PHILADELPHIA -- With Jason Heyward on the bench resting a sore right groin and starter Jair Jurrjens on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, Braves manager Bobby Cox started utility man Eric Hinske in right field and reliever Kris Medlen on the mound.
They both made the best of their opportunities.Hinske's tying double ignited a three-run rally in the sixth inning, Medlen allowed one run and nine hits against the powerful Philadelphia lineup, and the Braves' bullpen came through to snap the Phillies' four-game winning streak with a 4-1 victory Saturday."Huge, you know?" Hinske said of Medlen's spot start. "It's no secret we're struggling with the bats. Today was big."Chipper Jones and Brian McCann led off the sixth with singles and Hinske's double knotted the score 1-1. Melky Cabrera followed with a single to left to give the Braves the lead, and Omar Infante's sacrifice fly made it 3-1.Atlanta added a run in the eighth on Troy Glaus' RBI single, and Billy Wagner pitched the ninth inning for his fourth save in five chances."We played another great game defensively. We've been doing all that but we haven't been winning," Cox said. "Troy came through again with a big clutch hit. Medlen did a remarkably good job in this ballpark, against this team, hold them to one run. Pretty darn good."Atlanta reliever Eric O'Flaherty (2-1) faced only one batter, retiring Ryan Howard on an inning-ending double-play in the fifth, to pick up the victory as gusty winds blew throughout Citizens Bank Park. Six relievers combined to hold the Phillies scoreless over 4 2/3 innings.The Phillies had numerous scoring opportunities throughout the afternoon but were hurt by three double-plays. They also had runners on second and third with two outs in the seventh, but reliever Johnny Venters retired Howard on fly ball to short right field."We had opportunities early but kept stranding runners," said bench coach Pete Mackanin.He was running the team in place of Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who missed the game due to personal reasons but is expected to return for the series finale Sunday.Although Medlen allowed nine hits and one run while striking out three, he kept the Braves in the game in the 4 1/3 innings he pitched in the spot start."I though I made my pitches when I had to," said Medlen, who was making his fourth start in the major leagues. "Overall good outing. The bullpen overall just dominated the lineup.Medlen gave up the Phillies' only run on Shane Victorino's RBI single in the second inning.Making his second start of the season, Joe Blanton (0-2) pitched six innings, giving up five hits and three runs. Phillies starters had gone 42 innings and allowed only two earned runs before the Braves rallied in the sixth."I feel pretty close to where I want to be," said Blanton who began the season on the DL for the first time in his career with a left oblique strain. "I had some qualitiy pitches even in the sixth inning. They just put a couple of hits together."In fact, Blanton didn't allow a hit until Medlen's leadoff single in the fifth. Third baseman Greg Dobbs slid to his left and reached for the ball but it glanced off his glove, giving the Braves pitcher his first big league hit in 17 at-bats.
Cox said after the game that Hayward might not play on Sunday. Hayward came up as pinch-hitter and grounded out in the ninth. ... Carlos Ruiz replaced C Brian Schneider in the fourth inning for the Phillies. Schneider had a left Achilles' strain. ... The Phillies are 16-7 against right-handed starters this season.