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Phils' OF trio continues to swing hot bats

Saunders sits again as Mackanin starts Herrera, Altherr and Kendrick
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

ATLANTA -- Pete Mackanin finds himself in a bit of a pickle.

The Phillies manager said before Tuesday night's 3-1 victory over the Braves at Turner Field that he has four outfielders that need to play evenly, but at the moment, it is hard to justify not having Odubel Herrera, Aaron Altherr and Howie Kendrick in the lineup. That leaves out Michael Saunders, who did not start for the second time in three games.

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ATLANTA -- Pete Mackanin finds himself in a bit of a pickle.

The Phillies manager said before Tuesday night's 3-1 victory over the Braves at Turner Field that he has four outfielders that need to play evenly, but at the moment, it is hard to justify not having Odubel Herrera, Aaron Altherr and Howie Kendrick in the lineup. That leaves out Michael Saunders, who did not start for the second time in three games.

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Tuesday's efforts from Herrera, Kendrick and Altherr did nothing to change his mind.

"If they keep swinging the bat, we're going to keep it going," Mackanin said afterward. "At this point I've got to play those guys. It'll all even out. At some point they will get a rest."

Herrera and Kendrick had big nights as the Phillies won their fourth consecutive game and first back-to-back road games since Sept. 5-6, 2016, in Miami. Kendrick hit a solo home run to left field in the fourth inning to tie the game. Herrera doubled to scored Cesar Hernandez in the sixth inning to give the Phils a 2-1 lead. Kendrick followed with a single to move Herrera to third.

Video: PHI@ATL: Kendrick cranks a solo shot to left-center

Herrera scored on a balk from Braves left-hander Jaime Garcia to give Philadelphia a 3-1 lead.

Herrera, who went 1-for-4, is hitting .529 (9-for-17) with seven doubles, two home runs and nine RBIs in the past four games. Kendrick, who went 3-for-4, is hitting .370 (10-for-27) with one double, two home runs and three RBIs in seven games since returning from the DL on May 29. Altherr went 1-for-4, but entered the night 23rd out of 171 qualified hitters with a .927 OPS.

"Those couple days off for him did him really good," Kendrick said about Herrera being benched twice in Miami last week. "It refreshed him. I know being a young player having a day off where you don't really think about anything, maybe not take BP or things like that ... he's been positive the whole time. I mean, the guy puts in work, especially on the defensive side out in the field. He gets work in. That's pretty impressive to see."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies, Aaron Altherr, Odubel Herrera, Howie Kendrick, Michael Saunders