Braves starter Kris Medlen started the season off rough but had turned things around recently by winning his last three starts entering Sunday against the Phillies. But that streak ended when he was rocked by the Phils as the Braves lost the series finale, 7-3.
PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Phillies are off to a promising start on a critical 10-game homestand.
They can thank Domonic Brown in part.
The young right fielder celebrated his All-Star selection with a triple, homer and two RBI on Sunday afternoon as the Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves, 7-3.
The homer was the 23rd of the season for Brown, who was chosen Saturday as a National League reserve for the first time in his career.
Ben Revere also had a two-run triple for the Phillies, who bounced back from Saturday night’s 13-4 loss to win the rubber game of the three-game series. It was the first time they have won a home series against the Braves since Philadelphia swept Atlanta in 2011.
The Braves, who got a poor performance Sunday from starter Kris Medlen, still lead the National League East. The other team in front of the third-place Phillies, Washington, comes to town for four games beginning today.
“We’ve got to go right now,” Brown said. “If we lost two of three, it wouldn’t look so good. We’re fighting and battling. Hopefully we can win a series from the Nationals.”
Jonathan Pettibone (5-3) pitched 5 1/3 innings in 95-degree heat for the victory, allowing one run and five hits. Pettibone, who won his second straight start, struck out six and walked one.
Jake Diekman, Justin DeFratus, J.C. Ramirez, Antonio Bastardo and Jonathan Papelbon all worked in relief for the Phillies.
Chris Johnson hit his sixth homer of the year for the Braves, who had 10 hits but stranded 10 baserunners in losing for the fourth time in five games.
“We had a lot of opportunities,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “Even though we got 10 hits and scored some runs, we didn’t put a crooked number up the whole game.”
Atlanta also fell to 21-25 on the road this season.
“I don’t have any theory other than that we hit first on the road and have different-colored uniforms,” Gonzalez said. “To win a division you’ve got to play both places -- on the road and at home.”
With two outs in the first, Chase Utley singled off Atlanta starter Kris Medlen (6-8). Brown then lined his run-scoring triple off the glove of Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman and into the right-field corner.
Delmon Young later singled Brown home, making it 2-0.
Revere’s fourth-inning triple also came with two outs. It scored Young and Darin Ruf, who began the inning with a walk and double, respectively.
The Braves cut the gap to 4-1 on an RBI single by Medlen in the fifth, but Brown hit his homer in the bottom of the inning. He is second in the NL in homers to Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez, who has hit 24.
Philadelphia added two runs in sixth, making it 7-1. With two outs, runners at second and third and Jimmy Rollins at the plate, reliever Alex Wood uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Ruf to score from third. Catcher Brian McCann then threw wildly to the plate and Carlos Ruiz trotted home as well.
Atlanta scored twice in the seventh on Johnson’s homer and Jason Heyward’s RBI single.
NOTES: Brown’s 23 homers are the most by a Phillie before the All-Star break since 1B Ryan Howard blasted 28 in 2008. … Ruf, recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Saturday when Howard went on the disabled list, started at first and went 1-for-2 with a walk. He scored two runs. … Howard said after the game he will undergo an MRI on his sore left knee Monday. His left foot will also be examined, but he does not believe that problem to be serious. … McCann went 3-for-4 and was 9-for-12 in the series. He has hit safely in eight straight games, batting at a .594 clip (19-for-32) during that span. … Johnson also extended his hitting streak to eight games. … Plate umpire Doug Eddings ejected Braves CF B.J. Upton for arguing a called third strike in the fifth. “B.J. didn’t say very much,” Gonzalez said. “I was standing right next to him (in the dugout). I don’t know if there was conversation during the at-bat that prompted it, but there wasn’t much said.” … Phils SS Jimmy Rollins went hitless in four at-bats and saw his hitting streak end at nine games.
Freeman still has shot to get into All-Star Game
ATLANTA — Craig Kimbrel made the National League All-Star team for the third consecutive year, but Freddie Freeman is going to need some help if he’s to become a first-time All-Star.
Freeman is among five candidates for the “Final Vote” spot to be determined by fan voting, with Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond, Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, and Dodgers rookie outfield sensation Yasiel Puig. Online voting runs through Thursday 4 p.m. at www.mlb.com/vote.
“It’s just cool to be mentioned,” Freeman said Sunday. “I never thought anything like this would ever happen. I just go out there and try to play the game. Just to even be mentioned in the Final Vote is something cool.”
There is also a chance Freeman could be added to the team as an injury replacement. But as things stand now, Kimbrel is the lone Braves representative on the NL team for the All-Star game July 16 at New York’s Citi Field. Cincinnati’s Joey Votto was voted to start at first base, and Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt and Craig are first-base reserves.
If the Braves have only one All-Star, it will be just the third time in 22 years they didn’t have multiple All-Stars.