Share “Late homers boost Phillies over Braves 8-5...”

Late homers boost Phillies over Braves 8-5 in 10

Associated Press Modified: August 31, 2012 at 11:46 pm •  Published: August 31, 2012

ATLANTA (AP) — Craig Kimbrel hopes Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez gives him the ball again on Saturday.

Kimbrel doesn't want to wait too long for another chance after blowing just his third save in 35 opportunities this season.

"Any time you give up the lead, you're never happy about," he said. "Nothing I can do about it. All I can do is that if the situation comes up tomorrow, is take the ball and go out there and do my job."

Erik Kratz homered in the ninth inning off Kimbrel and John Mayberry Jr. hit a three-run shot off Cristhian Martinez in the 10th to give the Braves an 8-5 loss to Philadelphia on Friday night.

Josh Lindblom (3-3) pitched a scoreless ninth, allowing one walk and striking out one.

Jonathan Papelbon earned his 31st save in 34 chances by striking out Dan Uggla, getting Paul Janish to fly out and striking out Eric Hinske in the 10th.

Martinez (5-4) allowed three hits, three runs, one walk and struck out two.

The Braves, who have lost two straight and three of four, dropped 6½ games behind first-place Washington in the NL East.

Philadelphia has won two straight and six of eight. The Phillies are 18 games back in the NL East, but they finished August with a 17-12 record.

Kevin Frandsen led off the 10th with a single, moved to second on Martinez's balk and advanced to third on Chase Utley's groundout. After Ryan Howard was intentionally walked, Martinez struck out Juan Pierre before Mayberry's 13th homer landed in the seats in left field.

Kratz's eighth homer made it 5-all in the ninth. The save opportunity was just Kimbrel's third since Aug. 3. His last blown save came July 20 on a homer by Washington's Danny Espinosa.

"That's the location I was trying to put it," Kimbrel said. "I was trying to elevate on him, and it didn't go high enough. He's a good fastball hitter. He put the barrel on it. You saw what happened, but all we can do is come out tomorrow and keep on playing."

According to the Braves, the homer marked the first time Kimbrel has given one up with the count no balls, two strikes. The 23-year-old Kimbrel, last year's NL Rookie of the Year, has allowed six homers in his career.

"We give the ball to Craig, and we've gotten spoiled over the last couple of years," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He usually shuts those things down, and today it was a fastball that got too much of the plate."

Uggla homered off Jeremy Horst to break a 4-all tie in the sixth.

Martin Prado and Freddie Freeman hit two-run homers in the fifth off Phillies starter Roy Halladay to give the Braves a 4-1 lead.

Continue reading this story on the...