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Formula '08: Phillies 5, Braves 3

Cole Hamels starts, Brad Lidge finishes, potent lineup bops a few dingers, Phillies file out of dugout for handshakes and high-fives. Sound familiar? 

This is an accurate if oversimplified description of the club's victory Sunday afternoon over Atlanta. Staked to a 4-0 lead thanks to Kenshin Kawakami's first-inning wildness and solo homers from Placido Polanco and Jayson Werth respectively in the second and third, Hamels made it through the first four innings without incident. But any thoughts of his going deep into the game were derailed in a fifth when the Braves batted around and nearly took the lead. Kawakami drew a leadoff walk to start the frame, and Omar Infante and Martin Prado followed with singles up the middle to load the bases with no outs. Melky Cabrera lined a ball toward Chase Utley that looked like a double play off the bat, but it skipped off Utley's glove and trickled into center to score one run. Troy Glaus followed with a seeing eye single through the left side of the infield, scoring two more, and the Braves had the tying and lead runs on base with still no outs.

But Hamels bore down and escaped without further damage. He struck out Brian McCann looking, then got Matt Diaz to ground to first, advancing the runners. Brooks Conrad worked a walk to re-load the bases, but Nate McLouth grounded softly to Utley to end the inning. Hamels' day was finished as well, after five innings and 97 pitches.

The Phillies bullpen did the job from there, with Chad Durbin tossing two clean innings--recording four of his six outs via strikeout--and Jose Contreras and Brad Lidge following with one each. Lidge's first save of 2010 wasn't without drama, though: both pinch-hitter Eric Hinske and Infante flied out to the warning track on a day when the low temperature and swirling winds depressed CBP's usual homerific tendencies. If you watched and thought that it serves the Braves right after their endless, obnoxious bitching about our ballpark, I salute you as a brother or sister.

Shane Victorino also homered for the Phils off Kawakami, who shook off his rough first inning (in which he walked two and hit Werth with the bases loaded to force in a run) to work into the seventh on a day when he fell to 0-6 for the season. The Phils, who wrapped up their homestand with an impressive 7-3 mark, now head to Colorado for a three-game set with the Rockies.