PHILADELPHIA - Javier Vazquez kept his pitches down and in the strike zone. Even in a hitter-friendly park, that's a formula for success.
Vazquez pitched neatly into the eighth inning, Yunel Escobar and Brian McCann hit two-run homers and the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-2 on Saturday.
Vazquez (3-3) allowed two runs and four hits, striking out seven in 72/3 innings. He had no walks and also helped himself with a double that started a three-run rally in the fifth.
'Anytime you win here is a good win,' Vazquez said. 'They score a lot of runs. You can't walk people in parks like this, and I was getting my first pitch over for strikes.'
Chase Utley hit his 10th homer and Raul Ibanez also went deep for the Phillies, who got another poor performance from a starting pitcher. Joe Blanton (1-3) gave up six runs and eight hits in eight innings.
Blanton's shaky start was the latest in a slew of rough outings for a rotation that played a vital role in helping the Phillies win the World Series last season. Philadelphia's starters are 7-10 with a 6.47 ERA.
'It's one of those where you can go home and take a lot of positives out of it,' Blanton said. 'Ninety-eight percent of the time, if I throw the ball that well, I'm not going to give up six runs.'
Vazquez was hitless in his first 12 at-bats this season before lining a one-out double down the left-field line in the fifth. He scored on Kelly Johnson's double. Escobar followed with a drive to the seats in left-center for a 4-1 lead.
McCann, wearing glasses after missing 13 games with an eye infection, connected in the eighth to make it 6-1. McCann wore a new mask behind the plate and didn't have trouble with his glasses fogging up.
Jeff Francoeur lined an RBI single off the wall in left to give the Braves a 1-0 lead in the second.
Vazquez bounced back from two subpar starts. He gave up 11 runs in 14 2-3 innings against St. Louis and the New York Mets, losing both games.
'He's really pitched well all year,' Braves manager Bobby Cox said. 'He's been in every game he's started.'