0

Gonzalez, McCann lead Braves past Phillies

The Associated Press. Atlanta Braves' Alex Gonzalez, left, Brian McCann, center, and Freddie Freeman celebrate after McCann's two-run home run off Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Michael Stutes in the 11th inning of Saturday's game in Philadelphia.

The Associated Press. Atlanta Braves' Alex Gonzalez, left, Brian McCann, center, and Freddie Freeman celebrate after McCann's two-run home run off Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Michael Stutes in the 11th inning of Saturday's game in Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA -- Alex Gonzalez hit the go-ahead RBI single and Brian McCann added a two-run homer in the 11th inning to lift the Atlanta Braves to a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.

It was the second straight extra-inning game for the teams, following Philadelphia's 3-2 victory in 10 innings Friday.

The Braves (54-37) have won 10 of 12, and closed the Phillies' lead in the NL East to 21/2 games. Philadelphia (56-34) remains one win shy of tying the club record for victories in the first half.

Philadelphia starter Cliff Lee accounted for the Phillies' only run with his first career homer off Tommy Hanson, but both pitchers were gone by the time this one ended.

Pinch-hitter Eric Hinske led off the 11th for the Braves with a walk off Michael Stutes (3-1), and pinch-runner Wilkin Ramirez went to second on Jordan Schafer's sacrifice. First baseman Ryan Howard could have gotten the second out, but he failed to make a tough over-the-shoulder catch of Gonzalez's foul pop fly. It was ruled ''no play,'' and two pitches later, Gonzalez lined a single to center, scoring Ramirez and putting the Braves ahead 2-1.

McCann followed by launching Stutes' 1-2 pitch into the seats in right.

George Sherrill (2-1) worked out of a bases loaded jam in the 10th to earn the victory, allowing two hits and striking out one. Craig Kimbrel pitched a scoreless 11th for his 28th save in 33 chances.

Neither Lee nor Hanson earned a decision, although both were worthy of a win. Lee pitched eight innings, allowing three hits and striking out nine while walking two. Lee had won each of his last six home starts and now stands at 7-1 at home while lowering his ERA to 1.61 at Citizens Bank Park this season.

After having his 34-inning scoreless streak snapped in his last start at Toronto, when he gave up seven runs -- six earned -- in 71/3 innings, Lee was back to being the pitcher who went 5-0 with a 0.21 ERA in June. His only blemish Saturday was Dan Uggla's homer on the first pitch of the fifth inning. Other than that, Lee allowed just one base runner to reach second.

Hanson was equally dominant, scattering four hits while striking out six and walking one. Aside from Lee's third-inning solo homer, the only Phillies batter to advance to second was John Mayberry Jr., who doubled in the sixth. The right-hander was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning after tossing seven innings, and the no-decision snapped Hanson's career-high streak of five straight wins.

Lee homered on a 3-2 count, on the 10th pitch he saw, into the first row in right-center to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the third. He pumped his fist slightly while rounding first once the ball cleared the fence. Lee, who entered 8 for 39 (.205), was given a curtain call by the crowd of 45,637, the Phillies' 171st straight sellout.

After Lee had retired 11 straight, Uggla tied it at 1 by belting Lee's first pitch of the fifth inning to deep left field.