Phillies hit 3 HRs in 12-2 win over Braves
PHILADELPHIA (AP) The way the Philadelphia Phillies are playing right now, they believe they're going to win every game.
Odubel Herrera, Freddy Galvis and Cameron Rupp all homered as the surging Phillies set a season high for scoring in a 12-2 victory over the slumping Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.
Ryan Howard had three hits with a double and an RBI for the Phillies, who are a major league-best 12-2 since the All-Star break after setting a club record with 62 losses before it. At 41-64, Philadelphia still has the worst mark in baseball.
''It looks to me like everybody feels we're going to score runs,'' Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. ''They look like they feel they're going to win. We're on a pretty good roll right now.''
Maikel Franco had two doubles and two RBIs, Herrera had three hits and Cesar Hernandez and Galvis each had two as the Phillies pounded out 15 hits.
''We're stringing hits together in bunches,'' Mackanin said.
Nick Markakis homered for Atlanta, which has lost a season-high six straight - all on the road. The Braves have dropped 13 of their last 14 away from Turner Field, and nine of their last 10 overall.
''Losses like this are not good for anybody,'' Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Aaron Nola (2-1) settled down after the first inning to earn his second career victory in his third start. The 22-year-old right-hander allowed two runs and five hits in five innings, with three strikeouts and no walks.
''I'm glad I get to be part of all this and I'm blessed to be up here,'' Nola said.
Matt Wisler (5-2), also a 22-year-old rookie, had his worst start in his eighth career outing, allowing seven runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.
''I've just got to learn from it and fix things in the bullpen,'' Wisler said.
Markakis homered leading off the game, and the Braves tacked on another run in the first on A.J. Pierzynski's RBI single for a 2-0 advantage. However, Nola gave up two hits in four scoreless innings after that.
''I was just leaving balls over the plate,'' Nola said. ''It was leaking too much over the middle and they were putting good swings on it. I just had to battle and keep the ball down.''
Phillies relievers Elvis Araujo, Hector Neris and Dalier Hinojosa then combined to allow one hit in four scoreless innings, lowering the bullpen's ERA to 1.68 in the last 14 games.
After getting a run back in the bottom of the first, Philadelphia totaled 11 runs in the middle three innings.
Franco tied it at 2 in the fourth by running through the stop sign at third on Howard's single to center. Rupp put Philadelphia in front with his second homer of the season, a three-run shot to left, later in the inning.
Herrera's long drive to the second deck in right and Domonic Brown's RBI single scored two runs in the fifth, giving Philadelphia a 7-2 lead. Howard scored on Brown's hit after jarring the ball loose from catcher Pierzynski on a headfirst slide into home plate, a call that was upheld after a video review.
Galvis' three-run homer to right highlighted Philadelphia's five-run sixth inning against right-hander David Aardsma that put the Phillies ahead by 10.
The Phillies have turned things around dramatically on the mound and at the plate in the second half.
Since the break, Phillies starters are 8-2 with a 3.64 ERA after ranking last in the majors by going 18-49 with a 5.44 ERA prior to it. Offensively, Philadelphia has averaged 5.57 runs since the break after scoring an MLB-low 3.38 runs per contest before the break.
''We basically just came out the second half with a brand-new mind-set,'' Howard said. ''The first half was the first half. We left it there and came out just playing loose, having fun.''
Howard has 32 RBIs in his last 34 games.
''The confidence has always been there,'' Howard said. ''It's just a matter of finding real estate every once in a while.''
The teams wrap up the four-game series on Sunday afternoon when Braves RHP Julio Teheran (6-6, 4.71) faces Philadelphia LHP Adam Morgan (2-2, 4.05).