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Triumph at Turner: Braves rally from down 3-0 in bottom of 9th to beat Phillies

Photo by Gregory Smith

Photo by Gregory Smith

ATLANTA -- Jason Heyward keeps saving his best for the bottom of the ninth inning. This time, it gave Nate McLouth a chance to follow the rookie's lead in the 10th.

Heyward hit a tying homer with two outs in the ninth inning, the second of back-to-back shots by Atlanta, and McLouth led off the 10th with another home run to complete the Braves' comeback in a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night.

Kyle Kendrick threw eight scoreless innings for Philadelphia, but Ryan Madson blew a 3-0 lead in the ninth by giving up consecutive homers to Troy Glaus and Heyward.

Glaus, booed earlier in the game for hitting into a bases-loaded double play, smacked a two-run shot with two outs that drove in Chipper Jones, who had walked. Heyward, the Braves' celebrated rookie, followed with his team-leading fourth homer into the center-field stands to push the game to extra innings.

"We hung in there," Heyward said. "It was nothing but a team effort. ... It sends a big charge through the whole team."

Heyward delivered his second big ninth-inning hit in two games. He had a two-run single with two outs and the bases loaded in the ninth inning on Sunday to give Atlanta a 4-3 win over Colorado.

"For being 20 years old, for anything really, to have that type of nerves is outstanding," McLouth said.

McLouth's first homer into the right-field seats came off Jose Contreras (0-1). Madson took his first blown save in four chances.

"It wasn't the first time it happened to me. I'll try to make it the last," Madson said.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said, "our bullpen has been a concern."

"We had the guy on the mound we wanted out there," Manuel said. "There's not much you can do about it but sit and watch."

Billy Wagner (1-0) pitched a perfect 10th for the win.

The Braves had a surprise for McLouth, who began the season as the leadoff hitter but has been moved to the No. 8 spot as his batting average fell below .200.

McLouth's teammates left the dugout and hid in the tunnel as he circled the bases.

McLouth, expecting a group hug at home plate, already had his helmet off, so he said he went ahead and threw it to the ground while standing alone.

"I didn't know what to do," he said, still smiling. "I looked around for a second and everybody was gone. They were waiting for me in the tunnel."

Atlanta's players surrounded McLouth for a team celebration in the tunnel area, with all the players jumping up and down.

"It was fun," McLouth said.

"It couldn't happen to a better kid," Braves manager Bobby Cox said.

Chase Utley drove in two runs for Philadelphia.

Kendrick, who took a 17.47 ERA into the game, recovered from his slow start by allowing four hits with two walks and two strikeouts in eight innings. After lasting only a combined 5 2-3 innings while giving up 12 hits and 11 runs in his first two starts, he lowered his ERA to 7.24.

"It was definitely a tough loss," Kendrick said. "Madson's been doing great."

Kendrick matched the longest start of his career while continuing his success against the Braves. He has allowed no more than three runs in each of his seven career starts against Atlanta.

Tommy Hanson gave up six hits and two runs in 4 2-3 innings for the Braves.

Attendance was only 18,032, the smallest of the first seven home games at Turner Field, in the Braves' first game against the two-time defending NL champion Phillies.

Utley, who had two hits, led off the fourth with a half-swing double and scored on Ryan Howard's single.

Hanson was pulled after Placido Polanco's two-out double in the fifth. Eric O'Flaherty gave up Utley's run-scoring single.

Utley added an RBI grounder in the seventh.

NOTES: Manuel said LHP J.C. Romero probably will return around May 1 after having surgery on his left elbow last year. ... Cox moved Heyward up one spot to sixth in the batting order. Cox noted Heyward, who leads the team with 16 RBIs, "always comes up in some nice situations." ... The game-ending homer was the first of McLouth's career. ... Glaus is 0 for 5 this season with the bases loaded.