La Stella, Wood lead Braves' win over Phillies

  • Article by: GEORGE HENRY
  • Associated Press
  • July 20, 2014 - 6:15 PM

ATLANTA — Tommy La Stella drove in three runs and Chris Johnson hit a two-run homer to back Alex Wood and help the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-2 Sunday.

The Braves have won of five of seven and remained second in the NL East, one percentage point behind Washington.

Wood (7-7) allowed three hits and one run with eight strikeouts in six innings to win for the first time four starts.

The first five innings were played in a steady drizzle before heavy rain caused a 1 hour, 39-minute delay in the middle of the sixth.

Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead in the second when John Mayberry Jr. homered, but the Braves went up 2-1 in the bottom half of the inning on Johnson's seventh homer.

Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick (4-10) created a big mess in the third, walking B.J. Upton, hitting Freddie Freeman with Justin Upton with pitches and walking Jason Heyward to make it 3-1.

After Johnson lined out, the Braves went up 6-1 on La Stella's three-run double. The rookie improved to 6 for 7 with 13 RBIs with the bases loaded.

Kendrick gave up five hits, six runs, two walks and struck out one in five innings. Over his last six starts, Kendrick is 1-4 with a 6.99 ERA.

Wood, who returned to Atlanta's rotation on June 25 after pitching nearly seven weeks in relief, improved to 4-6 with a 2.95 ERA in 12 starts this year.

After the rain delay ended, Phillies reliever Mario Hollands gave up two runs in the sixth to trail 8-1 on Andrelton Simmons' bases-loaded walk and Freddie Freeman's RBI single.

The Phillies have lost four of five to drop 11 games back in the NL East. Dropping to 9-42 when scoring three runs or less, Philadelphia missed a chance to score with the bases loaded in the eighth when Jimmy Rollins grounded into a double play and Chase Utley popped up.

Marlon Byrd hit his 19th homer to cut the lead to 8-2 in the ninth off David Carpenter.

Notes: 1B Mayberry's fielding miscue on Kendrick's pickoff attempt of B.J. Upton in the third was Philadelphia's first error in 78 innings. ... Phillies LHP Cliff Lee is expected to return from the disabled list Monday at home against San Francisco after missing the last nine weeks with a strained left elbow. In six career starts against the Giants, Lee is 5-0 with a 0.88 ERA. ... Braves C Evan Gattis, sidelined since June 29 with a bulging disc in his lower back, is expected to end a rehab assignment and return to the lineup for Monday's home game against Miami. He went 2 for 6 with two RBIs Sunday as designated hitter for Triple-A Gwinnett. ... RHP Julio Teheran starts Monday for the Braves and is 4-0 with a 2.50 ERA in six career starts against the Marlins.

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