By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Braves win, regain second place
color Braves 3 col
Atlanta’s Kelly Johnson, center, runs past Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Adam Eaton, right, after hitting a two-run homer in the third inning in Philadelphia Saturday. - photo by Associated Press
    PHILADELPHIA — Kelly Johnson and Jeff Francoeur homered, and Atlanta’s bullpen pitched five effective innings to lead the Braves to a 7-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night.
    Jimmy Rollins and Aaron Rowand homered for the Phillies, and Tadahito Iguchi added a two-run double.
    The Braves were the latest team to tee off on Phillies starter Adam Eaton, who continues to be a huge disappointment in the first year of a $24.5 million, three-year contract. Manager Charlie Manuel said before the game that Eaton (9-8) needed to start pitching deep into games if the Phillies are to have a chance at making the playoffs.
    While Manuel stopped short of saying Eaton could get bumped from the rotation, this outing couldn’t have helped his cause. Eaton failed to get out of the fourth — giving up a pair of homers, six runs and eight hits — while his NL-worst ERA swelled to 6.36.
    When the Phillies seemed on the brink of bailing him out with a three-run fifth that chased Lance Cormier and pulled them to 6-4, left-hander Ron Mahay (1-0) came in and snuffed out the rally. The Phillies had runners on first and third and none out, but Mahay fanned Ryan Howard and Rowand and retired Greg Dobbs on a grounder to escape the jam.
    The raucous crowd of nearly 45,000 fell silent, and three more relievers shut down the Phillies.
    Oscar Villarreal pitched two scoreless innings. Rafael Soriano allowed Rowand’s homer in the eighth and Bob Wickman worked the ninth for his 19th save.
    Eaton has pitched at least six innings in only one of his last six starts, and poor first innings continue to be a problem. Chipper Jones hit a sacrifice fly in the first, making it the 40th earned run scored off Eaton in the first this season.
    He retired the first two batters in the third before he completely fell apart. Willie Harris doubled and Johnson followed with his 13th homer. Jones and Mark Teixeira hit back-to-back triples — Teixeira’s smacked off the heel of Pat Burrell’s glove in front of the 374-foot sign in left — for a 4-0 lead.
    Francoeur hit the first pitch of the fourth into the left-field seats, then two more singles and that was it for Eaton. Manuel earned a huge ovation for one of the few times this season when he gave the right-hander the hook, and Eaton, walking slowly to the dugout with his head down, was booed all the way.
    Eaton has allowed 94 earned runs in 133 innings this season and has one win in his last six starts.
    Cormier (four-plus innings, seven hits, four runs) allowed only Rollins’ solo shot in the third until he was hit hard in the fifth. Iguchi doubled with the bases loaded and Burrell followed with a run-scoring single that made it 6-4.
    Andruw Jones added an RBI double in the eighth for Atlanta.
Notes: Cormier was charged with a wild pitch when the ball lodged under C Brian McCann’s chest protector. ... Rowand was back in the lineup after leaving Friday’s game with blurred vision in his right eye. He said doctors told him eye drops had irritated a previously undetected scratch on the eye. ... The Phillies honored PR man Larry Shenk for 44 years of service. Shenk told the crowd he had one request: ‘‘Don’t boo so much.’’ The crowd promptly booed.