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Phillies score twice in the 8th to beat Braves

The SportsXchange

ATLANTA -- If it's the Phillies, then it seems the Braves have to start right-hander Brandon Beachy. And he still hasn't beaten them, after the Phillies broke a 2-2 tie with two runs in the eighth inning Tuesday, winning the game 4-2.

Beachy drew the Phils four times in 2011, and had the 0-1 record and 4.58 ERA to show for it. He was not buying the premise that continually facing the Braves' National League East rivals could make him a better pitcher.

Left-hander Cole Hamels, 2-1 with a 2.90 ERA in five games (four starts) against the Braves last season, wasn't looking for a measuring stick, but he got no decision for the first time this season.

"Sometimes you get a little lucky and sometimes you have to dig yourself out of a hole," Hamels said, "and I think I had to do that a little bit."

As he took the mound Tuesday, Beachy had the second lowest ERA in the majors, at 1.05.

Seven innings and 104 pitches later, it stood at 1.38. Hamels, who started the night with a 2.73 ERA, needed 108 pitches to get through six innings, and his ERA nudged up to a still respectable 2.78. All that and the score was tied 2-2 when Beachy and Hamels left the game.

"Gotta put up zeroes to beat this team," Beachy said.

That left it up to the bullpens and the Phillies' speed on the bases. John Mayberry hit a pinch-hit double off Jonny Venters in the eighth, then Jimmy Rollins singled to put Mayberry at third, in prime position to score the go-ahead run on a Venters' wild pitch. Venters allowed another run on four hits in all in the eighth before manager Fredi Gonzalez came and got him. Venters hadn't given up a single earned run all season before Tuesday.

"Brandon pitched his butt off," Venters said. "For me to give it away like that is unacceptable."

Antonio Bastardo got the win and Jonathan Papelbon, perfect this season, got his ninth save.

Philadelphia got a two-run single from Ty Wigginton in the fourth inning. In the bottom of the fourth, Hamels' 3-2 pitch to Brian McCann was knocked over the right field wall for a solo home run.

The Braves tied the game 2-2 on Juan Francisco's sixth-inning sacrifice fly. Freddie Freeman singled, McCann walked, and a ball hit by Matt Diaz dropped between Phillies first baseman Wigginton, second baseman Freddy Galvis and on-rushing right fielder Hunter Pence for a single that loaded the bases. Francisco's fly to left brought home Freeman.

"It's going to be a tough series," Gonzalez said. "We were all set up to win that ballgame, and it kind of hurts."

NOTES: The Phillies recalled right-hander Brian Sanches from Triple-A Lehigh Valley after placing right-hander David Herndon on the 15-day disabled list with an inflamed right elbow. Herndon underwent testing on the elbow in Philadelphia; results were not immediately available. ... Phillies first baseman Jim Thome remains day-to-day with tightness in his left lower back. Manager Charlie Manuel, asked before the game whether the injury might force Thome onto the DL stint, said, "The longer he sits, then I think he needs to go hit." ... Gonzalez was out before batting practice hitting grounders to shortstop Tyler Pastornicky and third baseman Francisco. ... Atlanta right fielder Jason Heyward missed a second start with right oblique tenderness. He sounded in pregame comments as though he'd feel more comfortable taking Wednesday's game off as well. ... Brave center fielder Michael Bourn was never in danger of being thrown out of Monday's game when he and second base umpire Kerwin Danley got face to face after Danley called Bourn out stealing. Gonzalez rushed out to rescue Bourn, but Danley reassured him they were just having "a conversation" about the play. "I've never seen that before," Gonzalez says. Bourn shrugged off what he thought was the missed call, saying, "It's the human eye."
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