The Phillies, who have won a season-best eight consecutive games at home, are obviously energized by still being in the running. They have won four in a row overall and 11 of their last 14 games.
Knowing the Cardinals lost provided an extra jolt of energy.
"It sure did," manager Charlie Manuel said.
Manuel praised his players for continuing to grind its way back into the postseason picture. "I am proud of them," he said. "The way the season was lining up they could have folded their tent."
The Cubs were down to their last out before Darwin Barney's two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning tied the score, sending the game into extra innings.
There were no similar theatrics needed for the Phillies.
Kendrick allowed the two earned runs on five hits. He struck out six and walked just one and continued to get great mileage from his change-up.
"As game went on I was able to get ahead and use that as an out pitch," Kendrick said.
This was a strong bounce-back performance for Kendrick after Saturday, when he lost a 5-0 decision at Houston, allowing four earned runs in five innings.
Braves starter Tommy Hanson lasted just 51/3 innings, allowing five runs on four hits. Three of the hits were solo home runs by Kevin Frandsen, Ryan Howard, and Carlos Ruiz.
For Howard, it was his third straight game in which he hit a home run and he now has 20 RBIs in 19 games in September. He also has 299 career home runs.
"Each day I am going out there and trying to grind and really get back in the swing of things and takingthis half of the season to come back and kind of working my way back," Howard said.
The Phillies opened the scoring in the first inning when Juan Pierre hit a one-out triple and scored on Chase Utley's groundout.
Atlanta tied it in the second when Freddie Freeman walked, advanced to third on Dan Uggla's double and scored on Brian McCann's RBI groundout.
Frandsen broke the tie with a solo home run to left off Hanson in the third inning, his second homer of the season.
Howard and Ruiz hit consecutive solo home runs in the fourth, extending the lead to 4-1. It marked the seventh time this season the Phillies have hit back-to-back home runs.
The Phillies added a run in the sixth. Utley led off the inning with a walk. He stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. After Hanson struck out Howard for the first out, he was relieved by Cory Gearrin, who surrendered an RBI single to Ruiz.
Still not playing every day after his return from a foot injury, Ruiz was 2 for 3 with two RBIs. That came after a difficult road trip in which he went 2 for 17 with no RBIs.
Whether he's hitting or not, Ruiz always has a positive impact on the pitching staff.
"It was the first time I threw to Carlos in a long time and was nice to have him back there," Kendrick said.
Atlanta got a run back in the seventh on a two-out bloop RBI single by Jose Constanza. That ended Kendrick's evening, one in which he threw 98 pitches. Lefthander Jeremy Horst got pinch-hitter Reed Johnson to fly to center for the final out.
Antonio Bastardo pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Utley homered in the bottom of the inning, the 199th of his career.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched a scoreless ninth, improving the Phillies' record to 77-74.
Contact Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, firstname.lastname@example.org or @sjnard on Twitter.