This season has been a tough one for the Phillies when it comes to beating the Braves. The last time the Fightin’s traveled south to take on their division foes, they were swept by Atlanta with relative ease.
Looking to extend their current winning streak to four games, Joe Blanton took the hill, determined to continue his two and a half month roll.
The Braves, looking to extend their own five-game winning streak, jumped out to an early one run lead in the first inning when Braves resident thorn-in-Phillies-side, Chipper Jones singled to score mid-season acquisition Nate McLouth.
In the fourth the Phils got on the board, taking the lead on Chase Utley’s 24th homer of the year. The two-run shot scored Victorino, who had singled in the previous at-bat.
The Braves countered in the bottom half of the frame, tying the game on Ryan Church’s double, scoring Yunel Escobar.
Escobar may have never reached base, if not for yet another error from third-baseman Pedro Feliz. Feliz so far this season has ten errors, two more than all of last season.
Despite giving up seven hits, Joe Blanton came to play, allowing only one run, and walking only one Braves batter. He worked out of minor jams all evening and finished strong, pitching into the seventh inning for the 11th time this season.
Blanton also watched his once ridiculous 7.11 ERA drop to a mere 3.88 thanks largely in part to the spectacular defense of Shane Victorino whom robbed two Braves of extra base hits, including Victorino’s eighth inning grab to end the inning.
Pitcher Jair Jurrjens was equally tough on hitters, also going seven strong while allowing only two runs on five hits. He fanned six Phils throughout the evening.
Ryan Howard broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the ninth with a center-field bomb to put the Phillies on top 3-2. That was all they would need for Brad Lidge who collected his 22nd save of the season.