Phillies thump Braves to take two of three

The Phillies' Darin Ruf slides home safely with the team's sixth run on a wild pitch in the sixth. Carlos Ruiz scored behind him on a throwing error. RON CORTES / Staff Photographer
The Phillies' Darin Ruf slides home safely with the team's sixth run on a wild pitch in the sixth. Carlos Ruiz scored behind him on a throwing error. RON CORTES / Staff Photographer
Posted: July 09, 2013

After the Phillies beat the front-running Atlanta Braves on Friday, the excitement was back and there was talk of momentum to begin a 10-game homestand.

After a decisive defeat on Saturday, that momentum was short-circuited.

The shifting emotions and scores continued Sunday when the Phillies defeated the Braves, 7-3, in the series finale at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies gained a game on the Braves this weekend but are still 71/2 games out of first place in the National League East with 73 to play.

The trade deadline is July 31. Buy or sell?

One thing is for sure: Had the Phillies lost on Sunday, the "for sale" signs might have been at least brought out of storage.

Now the Phillies will host another NL East rival, Washington, for a four-game set beginning Monday.

Jonathan Pettibone pitched 51/3 workmanlike innings, allowing just one earned run on five hits and striking out six to earn the win.

All-star Domonic Brown, now in the cleanup spot with Ryan Howard on the disabled list, went 2 for 4 with a triple, his 23d home run, and two RBIs. Howard said after the game that he would have an MRI exam on his knee Monday.

The Phillies did not want to get too excited over one win but also did not minimize its importance.

"Like I told you guys a couple of days ago, we have to go right now," Brown told reporters. "If we lost two out of three, that wouldn't have looked so good."

Brown was especially happy to see the Phillies bounce back from Saturday's 13-4 drubbing.

"That was a tough one, but that shows the chemistry and leadership we have in this clubhouse, to get down and to keep battling," Brown said.

The Phillies scored two runs in the first inning off starter Kris Medlen. Chase Utley hit a two-out single and scored on Brown's triple that went off the glove of first baseman Freddie Freeman.

After Michael Young walked, Delmon Young hit an RBI single to center. He is 20 for 45 (.444) with three doubles, a home run, and 10 RBIs in his last 12 games.

Surging centerfielder Ben Revere's two-out, two-run triple extended the lead to 4-0 in the fourth inning.

Since May 1, Revere is 68 for 202 (.336).

"Especially the last three weeks [to a] month, he has really come a long way," manager Charlie Manuel said.

Medlen hit an RBI single past diving third baseman Michael Young in the fifth for Atlanta's first run.

Brown got the run back in the fifth with a solo home run to right.

"I am working on pitch selection and things like that," Brown said of his transition to the cleanup spot. "Trying to see more balls up and cut down on my strikeouts a little bit."

The Braves struck out 11 times Sunday, raising their league-leading strikeout total to 769.

Pettibone left with a 5-1 lead and runners on first and second with one out in the sixth. Reliever Jake Diekman got Phillie-killer Brian McCann to fly out to left for the second out.

In came Justin DeFratus, who got Dan Uggla to hit into a fielder's choice.

The Phillies scored two runs on one botched play in the sixth. Ruf scored on a wild pitch, and when catcher McCann threw wide of relief pitcher Alex Wood, who was covering home, Ruiz kept running and scored, making it 7-1.


Contact Marc Narducci

at mnarducci@phillynews.com. Follow @sjnard on Twitter.

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