Phillies Lose Again, Fall Further Out of 1st

Braves down Phils 2-1

The Phillies are coming home after on of the more memorable road trips in team history and only one memory was a good one.

The Phightins wrapped up a 2-7 road trip with a 2-1 loss Wednesday afternoon in Atlanta.

Omar Infante came in for injured Chipper Jones and lined a two-out, run-scoring single in the eighth inning to back Derek Lowe's best outing of the season, leading the Braves to their eighth straight win by beating over the slumping Phils.

The listless Phightins again didn’t put up much of a fight as they scored three runs or less for the 11th straight game.

The offense-challenged Phillies wasted a strong outing by Kyle Kendrick, who surrendered five hits and a run in the seven innings. Philadelphia never led in the series against the Braves.

The Braves finished off a three-game sweep of the defending NL champions and increased their lead in the East Division to 2 1/2 games as they headed off on an 11-game road trip that could determine if they're a true contender for their first playoff appearance since 2005.

Lowe (8-4) went eight innings in his longest outing of the season, allowing six hits and the only Philadelphia run. Former Phil Billy Wagner worked a scoreless ninth for his ninth save. Jose Contreras (2-2) took the loss after getting in trouble in the eighth.

Lowe escaped a jam in the top half of the eighth. Greg Dobbs led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and took third on a ground out. After Jayson Werth was walked intentionally, Lowe retired Wilson Valdez on a flyout to center.

The Braves took advantage of a nearly identical scoring chance in the bottom half. Nate McLouth, hitting only .179 coming into the game, drew a leadoff walk from Contreras. Melky Cabrera moved the runner along with a sacrifice bunt before Martin Prado took a called third strike.

After Jason Heyward was walked intentionally, Infante lined a single over leaping second baseman Chase Utley to drive in the winning run.

Lowe's only troublesome inning was the third. He gave up four singles -- one when Kendrick faked a bunt, then squared around to line a hit into left, another when Valdez put down a perfect bunt. But Utley hit into a double play to keep the Phillies from the big inning they so desperately need.

The loss wrapped up a terrible road trip where Roy Halladay's perfect game was the only bright spot as the offense sputtered and was even shut out for an entire three-game series in New York.

The Phillies only got one long ball the whole trip and that was when Ryan Howard went yard Tuesday.

The Phillies stumble home to face the NL West leading Padres for a four-game series.

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