the head by A.J. Ramos’ pitch Thursday against Miami. … The teams play a day-night doubleheader Saturday, with Atlanta RHP Ervin Santana (5-5, 4.15 ERA) facing RHP Roberto Hernandez (3-6, 4.41) in the opener, followed by RHP David Hale (3-2, 2.72) against Philadelphia RHP Sean O’Sullivan in the nightcap. O’Sullivan will be making his first start of the season after getting called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. … The Phillies recalled right-hander Luis Garcia from Triple-A Lehigh Valley following the game.

(© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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