ATLANTA -- The Phillies’ slow and painful trudge to the end of the season continued in a 7-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night.
The Braves, who have already wrapped up the NL East title, came out of the gate with five runs against Tyler Cloyd in the first inning and coasted to the victory.
The Phils have lost seven of their last eight games and are 19-20 under Ryne Sandberg.
The Phils are 6-22 in their last 28 road games.
Starting pitching report
Cloyd faced 13 batters; 10 reached base. Five of the eight hits he allowed were for extra bases. The right-hander has an ERA of 15.43 this month. He has pitched 14 innings in four September starts. Over that span, he has allowed 33 hits and 24 runs.
Atlanta rookie David Hale, in his second big-league start, held the Phillies to one run over six innings. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.
On the plus side, the Phillies' bullpen pitched seven shutout innings. Lefty Mauricio Robles led the way with three shutout innings.
Atlanta’s bullpen picked up three shutout innings.
At the plate
The Phillies had nine hits, but were a dreadful 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position.
The Phils have just five extra-base hits in the last four games, all doubles. They have not homered in eight straight games, their longest drought since 1996.
Jimmy Rollins had three hits for the Phillies.
Jason Heyward hit Cloyd’s first pitch of the game out of the park and it was all downhill from there for the Phillies. Heyward added three doubles and an infield hit to finish withfive hits. His four extra-base hits were one more than the Phillies had in the previous three games.
Ryan Howard, out for the season with a knee injury, worked out with the team before the game. He will be ready to go in spring training (see story).
Cliff Lee (14-7, 2.93) will make his final start of the season Friday night against Atlanta’s Kris Medlen (14-12, 3.24).