The Phillies missed out on a chance to move into first place in the National League East on Tuesday night and they have no one to blame but themselves.
Powered by NBC Sports Philadelphia
The team's recent spate of poor defense continued in a 3-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. Two of the Braves' runs were unearned.
The Phils made two errors in the fifth inning, allowing the Braves to push across the go-ahead run.
A passed ball on catcher Jorge Alfaro set up the Braves' third run.
The Phillies, and Alfaro in particular, made several defensive gems in Monday night's 3-0 win over the Braves. But, overall, defense has been an issue lately. The Phils have made nine errors in the last five games, four of them by first baseman Carlos Santana.
Santana made his third throwing error in the last four games when he airmailed catcher Alfaro in the fifth inning. The wild throw allowed Ozzie Albies to score from third base with the tie-breaking run. Earlier in the fifth inning, rightfielder Nick Williams made a throwing error that gave the Braves runners on second and third.
Defense wasn't the only issue for the Phillies. Starting pitcher Vince Velasquez walked the leadoff batter in an inning three times and one of them became the go-ahead run in the fifth.
Velasquez's three-game winning streak came to an end as he allowed nine base runners in 4 1/3 innings. Albies jumped a first-pitch breaking ball for a solo homer in the third inning to give the Braves an early lead. The Phillies tied the game in the top of the fifth on a two-out, RBI single by Cesar Hernandez. Pinch-hitter Aaron Altherr had kept that inning alive by fighting back from an 0-2 count against Brandon McCarthy to draw a two-out walk.
Velasquez, who threw 89 pitches, had his moments of dominance. He struck out nine, including the side in the fourth inning after the Braves loaded the bases with no outs.
Velasquez is 0-4 against the Braves this season.
McCarthy, meanwhile, is 4-0 against the Phillies this season. The veteran right-hander gave up just one run in 5 2/3 innings. He has held the Phillies to just five runs in 21 2/3 innings this season.
The loss dropped the Phillies to 27-19. They trail the division-leading Braves by 1½ games. Atlanta is 29-18.
• Hernandez has reached base safely in 26 straight games.
• Albies, the Braves' dynamic 21-year-old second baseman, scored all three of his team's runs. He has 14 homers.
• Rhys Hoskins went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts to fall to .237. He is 10 for 67 (.149) with 27 strikeouts in May.
• The series concludes on Wednesday night with Jake Arrieta going against Atlanta lefty Luiz Gohara.