Phillies 6, Braves 4
ATLANTA (AP)—The way Cole Hamels started, it looked as though it was going to be a short night. He wound up pitching into the eighth inning.
Hamels bounced back after giving up three runs in the first and the Philadelphia Phillies finally beat Atlanta, knocking off the sloppy Braves 6-4 on Tuesday night.
“It’s tough to play against 10 people: nine of them and one of yourself,” Hamels said. “I just had to bear down and let that first inning pass.”
Hamels (3-1) did just that. After giving up five hits in the first, including a two-run homer to Chipper Jones, the left-hander surrendered only four more in 7 1-3 innings to send Philadelphia to its first win over the Braves in five meetings this season.
“Once he had the lead, he threw tons of changeups,” Jones said. “And he’s got a good one.”
Hamels got a couple of visits from pitching coach Rich Dubee, who told the 23-year-old pitcher to settle down.
“He asked me if I was on something, I was so amped up,” Hamels said. “If you want to be a great pitcher, you have to know how to get out of that situation.”
The Braves helped matters by getting one runner thrown out at the plate and another tagged out in a rundown between third and home. Catcher Brian McCann had his glove knocked off by a swing and eventually left the game with a sore hand, but not before giving up a passed ball that allowed Philadelphia’s first run.
Jones homered twice, adding a solo shot in the eighth that finished off Hamels. Tom Gordon pitched the ninth for his fifth save, striking out two.
It was another miserable start for Atlanta’s Mark Redman (0-4), who was knocked out during a four-run second and might be in danger of losing his spot in the rotation. His ERA climbed to 10.62.
Manager Bobby Cox hardly gave Redman an endorsement when asked if he was considering a change.
“I don’t know,” Cox said. “Red just couldn’t it going again.”
Redman gave up five hits and walked three in 1 2-3 innings, quickly squandering the three-run lead. He left to a round of boos from the home crowd, though it wasn’t all his fault. The interference call on McCann gave the Phillies an unearned run, and Wes Helms trotted home on the passed ball.
An all-star in Kansas City last season, Redman said he’s still confident he can turn things around. He started 0-4 for the Royals last year, then won six in a row on the way to finishing 11-10.
“Unfortunately, I start seasons off slow,” Redman said. “I’m just trying to get in a groove.”
The Braves also must deal with injury problems at catcher. McCann reinjured the same hand that was hurt while attempting a bunt 10 days ago. In fact, he had just taken off a protective padding after the first, feeling he didn’t need it anymore, only to get struck the very next inning on an awkward swing by Rod Barajas.
“You need your fingers to catch a baseball,” McCann said. “When one of them is giving you trouble, it’s tough to do your job.”
After Jones’ first-inning homer, McCann extended the lead with a run-scoring double into the right-field corner. But the Phillies kept it from getting any worse, throwing out Jeff Francoeur at the plate.
Atlanta really messed up on the basepaths in the second.
With Craig Wilson at second, Edgar Renteria came through with a two-out single to left. The slow-running Wilson was held at third, but Renteria went too far past first and was caught in a rundown that eventually led to Wilson getting tagged out.
McCann left the game after giving up the passed ball, but X-rays were negative. He was listed as day to day with a bruised ring finger. … Jones has 367 homers in his career, four from tying Dale Murphy’s Atlanta record. … Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was ejected in the seventh for arguing that Atlanta LHP Steve Colyer balked on a pickoff. “I kind of lost my head there for a little while,” Manuel said. “I know you’re not supposed to argue a balk.” … The sixth inning had a chaotic ending when Matt Diaz appeared to strike out and the ground crew charged on the field to smooth out the infield. Diaz argued the low pitch bounced into Barajas’ glove and umpire Joe West agreed, ruling it a foul tip. The ground crew ran off, then returned when Diaz ended the inning with a groundout.