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Struggles continue for Braves, Santana

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 17, 2014 at 10:51 pm •  Published: June 17, 2014
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ATLANTA (AP) — Ervin Santana doesn't know what's happened to the confidence he felt in the first few weeks of the season.

"I'm a little bit frustrated," he said. "But at the same time we win as a team, we lose as a team."

Santana lost his second straight start, Atlanta's offense produced just six hits and the Braves lost 5-2 to the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night.

Atlanta has lost seven of 11 and 13 of 21.

Ryan Howard homered and Kyle Kendrick won consecutive starts for the first time in 11 months for Philadelphia.

Santana (5-4) continued to struggle, giving up eight hits and four runs — three earned — with three walks in six innings. The right-hander, who struck out five, is 1-4 with a 6.17 ERA in his last seven starts. He was 4-0 with a 1.04 ERA in his first six starts.

"It was a little better, yeah, but it was it tough battling out there," Santana said. "The pitch that Howard hit was a good pitch. Just one of those days."

The Phillies, winners of two straight and six of eight, got a solid start from Kendrick (3-6), who had gone 2-11 in his previous 20 starts since last Aug. 11.

Kendrick allowed six hits and two runs with one walk and six strikeouts in seven innings.

Not since he beat Washington last July 11 and won at the New York Mets last July 19 had Kendrick won two straight starts. The right-hander was coming off a 7-3 victory last week against San Diego.

"I was able to get ahead most of the night," Kendrick said. "I was down and trying to pound the strike zone. I think that was the main thing in the first inning. Most of them were down."

The Phillies took a 2-0 lead in the first when Jimmy Rollins led off with a double and Howard hit his 13th homer. In 71 career games at Turner Field, Howard is hitting .277 with 20 homers and 69 RBIs.

Philadelphia, which had its leadoff hitter reach safely in eight innings, went up 4-0 in the fourth. Dominic Brown led off with a walk, advanced to third on Reid Brignac's double and scored on a passed ball by Gerald Laird. Brignac, who moved to third on the passed ball, scored on Cesar Hernandez's RBI single.

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