Atlanta at Philadelphia

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Andruw's 26th HR helps Braves, Smoltz top Phillies

CBS wire reports

PHILADELPHIA -- John Smoltz was bothered by a sore hamstring and he started to tire in the sticky air. None of it slowed him down enough to give him trouble with Philadelphia.

Smoltz won his fifth straight start, and Andruw Jones and Kelly Johnson each hit three-run homers to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 9-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.

Smoltz (9-5) continued his run of brilliant starts, improving to 5-0 with three complete games in his last five starts. The 38-year-old Smoltz went 5-1 with a 2.50 ERA in June with complete games in his last two starts.

Smoltz had a solid six-inning outing this time, giving up just one run and five hits while striking out seven.

"The only thing that made it easier was two great three-run homers," Smoltz said. "I probably didn't pitch my best, but I made the pitches when I had to."

After pitching 43 1/3 innings in his last five starts, Cox decided to give Smoltz a short stint because of a tender left hamstring and a humid night. Smoltz said he hurt the hamstring a couple of starts ago and pitched through it until Friday when he said it "zapped him."

"Thankfully, I had my slider today because that was the pitch that bailed me out," he said.

He mastered the fading Phillies, who lost for the 12th time in 16 games and were criticized before the game by closer Billy Wagner who said the team wasn't good enough to get to the playoffs.

The Phillies (40-40) fell back to .500 for the first time since June 2.

Atlanta snapped a 1-all tie with a three-run fourth against struggling starter Vicente Padilla (3-8).

After Padilla retired the first two batters, Rafael Furcal singled, Pete Orr reached on a fielders' choice and Johnson hit his fifth homer of the year into the right-field seats.

Padilla gave up nine hits and four runs in four innings and lost his third straight start.

"We have to get him going," manager Charlie Manuel said.

Padilla started the season on the disabled list while recovering from right triceps tendinitis and has pitched poorly since returning to the rotation on April 19. Only once in 12 starts has he pitched six innings.

Before the game, general manager Ed Wade said Padilla needed to show he was worthy of keeping his spot in the rotation.

"His location and the velocity on his fastball didn't seem like it was there," Lieberthal said. "He's been a dominant pitcher before. We're kind of waiting for him to get back there."

Reliever Geoff Geary didn't fare any better, giving up Jones' major league-leading 26th homer in the sixth for a 7-1 lead. Jones started July much the same way he ended June when he set the team record for homers in a month with 13.

"He's having a lot better at-bats than he's ever had since he's been here," Cox said.

Adam LaRoche hit a two-run homer in the ninth to make it 9-1.

The Phillies played without first baseman Jim Thome, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his right elbow, the second time the slumping slugger has been on the DL this season.

The Phillies recalled first baseman Ryan Howard from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to replace Thome. Howard was originally in the starting lineup, but did not make it to the game on time and was replaced at first by Tomas Perez.

Perez drove in Philadelphia's only run in the second.

Certainly this was the kind of game that drove Wagner to criticize his team, first to a Philadelphia newspaper, then to the rest of the media before the game.

Wagner admonished his teammates for not having enough intensity, saying that when the Phillies get behind "we've quit."

"The way we're playing now, if anybody's fool enough to think we're a playoff team the way we're playing right now, they're crazy. We haven't played well," he said.


  • RHP Tim Worrell could be activated as early as Monday's game against Pittsburgh. Worrell, who was the setup man for Wagner, was 0-1 with a 9.82 ERA in 14 games, before going on the disabled list on May 6 with personal issues. "There's still that unknown with coming back, even though I have all this experience," he said.
  • LHP Randy Wolf had season-ending reconstructive elbow surgery on Friday that could sideline the left-hander until next July. Wolf will start rehab on July 19.
  • Smoltz' seven strikeouts gave him 2,494 in his career, moving him past Warren Spahn for second on Atlanta's career list.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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John Smoltz won his fifth straight start by limiting the Phillies to one run in six innings. (AP)
John Smoltz won his fifth straight start by limiting the Phillies to one run in six innings. (AP)

Players of the Game

K. Johnson
AB 3
R 3
H 2
HR 1

A. LaRoche
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1

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Atlanta Braves
Rafael Furcal, SS4230100 .240
Pete Orr, 2B5220001 .298
Kelly Johnson, LF3323202 .255
Andruw Jones, CF4123100 .284
Adam LaRoche, 1B5133011 .263
Wilson Betemit, 3B5000014 .297
Ryan Langerhans, RF5000004 .247
Brian McCann, C4000020 .333
John Smoltz, P3000010 .150
    Blaine Boyer, P0000000 .000
   a- Brian Jordan, PH1000000 .245
    Jim Brower, P0000000 .000
    Chris Reitsma, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Boyer in the 8th
2B - Andruw Jones (13, Padilla)
HR - Kelly Johnson (5, Padilla), Andruw Jones (26, Geary), Adam LaRoche (9, Telemaco)
RBI - Kelly Johnson 3 (20), Andruw Jones 3 (59), Adam LaRoche 3 (47)
2-OUT RBI - Kelly Johnson 3 (5), Andruw Jones 3 (27)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Orr-Furcal-LaRoche
Atlanta Braves
John Smoltz (W,9-5) 6511170 2.68
Blaine Boyer 1000010 0.96
Jim Brower 1100010 5.84
Chris Reitsma 1000010 3.89
WP - Chris Reitsma (1)
Pitches-Strikes - John Smoltz 86-58, Blaine Boyer 12-10, Jim Brower 16-9, Chris Reitsma 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Smoltz 7-4, Jim Brower 1-1, Chris Reitsma 1-1
Batters Faced - John Smoltz 24, Blaine Boyer 3, Jim Brower 4, Chris Reitsma 3
Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS4010000 .275
Kenny Lofton, CF4000011 .371
Bobby Abreu, RF4010000 .313
Pat Burrell, LF4000042 .286
Chase Utley, 2B3110120 .309
David Bell, 3B4000003 .256
Tomas Perez, 1B4021010 .256
Mike Lieberthal, C3010012 .228
Vicente Padilla, P1000012 .143
   a- Endy Chavez, PH1000002 .190
    Geoff Geary, P0000000 .500
    Aaron Fultz, P0000000 .500
   b- Ramon Martinez, PH1000000 .239
    Amaury Telemaco, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Padilla in the 4th
b-lined out for Fultz in the 7th
2B - Chase Utley (15, Smoltz), Tomas Perez (3, Smoltz)
RBI - Tomas Perez (14)
2-OUT RBI - Tomas Perez (8)
Team LOB - 6
Outfield Assists - Pat Burrell 1
Philadelphia Phillies
Vicente Padilla (L,3-8) 4944221 6.96
Geoff Geary 2233121 5.20
Aaron Fultz 1000010 3.09
Amaury Telemaco 2122101 4.22
Pitches-Strikes - Vicente Padilla 91-58, Geoff Geary 40-26, Aaron Fultz 12-9, Amaury Telemaco 25-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Vicente Padilla 4-6, Geoff Geary 3-1, Amaury Telemaco 4-2
Batters Faced - Vicente Padilla 23, Geoff Geary 9, Aaron Fultz 3, Amaury Telemaco 8
Game Information
Attendance - 45004
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Chuck Meriwether, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - Adam Dowdy