PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies fell further back in the NL East and now will have to play catch-up without slugger Ryan Howard until after the All-Star break.
Jason Heyward hit a three-run homer to lead an Atlanta offense that scored in all but two innings, Tim Hudson pitched seven strong innings and the Braves set season highs for runs and hits in a 13-4 rout of the Phillies on Saturday night.
The Phillies also were dealt a loss before the game when Howard was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of left knee inflammation. Howard will get an MRI in the next day or two, according to general manager Ruben Amaro.
"That's a big blow," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. "His presence means something to us. He's still a threat."
Howard originally was in Saturday's starting lineup but was a late scratch. The three-time All-Star has struggled while playing through the knee injury, batting .266 with 11 homers and 43 RBIs this season.
"It got to the point where it's time for him to get off of it, the discomfort is too great," Amaro said. "This is a big blow to us."
The Phillies called up Darin Ruf from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he batted .266 with seven homers and 46 RBIs, to replace Howard. Ruf had two homers and nine RBIs in 57 at-bats for the Phillies last season.
He arrived in the fifth inning on Saturday and went 1 for 2 after entering as a late-game defensive replacement at first base.
"I want to help the team any way I can," Ruf said.
The Phillies needed a lot more of it Saturday.
Andrelton Simmons and Dan Uggla also homered for Atlanta, which amassed 19 hits while snapping a three-game skid. Brian McCann had four hits and Simmons was a double shy of the cycle.
Hudson (5-7) allowed one run on five hits to earn his first win since May 5. The right-hander had been 0-6 with a 4.50 ERA in his last 10 starts. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.
"It's a long time not to get a win," Hudson said. "It's nice to get on the board in the right column."
Hudson, who retired the final 11 batters, looked more like the dominant pitcher who has made three All-Star appearances than the one who has struggled over the last two months.
"I felt real good and it's nice to get runs early," Hudson said. "The guys came out swinging the bats and had good at-bats. It was a great night overall for everybody."
Outpatient ROBOTIC HYSTERECTOMY. Trust an experienced Robotic Surgeon.