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Kendrick struggles again in Phillies' loss

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 20, 2014 at 6:41 pm •  Published: July 20, 2014
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ATLANTA (AP) — Manager Ryne Sandberg isn't sure how much longer the Phillies will keep Kyle Kendrick in their starting rotation.

"We'll see if we have conversations about personnel," Sandberg said, "and go from there."

Kendrick lost for the fourth time in his last six starts and the Phillies' offense couldn't solve Braves starter Alex Wood in an 8-2 loss to Atlanta on Sunday.

Tommy La Stella drove in three runs and Chris Johnson hit a two-run homer to back Wood. The Braves have won of five of seven and remained second in the NL East, one percentage point back of Washington.

Wood (7-7) allowed one run and three hits in six innings with eight strikeouts to win for the first time four starts. He retired his last 13 batters.

The first five innings were played in a steady drizzle before heavy rain caused a 1-hour, 39-minute delay in the middle of the sixth.

Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead in the second when John Mayberry Jr. homered, but the Braves went up 2-1 in the bottom half on Johnson's seventh homer.

Kendrick (4-10) got in trouble in the third, walking B.J. Upton, hitting Freddie Freeman with Justin Upton with pitches and forcing in a run with a bases-loaded walk to Jason Heyward that make it 3-1.

After Johnson lined out, the Braves went up 6-1 on La Stella's three-run double. La Stella's latest big hit came two days after the second baseman he replaced, Dan Uggla, was released.

Since coming to the big leagues in late May, La Stella is 6 for 7 with the bases loaded, driving in 13 runs in those at-bats. He relishes getting a chance to bat with runners in scoring position.

"You're going to find yourself in those situations whether you want them or not," La Stella said. "I think it goes a long way to see yourself in those situations and see yourself succeeding."

Kendrick gave up six runs, five hits and two walks in five innings, dropping to 1-4 with a 6.99 ERA in his last six starts.

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