Pitching let the offense down, as the Phils start the 2013 season off with a lost as they lose to the Braves, 7-5.

Philadelphia_PhilliesThe Phils’ offense is let down by the pitching as they lose their opening day game with their NL East rival, the Braves, 7-5.

The Braves took the lead in the bottom of the first as, with one man on, and with two men out, Freddie Freeman hits a two-run bomb to right field, his first home run of the season, knocking in Jason Heyward, who had earlier walked, giving the Braves a 2-0 lead. The Braves added to their lead in the second as Dan Uggla started off the bottom of the second with a solo home run, his first home run of the season, giving the Braves a 3-0 lead. The Braves then made it a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the third as, with a runner on third, and with two men out, Freeman hits an RBI single, scoring Andrleton Simmons, who had started the inning off with a double, then stopped at third base on Justin Upton’s fly out to right. The Phils then got on the board in the top of the fourth as Chase Utley started the inning off with a solo shot to straight center field, his first home run of the season, and the 200th home run of his career, cutting the Braves’ lead to 4-1. The Phils would make it a 4-3 Braves’ lead in the top of the fifth as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Cole Hamels, a walk by Ben Revere, moving Hamels up to second base, and a single by Jimmy Rollins, sending Hamels on to third base and Revere up to second base, and with one man out, Utley hits a two-run single, knocking in Hamels and Revere, while sending Rollins on to third base, beating the throw, before moving up to second base on the throw. After Braves’ manager Freddie Gonzalez replaces starter Tim Hudson with Luis Avilan, Avilan stops the damage by first striking out Ryan Howard for the inning’s second out, and after intentionally walking Michael Young to reload the bases, gets Dom Brown to ground out softly, 4-3, for the inning’s final out. The Braves would get a run back in their half of the fifth as, with one man out, Upton hits a solo home run, his first home run of the season, giving the Braves a 5-3 lead. The Braves increased their lead in bottom of the sixth as, with runners on second and third, and with nobody out, Gerald Laird hits an RBI single, knocking in Uggla, who had started the inning off with a walk, then stopped at third base on Chris Johnson’s double, giving the Braves a 6-3 lead, while sending Johnson, who had just singled, on to third base. The Braves then took a 7-3 lead as pinch-hitter Reed Johnson hits into a 1-6-3 double play, wiping out Laird at second base for the inning’s first out, scoring C. Johnson, who beat Howard’s wide and late throw to the plate. The Phils got one run back in the top of the seventh as, with a man on third, and with one man out, Howard hits an RBI ground out, three-unassisted, knocking in Utley, who had just tripled, making it a 7-4 Braves’ lead. The Phils then cut the Braves’ lead down to 7-5 in the top of the eighth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Erik Kratz hits an RBI single, knocking in John Mayberry, Jr., who had earlier doubled, then moved up to third on Jordan Walden’s wild pitch. That would be the final score as Craig Kimbrel would come in and collect his first save of the season as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, getting Howard to fly out for the game’s final out.

Cole Hamels (0-1, 9.00) took the lost as he went five innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out five. Chad Durbin pitched to three batters, getting none of them out, as he gave up two runs on two hits and a walk. Jeremy Horst pitched two innings, as he gave up a hit, while striking out two. Philippe Aumont pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. Tim Hudson received a no-decision as he went four and a third-innings, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out a batter. Luis Avilan (0-1, 0.00) picked up the win as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up an intentional walk, while striking out a batter. Eric O’Flaherty pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit. Jordan Walden recorded his first hold of the year as he threw an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a wild pitch, while striking out a batter. Craig Kimbrel recorded his first save of the season as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out a batter.

The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Chase Utley (Single, Triple, Home Run, 3 RBIs) leading the team with three hits, being a double short of hitting the cycle. Ben Revere (Single), Jimmy Rollins (Single), Dom Brown (Single), John Mayberry, Jr. (Double), Erik Kratz (Single, RBI) and Cole Hamels (Single) had the other seven Phils’ hits. Ryan Howard knocked in the final Phil’s run with a ground out. The Phils also had a four walks (Revere, Young (2), Brown) and a stolen base (Revere (1)) in the ballgame.

The Phils (0-1, T-4th) will continue their three games series with the Braves (1-0, T-1st) with a night game tomorrow night at Turner Field. The game is to start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Roy Halladay (0-0, -.–) who is coming off a bad 2012, and a so-so spring. Halladay and the Phils both hope that he’ll rebound from last season. The Braves will counter with Paul Malholm (0-0, -.–) who is coming off a so-so 2012 season between the Cubs and the Braves. He hopes to pitch better this season. The Phils will be trying to even up the series, while hoping that the old Doc will return.

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