Braves 4, Phillies 3
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Ryan Langerhans’ knees were skinned open and blood red, the victim of a couple of harsh slides into the unforgiving dirt around third base.
“Yeah, it’s pretty rough,” Langerhans said with a smile.
Rough? With two hits and two runs scored in a comeback win, Langerhans made it look easy.
Langerhans hit a leadoff triple against Billy Wagner in the ninth inning and scored the tiebreaking run on Wilson Betemit’s sacrifice fly, rallying the Atlanta Braves to a 4-3 victory Sunday night over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Langerhans drove his second triple of the year off the top of the wall in right-center off Wagner (1-1). Betemit then hit a fly ball to shallow center, but Kenny Lofton’s throw was late, capping a rally that started with the Braves down 3-0 in the seventh.
“I knew I hit it good, but with the way the wall is with that angle, it’s a tough place to hit it out,” said Langerhans. “I was just trying to run hard out of the box in case it didn’t get out.”
Jim Brower (3-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win, and Chris Reitsma worked the ninth for his seventh save. It was the first time this season the Braves won when trailing by at least three runs.
“It’s good to come from behind and win a game every once in a while,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “It kind of boosts you up.”
The Braves should have plenty of confidence already, winning for the 12th time in their last 17 games. The Phillies, meanwhile, continue to sputter, losing for the 13th time in 18 games.
The Phillies wasted another strong outing from starter Robinson Tejeda. The rookie allowed two hits, walked five and struck out five in six scoreless innings. He hasn’t allowed a run in three of his five starts and was staked to an early lead after Ryan Howard’s three-run homer to left in the fourth.
Reliever Rheal Cormier was pulled after he allowed hits to Johnny Estrada and Langerhans to open the seventh. Both runners scored, one on an RBI groundout, the other on Ryan Madson’s wild pitch to make it 3-2.
Philadelphia’s bullpen blew it again in the eighth. Ugueth Urbina walked Marcus Giles with one out, and Andruw Jones hit an RBI double to left-center. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins took the cutoff throw and had a shot at Giles at the plate, but his throw one-hopped Mike Lieberthal, tying the game 3-all.
“With our bullpen the way it is, I think our chances of winning the game are pretty good,” said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.
Wagner, who said last week the Phillies weren’t good enough to make the playoffs, lost for the first time since Sept. 22, 2003, with Houston.
“We had it where we wanted, we just made too many mistakes,” Wagner said.
Tejeda continues to impress, keeping his fastball humming in the high 90s and showing the stuff that could make the former reliever and spot starter a valuable member of the staff if the Phillies are to have a shot in the NL East.
Even a couple of jams hardly rattled the rookie.
In both the first and second innings, he put two runners on with one out only to escape each time with groundball double plays. In the sixth, he again had two runners on, but with two outs, and got out of the jam on a diving stop by second baseman Chase Utley.
The Phillies only got one hit off Atlanta starter Jorge Sosa, but it was a pretty big one. Sosa walked All-Star Bobby Abreu and Pat Burrell in the fourth, then Howard connected for his second homer of the year.
Sosa struck out four and walked four in 5 1-3 innings.
“Sosa did another great job for us tonight,” Langerhans said. “Our bullpen came in and did a great job. It gives us a little momentum. Now we need to have a good homestand heading into the All-Star break.”
Phillies OF Jason Michaels was arrested early Sunday after allegedly punching a uniformed police officer outside a city nightclub. Michaels spent nine hours in custody before he was released on his own recognizance at about noon, Philadelphia police said. … Jones and RHP John Smoltz were named to the NL All-Star team. … Kane Kalas, the 16-year-old son of Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas, sang the national anthem. … It was Atlanta’s seventh win in its final at-bat. … The Phillies designated RHP Amaury Telemaco for assignment and activated RHP Tim Worrell from the disabled list.