|Atlanta (44-39) «||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||5||0||5||6||0|
PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Howard walked up to the plate to a loud standing ovation and drove the second pitch he saw deep to right-center for a double.
With all their regulars back, it was just like old times for the Philadelphia Phillies. Except the end result.
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"It felt good, but the outcome didn't go the way we wanted it," Howard said.
Howard 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 the last-place Phillies generated nothing else on offense.
The five-time defending NL East champions are a season-worst 11 games under .500. Since five-time All-Star Chase Utley returned last week, the Phillies are 1-8.
"We still control our own destiny," Howard said. "We have to go out and win series. If we can do that, we'll find ourselves in the mix."
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.
"Today was probably the best I felt through this whole process," Hudson said. "I felt like my fastball, velocity-wise, was pretty close to normal. I know for the last three or four starts, I didn't have a whole lot of confidence to really let it go."
Antonio Bastardo (2-3) replaced Kendrick to start the eighth and immediately ran into trouble. Pinch-hitter Matt Diaz led off with a single and Michael Bourn walked. After Martin Prado hit a shallow fly and Jason Heyward popped out, Chipper Jones walked to load the bases. Freddie Freeman then walked to force in the first run.
McCann followed with a shot to straightaway center for his ninth career slam, giving the Braves a 5-0 lead.
"I love hitting with the bases loaded because they have to come at you," McCann said. "They really can't walk you. It's definitely a good feeling to stand in the box and know they have to come see you."
Kendrick warmed up to force Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez's hand. But manager Charlie Manuel went with Bastardo after left-handed hitting Juan Francisco was announced as a pinch-hitter.
"Bastardo's been our eighth-inning guy," Manuel said. "We wanted him on the lefties. It didn't work out."
Kendrick wanted to stay in.
"It's his move. I respect it," Kendrick said.
Bastardo left the mound to a chorus of boos from frustrated fans, who've watched the NL's highest-paid team underachieve all season. Injuries, of course, have been a factor.
Utley missed 76 games. Howard, the 2006 NL MVP, missed 84. Roy Halladay hasn't pitched since May.
Even with the addition of a second wild-card team, it'll take a monumental turnaround for these Phillies to reach the postseason for a sixth straight year.
Howard easily made it to second base standing after hitting a high drive to the warning track to lead off the second. But he stayed there. Carlos Ruiz flied out to shallow right, and Hunter Pence and Juan Pierre grounded out.
Hudson ran into trouble after needing nine pitches to retire Kendrick for the second out in the sixth.Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino followed with consecutive singles, getting a runner to third base for the first time for either team. But Utley hit a slow tapper to first to end the inning.
Kendrick was 0-4 with a 7.67 ERA in his previous five starts.
|Brian McCann's eighth-inning grand slam breaks open the game for the Braves, as they go on to defeat the Phillies. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Michael Bourn, CF||3||1||0||0||2||1||0||.305|
|Martin Prado, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.321|
|Jason Heyward, RF||4||0||2||0||0||1||2||.276|
|Chipper Jones, 3B||3||1||1||0||1||0||2||.318|
|Freddie Freeman, 1B||3||1||1||1||1||0||1||.260|
|Brian McCann, C||4||1||1||4||0||1||2||.231|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.223|
|Andrelton Simmons, SS||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.291|
|Tim Hudson, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||.125|
|a- Juan Francisco, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.226|
|b- Matt Diaz, PH||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.235|
|Eric O'Flaherty, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Jack Wilson, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.176|
|Chad Durbin, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-announced for Hudson in the 8th|
|b-singled for Francisco in the 8th|
|c-struck out for O'Flaherty in the 9th|
|HR - Brian McCann (11, Bastardo)|
|RBI - Freddie Freeman (49), Brian McCann 4 (42)|
|2-OUT RBI - Freddie Freeman (19), Brian McCann 4 (19)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Freeman-Simmons|
|Tim Hudson (W,7-4)||7||4||0||0||1||0||0||3.56|
|HBP - Utley (by Tim Hudson)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 79-54, Eric O'Flaherty 21-12, Chad Durbin 10-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Hudson 14-6, Eric O'Flaherty 1-0, Chad Durbin 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 26, Eric O'Flaherty 5, Chad Durbin 3|
|Jimmy Rollins, SS||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.262|
|Shane Victorino, CF||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.248|
|Chase Utley, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||1||4||.269|
|Ryan Howard, 1B||4||0||2||0||0||0||3||.500|
|Carlos Ruiz, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.349|
|Hunter Pence, RF||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.284|
|Juan Pierre, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.312|
|Mike Fontenot, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.325|
|Kyle Kendrick, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.063|
|Antonio Bastardo, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Michael Schwimer, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- John Mayberry Jr., PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.229|
|Jeremy Horst, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-singled for Schwimer in the 8th|
|2B - Ryan Howard (1, Hudson)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Rollins-Utley-Howard|
|Antonio Bastardo (L,2-3)||0.2||2||5||5||3||0||1||5.34|
|HBP - Uggla (by Kyle Kendrick)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Kendrick 89-59, Antonio Bastardo 24-10, Michael Schwimer 8-6, Jeremy Horst 10-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Kendrick 6-9, Jeremy Horst 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Kyle Kendrick 26, Antonio Bastardo 7, Michael Schwimer 1, Jeremy Horst 3|
|Attendance - 44441|
|Game Time - 2:33|
|Temperature - 94|
|Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Dan Bellino, Third Base - Mike Muchlinski|