Atlanta back in second place

Associated Press
Atlanta's Kelly Johnson runs past Philadelphia pitcher Adam Eaton after hitting a two-run home run in the third inning that also scored Willie Harris. Johnson went 2-for-3 with three RBI.

PHILADELPHIA - For most pitchers, it would be considered a rough night. For Lance Cormier, it was progress.


In his first major-league start since June 8, the Atlanta Braves pitcher did not get completely shelled, giving up a season-low four runs in four-plus innings. And the Braves survived, scoring early and getting good relief pitching late in a 7-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Kelly Johnson homered and drove in three runs, and four Braves relievers combined to give up only one over five innings before a sellout crowd of 44,948 fans. Ron Mahay was credited with the victory after retiring three batters in a row in the fifth.

The Braves (62-55) moved back into second place in the National League East, a half game ahead of Philadelphia.

Cormier held the Phillies to one run through the first four innings before running into trouble in the fifth. He gave up three runs and failed to record an out. In total, he allowed seven hits and issued two walks. The Braves had lost his two June starts by a combined score of 19-1.

Willie Harris led off the first inning with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Chipper Jones. The Braves made it a 4-0 lead with a three-run third inning.

All three runs came with two outs. Harris hit his second double, Johnson followed with his 13th home run of the year to right, and Jones and Mark Teixeira hit back-to-back triples.

After Jimmy Rollins homered in the third, Atlanta scored two more in the fourth on a Jeff Francoeur home run and an RBI single by Johnson.

After Mahay, Oscar Villarreal pitched two scoreless innings before Rafael Soriano gave up a home run in the eighth to Aaron Rowand. Closer Bob Wickman worked the ninth the save.


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