video thumbnail

ATL@PHI: Rollins' double ties game, franchise record

PHILADELPHIA -- This one featured a chance for a Phillies walk-off and a rare celebration, but in the end, it was another post-All-Star Break loss.

The Braves topped the Phillies, 5-4, in 12 innings Saturday. The Phillies are 2-12 since the break, have lost four in a row, 12 of 13 and are just percentage points ahead of the Mets for third place in the National League East -- 15 1/2 games behind the Braves.

"It seems like we have a hard time getting going," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We're having a hard time playing good enough or doing enough to win. That's kind of what I see. We're playing the game out and staying there with it. We're just getting beat right now."

The Phillies, typically a good second-half team under Manuel, went 44-31 after the All-Star break last season. But they're having an abysmal time in 2013.

They started the second half with a 1-8 road trip and have followed it up by losing four of their first five on a nine-game homestand. In four of their last five losses, the Phillies have scored first, but went on to squander that advantage.

This included Saturday, when the Phillies scored the first three runs against the Braves before giving up the lead in the fifth inning.

"We had the effort. We just didn't get it done," Manuel said. "Definitely the effort was there. If you watched our dugout and everything, we were definitely into it and everybody was staying around. They were in the dugout watching it and things like that."

The Phillies' bullpen, which has been unreliable for most of the season, turned in 6 1/3 innings of scoreless relief with just one hit before the 12th inning. And though Jimmy Rollins had an RBI double in the seventh inning to tie the game at 4, the Phillies' offense could not push across another run for the win.

Jake Diekman's inability to hit the strike zone cost the Phillies in the 12th. Diekman issued a free pass Justin Upton to lead off the frame, and after a groundout, the lefty intentionally walked to Evan Gattis to bring up Paul Janish -- a career .215 hitter.

Diekman walked Janish on four pitches to load the bases, and Uggla followed with a weak grounder to Rollins at shortstop. Rollins and second baseman Chase Utley did all they could to turn a double play, but first baseman Kevin Frandsen was pulled off the base on Utley's throw, Uggla was safe and the Braves took the lead without getting a hit.

"Everybody knows the situation. You have to beat the ball out to get a run there," Uggla said. "So everybody is going to be busting it and giving it everything they got, whatever they've got left in the tank. That's what it takes to win sometimes."

Carlos Ruiz led off the bottom of the 12th with a single against Craig Kimbrel, but the Braves' closer retired the next three batters to seal the team's ninth straight victory.

Phillies starter John Lannan was bumped up a day in the rotation because Jonathan Pettibone recently landed on the disabled list with a shoulder ailment. On three day's rest, Lannan went 4 1/3 innings, surrendered four runs -- two earned on four hits. The lefty issued three walks and only 44 of his 77 pitches were strikes.

Lannan has the Phillies' lone win in the past 13 games, and he said while the skid takes its toll on players, he agreed with Manuel that the team has not showed signs of quitting.

"Anytime you lose, it's going to affect the clubhouse, especially when you're working hard," Lannan said. "It [stinks]. Losing isn't fun."

The Phillies did have some chances late in the game offensively. But Delmon Young's fly ball was caught at the wall in the eighth, as was Frandsen's in the 10th. And with the winning run in scoring position and two outs in the 11th, John Mayberry Jr. -- who homered earlier in the game -- struck out.

The way Young sees it, that's the way things are going for this team.

"It's not one big hit, one big pitch, one big defensive play, it's baseball," Young said. "When you're going good, things are going to happen for you, and when you're going bad, things aren't going to happen for you."

MLB.com Comments