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Burnett can't solve Braves in messy start

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm •  Published: July 18, 2014
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ATLANTA (AP) — A.J. Burnett was visibly upset with himself as he walked to the dugout after the last out of the fifth inning.

It was easy to see why.

"Six runs in five innings pretty much nails it on the head," Burnett said. "I was in counts where I should have made pitches and I didn't. That's the bottom line."

Burnett gave up nine straight two-out hits, and the Philadelphia Phillies failed to score after the sixth in a 6-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.

Jason Heyward homered and drove in two runs, and Andrelton Simmons had two RBIs for the Braves, who won their third straight game to take a one-game lead over Washington in the NL East.

Last-place Philadelphia dropped 11 games behind Atlanta after losing its third straight.

"Not the start we wanted for the second half," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "We had some good at-bats, though. I felt good jumping out with the two runs early. They came right back with four runs."

The game was played in a steady drizzle, but the rain had nearly stopped when Braves closer Craig Kimbrel earned his 30th save in 34 chances. He got Marlon Byrd on a groundout and struck out Grady Sizemore and Cody Asche.

Ervin Santana (8-6) gave up six hits, three walks and four runs — three earned — in six innings to win for the third time in four starts. He struck out one.

Burnett (6-9) allowed six runs, 10 hits — the last nine with two out — and one walk in five innings. He had five strikeouts.

"Everything was up, man, everything was up," Burnett said. "I was off. Heyward hit a changeup, and the curveball was up. A few innings in the middle, I got it where I wanted to, but I was inconsistent, and you can't pitch against this club and be inconsistent."

The Phillies led 2-0 in the second on Asche's sacrifice fly and Cameron Rupp's RBI single, but they trailed 4-2 in the bottom half after Heyward hit his ninth homer, B.J. Upton had an RBI single, and Simmons drove in two runs with a double.

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