What would have been the Phillies’ best win of the early season ended up as their worst loss Monday night.
Atlanta’s Dan Uggla belted a grand slam with one out in the top of the ninth inning to lift the Braves to a wild 9-6 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
Uggla’s slam off Jake Diekman came a half-inning after the Phillies had rallied for five runs to take a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the eighth.
With closer Jonathan Papelbon unavailable after pitching three days in a row in wins over Miami, manager Ryne Sandberg went to Diekman for the save, but the lefty could not convert. He walked two batters and another reached on a fielder’s choice before Uggla’s grand slam.
The Phillies are 6-7. Atlanta is 9-4.
Starting pitching report
Roberto Hernandez survived three hits and three walks in holding the Braves scoreless for the first five innings. He opened the sixth with a walk to Freddie Freeman then surrendered a one-out homer to Evan Gattis as the Braves took a 2-1 lead.
Braves starter Ervin Santana was outstanding. He allowed four hits and one run – a solo homer by Ryan Howard – over six innings. He walked two and tied a career-high with 11 strikeouts. Three of Santana’s strikeouts came with a Phillies’ baserunner in scoring position.
In two starts with his new club, Santana has allowed just seven hits and one run in 14 innings.
B.J. Rosenberg, pitching for a third straight day, had a tough outing. He entered in the top of the eighth with the Phils trailing by a run. Three solo homers later, he left the game with the Phils down by four runs.
Diekman took the loss.
Braves lefty Luis Avalan allowed five runs in the bottom of the eighth and was on the hook for the loss until the Braves rallied in the ninth. He ended up with an ugly win.
At the plate
Howard gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead on a long home run to right-center in the second inning.
Chase Utley’s hitting streak reached 11 games when he doubled with one out in the sixth and the Phillies trailing by a run. The Phillies failed to build on the double as Santana struck out Howard and Marlon Byrd to end the inning.
Byrd came back in the eighth with an important two-run single. Domonic Brown capped the Phils’ five-run eighth with a three-run homer off Avalan to give the Phils a short-lived 6-5 lead. It was Brown’s first homer since Aug. 15.
Gattis and Dan Uggla both had two homers. The pair joined Andrelton Simmons in belting solo home runs against Rosenberg in consecutive at-bats in the eighth inning. Gattis and Simmons hit breaking balls. Uggla hit a fastball.
Tony Gwynn Jr. batted leadoff and played center field for the fourth straight game. He ignited the Phillies’ eighth-inning rally with a leadoff walk.
A.J. Burnett was diagnosed with a hernia, but he will keep pitching. His next start will be Wednesday (see story).
Reliever Mike Adams is scheduled to be activated from the disabled list on Tuesday. The Phils will have to make a corresponding roster move, possibly sending pitcher Luis Garcia back to Lehigh Valley.
Cliff Lee (2-1, 5.50) opposes Braves right-hander David Hale (0-0, 2.89) on Tuesday night.