Atlanta at Philadelphia

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Lieberthal singles Phillies ahead of Braves, bullpen does the rest

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Phillies' young players again outdid Atlanta's heralded rookies.

Mike Lieberthal drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the sixth inning, leading the Phillies to a 5-4 victory over the Braves on Tuesday night.

The Phillies remained one game behind Florida in the NL wild-card race. They have won two straight over East-leading Atlanta and four of five overall since being swept by the Astros last week.

"We're relaxed, we're not panicking and we're not getting overly aggressive when we're down," said Billy Wagner, who earned his 34th save in 37 chances with a scoreless ninth.

One night after Eude Brito pitched six scoreless innings in his third career start, the Phillies again got contributions from their youngsters. Rookie Ryan Howard homered and doubled, and Chase Utley drove in two runs.

Gavin Floyd couldn't match Brito's performance, but kept Philadelphia in the game, allowing four runs in five innings in his eighth big-league start.

"Surprised? Not really," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "As long as they stay focused on what they're doing, they can do some good things for us."

Kenny Lofton went 3-for-3 with a triple and scored twice for Philadelphia.

Andruw Jones had a three-run double for the Braves, increasing his NL-leading RBI total to 124.

Atlanta has relied heavily on its rookies this season while pursuing an unprecedented 14th consecutive division title. The Braves have used 17 rookies, including 11 who made their major-league debut this season.

"You have to go out there and take care of business," Howard said.

Philadelphia's overused bullpen held Atlanta scoreless over the last four innings. Aaron Fultz (4-0) tossed a perfect sixth, Ryan Madson pitched the seventh and Ugueth Urbina worked the eighth, before giving way to Wagner.

After the Braves scored four runs off Floyd to take a 4-2 lead in the fifth, the Phillies scored three unanswered runs.

With one out in the sixth, Howard doubled to right-center off Blaine Boyer (2-2). After David Bell flied out, Lieberthal lined a single to right field. The heavy-footed Howard came charging around third, testing Jeff Francoeur's strong arm. Francoeur, the leading candidate for rookie of the year who came in tied for the NL lead with 11 outfield assists, threw way up the line, allowing Howard to score.

Floyd, who pitched out of a jam in the fourth, got in trouble again in the fifth by loading the bases with no outs. He struck out Rafael Furcal looking at a slow curve and retired Marcus Giles on a popup to second baseman Utley.

But Francoeur lined a single to right to cut it to 2-1, and Jones followed with a bases-loaded double to left that gave Atlanta a 4-2 lead.

Floyd escaped trouble in the fourth by striking out Jones and Julio Franco with runners on second and third. He then retired Ryan Langerhans on a fly to left to end the inning.

"When you lose two games in a row and when you get so many opportunities to score some runs and you don't take advantage of them, it can be frustrating," Jones said.

The Phillies scored twice with two outs in the fifth to tie it at 4-all. John Thomson retired the first two batters, before Jimmy Rollins doubled to left-center, extending his hitting streak to 19 games. Lofton drove him in with a single to center and scored on Utley's double into the right-field corner.

Utley's RBI single in the first gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead. Howard made it 2-0 when he led off the second with a shot deep into the right-field seats. The slugging first baseman, playing for the injured Jim Thome, has 17 homers, despite spending most of the first three months in the minors.

It was an encouraging start for Floyd, despite allowing four runs. Once considered a top prospect, Floyd struggled this season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The fourth overall pick in the 2001 amateur draft, Floyd began the year in the starting rotation filling in for the injured Vicente Padilla. He went 1-1, was moved into the bullpen, and hasn't been the same pitcher since. The right-hander was 6-9 with a 6.16 ERA at Scranton.

Thomson gave up four runs and eight hits in five innings. He remained winless since May 5, a span of only eight starts because he missed three months with an injured finger.

"I felt strong. My location was good other than the pitch to Utley and Howard," Thomson said.

Notes

  • Rollins' hitting streak is the longest for Philadelphia since Lenny Dykstra hit in 23 straight in 1990.
  • Braves 3B Chipper Jones didn't start because of a strained left quadriceps. He struck out in the ninth as a pinch hitter.
  • Lofton was 1-for-14 against Thomson entering the game, before going 3-for-3.
  • LF Pat Burrell earned a standing ovation for a sliding catch to rob Langerhans leading off the sixth.
  • Lieberthal threw out Furcal trying to steal in the seventh.
 
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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Ryan Howard, who has done a stellar job replacing Jim Thome, homers and doubles. (Getty Images)
Ryan Howard, who has done a stellar job replacing Jim Thome, homers and doubles. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Philadelphia

C. Utley
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Atlanta

A. Jones
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 3
 

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Atlanta Braves
Rafael Furcal, SS5010015 .276
Marcus Giles, 2B3000113 .297
Jeff Francoeur, RF4121010 .323
Andruw Jones, CF4013022 .275
Julio Franco, 1B4010013 .279
    Pete Orr, PR0000000 .285
    Adam LaRoche, 1B0000000 .243
Ryan Langerhans, LF4000003 .249
Wilson Betemit, 3B3100120 .296
Brian McCann, C3110000 .270
   a- Brian Jordan, PH1010000 .247
    Kelly Johnson, PR0000000 .240
John Thomson, P1110100 .238
    Blaine Boyer, P0000000 .000
   b- Andy Marte, PH0000000 .159
   c- Todd Hollandsworth, PH1000010 .247
    John Foster, P0000000 .000
    Chris Reitsma, P0000000 .000
   d- Chipper Jones, PH1000011 .305
Totals3448431017 
a-singled for McCann in the 9th
b-announced for Boyer in the 7th
c-struck out for Marte in the 7th
d-struck out for Reitsma in the 9th
Batting
2B - Andruw Jones (24, Floyd), Julio Franco (11, Urbina), Brian McCann (5, Floyd), John Thomson (2, Floyd)
RBI - Jeff Francoeur (39), Andruw Jones 3 (124)
2-OUT RBI - Jeff Francoeur (17), Andruw Jones 3 (52)
CS - Rafael Furcal (9, 2nd base by Madson/Lieberthal)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jeff Francoeur 1
Atlanta Braves
John Thomson 5844021 4.76
Blaine Boyer (L,2-2) 1211010 2.52
John Foster 1100110 4.22
Chris Reitsma 1200010 3.92
Pitches-Strikes - John Thomson 72-48, Blaine Boyer 14-8, John Foster 27-16, Chris Reitsma 23-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Thomson 7-5, John Foster 2-0
Batters Faced - John Thomson 22, Blaine Boyer 4, John Foster 5, Chris Reitsma 5
Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS3110000 .270
Kenny Lofton, CF3231000 .319
   a- Jason Michaels, PH-CF^LF1000001 .309
Chase Utley, 2B3022101 .288
Bobby Abreu, RF4010014 .295
Pat Burrell, LF4010021 .283
    Endy Chavez, PR-CF0000000 .212
Ryan Howard, 1B4221011 .286
David Bell, 3B4010011 .242
Mike Lieberthal, C4011002 .249
Gavin Floyd, P1000000 .111
   b- Shane Victorino, PH1000000 .400
    Aaron Fultz, P0000000 .333
    Ryan Madson, P0000000 .000
   c- Ramon Martinez, PH1010000 .277
    Ugueth Urbina, P0000000 .000
   d- Tomas Perez, PH1000002 .243
    Billy Wagner, P0000000 .500
Totals3451351513 
a-grounded out for Lofton in the 7th
b-lined out for Floyd in the 5th
c-singled for Madson in the 7th
d-fouled out for Urbina in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jimmy Rollins (28, Thomson), Chase Utley (31, Thomson), Bobby Abreu (32, Thomson), Ryan Howard (12, Boyer)
3B - Kenny Lofton (5, Thomson)
HR - Ryan Howard (17, Thomson)
SH - Jimmy Rollins (2)
RBI - Kenny Lofton (26), Chase Utley 2 (87), Ryan Howard (46), Mike Lieberthal (42)
2-OUT RBI - Kenny Lofton (14), Chase Utley (36), Mike Lieberthal (11)
CS - Chase Utley (3, 2nd base by Thomson/McCann)
Team LOB - 7
Philadelphia Phillies
Gavin Floyd 5544360 10.44
Aaron Fultz (W,4-0) 1000000 2.25
Ryan Madson (H,32) 1100010 3.33
Ugueth Urbina (H,16) 1100010 3.52
Billy Wagner (S,34) 1100020 1.59
Pitches-Strikes - Gavin Floyd 91-51, Aaron Fultz 9-6, Ryan Madson 13-6, Ugueth Urbina 21-13, Billy Wagner 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gavin Floyd 3-6, Aaron Fultz 1-2, Ugueth Urbina 1-1, Billy Wagner 1-0
Batters Faced - Gavin Floyd 23, Aaron Fultz 3, Ryan Madson 3, Ugueth Urbina 4, Billy Wagner 4
Game Information
Attendance - 24311
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Jeff Kellogg, Second Base - Paul Schrieber, Third Base - Mike Reilly