By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Big Philly seventh topples Braves 13-6
Atlanta falls to 4 1/2 games behind Mets
Braves One 5 col BW
Atlanta Braves starter Kyle Davies waits on the mound as Philadelphia Phillies' Ryan Howard, rear, rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run off him during the first inning Sunday at Turner Field in Atlanta. - photo by Associated Press

    ATLANTA — Ryan Howard made his return from the disabled list official with a pair of two-run homers Sunday.

    ‘‘Right now,’’ he declared, ‘‘I’m 100 percent.’’ Howard, who came off the disabled list Friday, had three hits and Greg Dobbs added a two-run homer of his own as the Philadelphia Phillies crushed the Atlanta Braves 13-6 to complete their first sweep of the season.

    Howard and Dobbs hit two-run homers in the first before the Phillies put the game away with seven runs in the fifth.

    Howard added another two-run homer in the eighth.

    The three hits lifted Howard’s batting average to .220 and boosted the Phillies’ confidence that the reigning MVP can return to his 2006 form.

    ‘‘Anytime you get a couple of dingers and get a knock, I guess you’re swinging the bat good,’’ Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

    The sweep of the Braves put the Phillies (26-24) two games over .500 for the first time this season, but the showing by Howard may have been the team’s most important development of the weekend.

    ‘‘I think it’s one of the best things for us,’’ Phillies starter Cole Hamels said. ‘‘He’s been battling to find himself and put a lot of pressure on himself. Coming off the DL, he can put less pressure on himself and relax because he knows his body is all right.’’

    The Braves have lost 10 of 14 to fall to 12-13 in May. The Braves fell 4 1/2 games behind the NL East-leading New York Mets and only two games ahead of the third-place Phillies.

    ‘‘It just wasn’t a good day for the most part,’’ Braves manager Bobby Cox said.

    The Phillies are 22-13 since starting 4-11.

    ‘‘Being over .500 is huge,’’ Howard said. ‘‘All of a sudden, we’re two games over .500. That says good things about our team.’’

    The Phillies outscored the Braves 27-13 in the three-game sweep.

    Hamels was the only Philadelphia starter without a hit as seven Phillies drove in runs. Hamels (7-2) gave up six hits and three runs in six innings. He had eight strikeouts and walked one batter.

    Dobbs drove in three runs, including a run-scoring single in the seven-run fifth. The Phillies are 13-2 when Dobbs starts.

    Dobbs, who helped fill in at first base when Howard was out with a strained left quadriceps, was 2-for-5 with three RBIs as he made his fourth start at third base.

    ‘‘When you hit the ball that good, it’s pretty hard to take somebody out of the lineup like that,’’ Manuel said.

    Jimmy Rollins was 2-for-4 with a triple and a two-run double to cap the scoring in the fifth.

    Atlanta rookie catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit his first career homer and Andruw Jones also hit a homer off Hamels.

    Atlanta’s Chipper Jones missed his fourth straight game with a sore thumb, and Andruw Jones drove in only one run in the series.

    When asked if he was concerned following the sweep, Chipper Jones said, ‘‘In this series? No. If it continues on much past this, yes.’’

    The last time the Phillies swept a three-game series in Atlanta was July 21-23, 1986, at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Philadelphia swept a four-game series in Atlanta in 1995.

    The Phillies’ last sweep of the Braves came in Philadelphia, April 20-22, 2001.

    The Phillies had four extra-base hits in the first inning off Kyle Davies (2-3). Rollins tripled and scored on Howard’s homer curled around the right-field foul pole. Aaron Rowand doubled and scored on Dobbs’ homer to right.

    Davies gave up eight hits and eight runs in 4 1-3 innings and was pulled after giving up a bases-loaded single to Rowand.

    Reliever Macay McBride gave up another run-scoring single to Dobbs and forced in a run by walking Carlos Ruiz. The Braves’ third pitcher of the inning, Peter Moylan, gave up an RBI single to Michael Bourn and Rollins’ two-run double.

    The Braves had two hits off Hamels in the fifth, including Scott Thorman’s run-scoring double.

    Atlanta added three runs in the ninth off Clay Condrey. Matt Diaz hit a bases-loaded single to drive in one run. Willie Harris added a two-run double, the fourth hit of the inning, to knock Condrey out of the game.

    Yoel Hernandez recorded the final three outs.

Notes: Howard’s last two-homer game came on Sept. 6, 2006, against Florida. ... Andruw Jones made a jumping catch, his glove extended over the center-field wall, to take another homer away from Dobbs in the third inning. Jones fell in front of the wall after making the catch before rising to show he had the ball. ... The Braves fell to 10-14 against left-handed starters.