McCann and Gonzalez topple the Phillies in extras.

An Alex Gonzalez RBI single and Brian McCann two run home run in the 11th were the difference makers in a 4-1 Atlanta Braves win over the Phillies. For Phillies killer McCann, it was his 13th career home run against the Phillies and provided all the insurance runs needed for Craig Kimbrel to pick up his 28th save.  Michael Stutes took his first career loss and George Sherrill with his flat brim on his cap picked up the win. Starters Tommy Hanson and Cliff Lee were awesome as expected, Hanson giving up three hits and 1 run in 7 innings, while Lee went 8, scattering 4 hits and 1 run. With the win, the Braves move back to 2.5 games behind the Phillies and 3 back in the loss column.

With Hanson and Lee dealing, the first scoring chance came in the Phillies half of the third inning. Cliff Lee provided one of the better at bats on the afternoon for the Phillies offense and was rewarded on the tenth pitch when he took Hanson deep for his first career home run. (Estimated at 399 feet) The Braves looked befulded against Lee until Dan Uggla (yes, he and his .185 average) ran into an off-speed pitch that he deposited into the left field stands tying the game at 1. The Phils had another scoring opportunity arise in the 6th after a John Mayberry double was followed by a Chase Utley walk with two out. With Ryan Howard up, Tommy Hanson reached back and made Howard look foolish on a curveball to end the threat.

Once the starting pitchers left the game, both team’s bullpens were stellar not allowing a hit until Wilson Valdez had an infield hit with two out in the 10th. After a rare Michael Martinez hit and a Jimmy Rollins walk,  Mayberry had the chance to be a hero. (Phillies fan were hoping fora repeat of Opening Day) It was not meant to be though as he grounded out weakly to first. In the 11th, a lead off walk to pinch-hitter Eric Hinske proved costly. After Wilkin Ramirez was called to pinch run for Hinske, Jordan Schafer sacrificed him to second.  On a 1-0 count, Alex Gonzalez hit a soft pop up into foul terrority which Ryan Howard, going to his left, bobbled and drop the ball to extend the at bat.  Gonzalez would proceed to single to center scoring Ramirez and giving the Braves the one run lead.  The next batter, McCann would then crush the Stutes pitch into the right field seats and that was all she wrote. Craig Kimbrel went 1,2,3 in the bottom of the inning giving the Braves the win and tying the series.

Notes:

-Tommy Hanson’s ginger beard is quite impressive.

-Not a fan of Eric Karros at all. Raul Ibanez and Wilson Valdez should not try to steal. Ever. Let it go Eric.

– With his double in the 6th, John Mayberry had his 43rd career hit. 20 of those hits have been for extra bases, if only the big man could make more contact.

-George Sherrill needs to fix the brim on his cap. Put a little bend in it.

-Lee hit the first home run from a Phillies pitcher since Chan Ho Park in 2009. Always nice to have a Chan Ho reference.

-Hamels vs. Lowe at 1:35 tomorrow/later today on MYPHL 17. Stay tuned after the game for the incredible insight of John Clark.

-This has nothing to do with the game or baseball, but I’m done with the Comcast XFinity commerical. It’s annoying and is played during every commerical break.

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