PHILADELPHIA -- A.J. Burnett's injury helped him improve his pitching.
Burnett tossed three-hit ball over seven innings, Ben Revere hit an RBI single with two outs in the eighth and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 1-0 Thursday afternoon.In his first start since learning he'll need surgery for an inguinal hernia, Burnett struck out five to outpitch Alex Wood (2-2).Atlanta's Julio Teheran beat Cliff Lee 1-0 less than 24 hours earlier."It's going to be a blessing in disguise," Burnett said of the injury. "It helped me stay within myself, be simple, nice and easy."Burnett received a cortisone injection on Monday and the right-hander plans to wait until the offseason to have an operation. He has to wait another five days to try for his first win with the Phillies."He had better command," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He had a shorter stride and looked more effortless. (The injury) might be a good thing."Dominic Brown led off the bottom of the eighth with a single. He advanced to second on a sacrifice and scored on Revere's hit up the middle.Brown then gave Revere a shaving cream pie in the face during a postgame interview."I found a good pitch to hit and found a hole," said Revere, who had his third three-hit game of the season.Antonio Bastardo (2-1) worked the eighth and Jonathan Papelbon finished off the four-hitter with a perfect ninth for his fourth save in five tries.Sandberg successfully challenged a call in the fifth inning when Andrelton Simmons was ruled out trying to steal second base. Simmons overslid the bag on a headfirst dive, and reached back to touch the base as shortstop Jimmy Rollins lunged to tag him. The replay showed Rollins tagged Simmons before he got his hand in safely.After Sandberg walked onto the field, he turned to bench coach Larry Bowa for direction. But Bowa just threw his hands up and shrugged after talking to the team's video coach on the phone."That's not what I was looking for," Sandberg said with a smile. "I looked at him again and he wouldn't look at me. He wasn't much help. Fifth inning. Runner on second. Let's take a shot."Wood became the 10th Braves starter in the first 15 games this year to allow one run or none. The lefty gave up eight hits and fanned seven for his first complete game in 15 career starts."You can't ask for anything more out of him," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.The Braves wasted an opportunity after Gerald Laird led off the eighth with a double to left-center off Bastardo. Wood struck out trying to sacrifice, Jason Heyward lined out to right and B.J. Upton popped out."I think I lost the game for us in the eighth inning by not getting the bunt down," Wood said.The NL East-leading Braves took two of three in a rain-shortened series. Tuesday night's game was rained out and will be made up in late June.
Phillies 1B Ryan Howard wasn't in the starting lineup for the first time this season. John Mayberry Jr. took his spot. Howard is 3 for 17 with eight strikeouts vs. lefties this season. Howard walked as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. ... Braves starters have a 1.58 ERA. ... In Wednesday's 1-0 loss to the Braves, Lee became the first pitcher to lose two games in which he allowed one run or less and struck out 13 or more. The other time also was against Atlanta. ... The Phillies start a 10-game road trip in Colorado on Friday night. Jonathan Pettibone (0-0, 1.80 ERA) gets the start. ... The Braves open a three-game series at the New York Mets on Friday night. Aaron Harang (2-1, 0.96) takes the mound for Atlanta.
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PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 17: Catcher Wil Nieves #21 of the Philadelphia Phillies strikes out to end the second...