Baseball / Sports

Braves comes back strong after break

You can't ask for better two-out results.

The Braves had nine of 10 hits and five of six runs come with two outs en route to a 6-4 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night at Turner Field.

The victory, coupled with the Washington Nationals' loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, moves the Braves into sole possession of first place in the NL East.

Not a bad way to return from the All-Star break.

The Braves scored four times in the bottom of the second inning. Jason Heyward led off with his ninth home run of the year, taking a 1-1 pitch over the right-field wall. The Braves then got two-out hits from Christian Bethancourt, Ervin Santana, B.J. Upton and Andrelton Simmons. Upton plated a run with a double for this 500th career RBI. Simmons drove in two with a single.

The Phillies pushed across two runs in the top of the second thanks to two walks. Ryan Howard and Marlon Byrd led off the frame with the free passes. Howard scored on a sacrifice fly by Cody Asche and Byrd scored on an RBI single from Cameron Rupp. The Braves escaped further damage when Phillies starter A.J. Burnett attempted a bunt that turned into a 3-6-4 double play.

The Braves scored twice in the fifth inning without four consecutive two-out hits. Justin Upton doubled and he was followed by singles from Heyward (1 RBI), Chris Johnson and Tommy La Stella (1 RBI). The Braves later took a 6-2 lead.

The Phillies scored twice in the sixth inning on a two-run single by Howard.

The Braves (53-43) won their third game in a row to open an 11-game homestand. Santana (8-6) worked six innings, allowing six hits and three earned runs for the victory. He walked three and struck out one.

Shae Simmons, Jordan Walden and Craig Kimbrel combined for three hitless innings in relief. Kimbrel earned his 30th save.

The Braves got at least one hit from all nine starters except Freddie Freeman. Heyward went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Johnson had a pair of singles.

Burnett took the loss for the last-place Phillies (42-54).

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