ATLANTA (AP)—Philadelphia’s first series of the season against the Atlanta Braves left manager Charlie Manuel feeling good about his starting pitching.
“I’ll take that,” Manuel said. “That’s what we need.”
The Braves took a .227 team batting average into the game after being shut out 2-0 by Halladay on Wednesday night. They had nine hits, including only four against the 47-year-old Moyer (2-1), who struck out four and walked two.
“He’s a good pitcher still,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “At his age, he still competes like crazy. He doesn’t miss too many spots.”
Manuel said Moyer “took us straight to where we wanted to go in the game.”
“It’s not pretty sometimes, but it’s good,” Manuel said of Moyer, who lowered his ERA from 7.50 to 5.00.
Atlanta’s only win in the series came after it trailed 3-0 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth before rallying with three homers off Phillies relievers for a 4-3 win in 10 innings Tuesday night.
“A lot has to do with their defense,” Jones said. “You’ve got to get defensive contributions in order to hold a team scoreless and no earned runs in three games by the starters.
“That’s something that we expect from them. They’re a solid team. That’s why they’re the two-time National League champs.”
The first-place Phillies moved two games ahead of Atlanta.
“He knows how to pitch,” Lowe said. “You look at the radar gun and you think there’s no way, but he understands how to pitch.”
Moyer made his major league debut on June 16, 1986, more than three years before Atlanta’s 20-year-old rookie right fielder, Jason Heyward(notes), was born. Heyward, who was hit by a pitch from Moyer in the second inning, was 0 for 3.
Moyer has a 19-year-old son, Dillon.
“I hope (Heyward) listens to his parents and coaches more than (Dillon) does,” Moyer said with a laugh.
“It was one of those games where we got a lead and then got 27 outs,” Manuel said.
The Phillies added three runs in the third. With one out and the bases loaded, Raul Ibanez(notes) hit a possible double-play ball to Martin Prado(notes) at second base, but Prado threw high to shortstop Yunel Escobar(notes) at second base for an error as two runs scored. Castro added a run-scoring single.
Two errors by Utley helped the Braves score two unearned runs off Moyer in the fifth. After Moyer walked Melky Cabrera(notes) and pinch-hitter Omar Infante(notes) with one out, Matt Diaz(notes) hit a grounder to Castro at shortstop, setting up a possible double play. Utley missed Castro’s throw to second, allowing Cabrera to score.
Prado followed with another grounder to Castro, who threw to Utley to force out Diaz at second. Utley made a wild throw to first for his second error, allowing Infante to score.
NOTES: Phillies LHP J.A. Happ(notes) was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained forearm. LHP J.C. Romero(notes) was activated. RHP Nelson Figueroa(notes) will take Happ’s next scheduled start Saturday at Arizona. … Philadelphia 3B Placido Polanco(notes) did not start but was available off the bench after he was hit by a pitch on his left elbow Wednesday night. Dobbs started at third base. … Atlanta’s Troy Glaus(notes) was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts and is hitting .170. … Werth, running toward the infield, made a tumbling catch in right field of a sinking liner hit by Diaz in the first inning.