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(Friday, September 21st)
Final Score: Philadelphia 6, Atlanta 2
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz smacked back- to-back homers and Kyle Kendrick tossed 6 2/3 strong innings to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 6-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Friday.
Kendrick (10-11) allowed just two runs on five hits and struck out six to pick up his sixth win in eight starts.
"It was nice to get back home and play in front of our home fans," Kendrick said. "Every game is big now. It was a big win for us tonight, we have to come back tomorrow and do it again."
Kevin Frandsen and Chase Utley also added solo shots for the Phillies, who trail the St. Louis Cardinals by three games for the final NL wild card spot.
Tommy Hanson (12-9) was tagged for five runs on four hits and struck out five over 5 1/3 innings to absorb the loss.
"I think a couple of those pitches got too much of the plate," Hanson said "They just didn't hit in the gap or hit it hard for a single, they put them in the seats for the most part."
Brian McCann and Jose Constanza knocked in one run apiece for the Braves, who own a six-game lead for the top NL wild card spot.
The Phillies jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when Juan Pierre scored on Utley's groundout to the right side. Pierre had laced a triple off the top of the wall in right-center field.
Atlanta countered with a run in the second to knot it up. Freddie Freeman walked before moving to third on Dan Uggla's double down the left-field line. McCann then grounded out to second to knock in Freeman.
Frandsen stroked a solo shot in the third and Howard and Ruiz smacked back-to- back homers in the fourth to put the Phillies up 4-1.
Philadelphia added one more in the sixth when Ruiz ripped a base hit to right field to score Utley. Utley walked, stole second and took third on a wild pitch before scoring.
The Braves cut the deficit to 5-2 in the seventh. Uggla doubled before moving to third on a McCann groundout. Constanza followed with a single to center field to knock in Uggla.
Utley's homer in the eighth made it 6-2, and Jonathan Papelbon worked a perfect ninth to seal the win.
Pierre leads the Phillies with six triples this season ... Howard hit his 299th homer and Utley stoked his 199th career long ball ... Kendrick has allowed two earned runs or less in 16 of his 23 starts this season.
09/22 01:38:59 ET
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