With Howard's pop, Phils win rubber match vs. Braves
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies have been searching for any type of momentum this month, and they hope they found some Sunday with a 5-4 victory over the Braves at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies won just their second series of the season as they begin a 10-game road trip Monday through St. Louis, Miami and Atlanta. Ryan Howard and Ben Revere led the way offensively, knocking in four of the Phillies' five runs, and Phillies right-hander Jerome Williams settled in after a rough first inning, allowing one run over his final 5 2/3.
"It's a great feeling," Williams said about winning the series. "Keep this momentum going."
Braves right-hander Trevor Cahill continued to struggle, allowing four runs in six innings, as Atlanta went 3-6 on its road trip.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Big Piece heats up: Howard hit a three-run home run to right-center field in the first inning to lead the Phillies' offense. He has hit three home runs in his past five games, after hitting no home runs in his first 11 games. More >
An improved Cahill was not enough: Cahill completed six innings for just the seventh time in a 20-start span dating back to the beginning of the 2014 season. Though he was more efficient than he had been in his first two starts, he left his sinker up throughout the first inning and again in the fifth when Revere recorded the go-ahead triple on a 3-2 pitch. More >
Galvis rolls on: Freddy Galvis went 3-for-3, scoring the go-ahead run in the fifth inning and an insurance run in the seventh inning on a heads-up baserunning play. Galvis has an .868 OPS this season after entering the year with a .621 OPS in 550 big league plate appearances and a .625 OPS in 2,631 plate appearances in the Minor Leagues. More >
Freeman's miscue: Freddie Freeman snapped a 1-for-21 skid with a pair of opposite-field doubles, including one that put him in position to score when Kelly Johnson followed with a double of his own in the third inning. But the Braves first baseman's errant toss to pitcher Ian Thomas with two outs in the seventh inning allowed the Phillies to score an insurance run that proved necessary when Alberto Callaspo cut Atlanta's deficit to one run with a ninth-inning solo homer off Jonathan Papelbon. More >
Garcia emerges as late-inning threat: Phillies right-hander Luis Garcia picked up a big out in the seventh inning, inducing a groundout from Freeman with one man on base. His role is expanding with left-hander Jake Diekman and others struggling in the Phillies' bullpen. More >
"We had some runners on base today, and we just didn't get them all in. We made a lot of errors this road trip. I think we need to come back expecting to play better baseball tomorrow." -- Freeman
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Since committing one error through their first 12 games, the Braves have been charged with nine errors over their past six games. Errors charged to Freeman allowed the Phillies to score the decisive run during both their Friday night and Sunday afternoon victories.
Papelbon recorded his 329th career save in the ninth, despite allowing his first run of the season. He is two saves shy of tying Jose Mesa for the franchise record of 112 saves.
Right-hander Phillippe Aumont made a spot start Sunday with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, which is the Phillies' top affiliate. He allowed three hits and struck out two in five scoreless innings. Aumont had not started since Sept. 2, 2010, when he pitched with Class A Clearwater. It also was the first time he had pitched more than two innings without issuing a walk since April 2010. Aumont has a 1.06 ERA in 17 innings this season.
Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown told Triple-A Lehigh Valley reporters that he will be on his rehab assignment just two more days before rejoining the team. Brown has been on the DL since the season started with tendinitis in his left Achilles.
Braves: The Braves will open a 10-game homestand when they welcome the Nationals to Turner Field on Monday. Eric Stults will attempt to extend the success he had against the Mets last week and also further the recent woes of the Nationals, who have lost 24 of 38 games against Atlanta since the start of the 2013 season.
Phillies: It is a coincidence that Phillies ace Cole Hamels will open a four-game series against the Cardinals on Monday, the same day Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright is set to have an MRI on his left Achilles and ankle. But it is worth noting because Hamels is on the trading block, and St. Louis could be looking for a starter with Wainwright out.
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