published Sunday, July 20th, 2014

La Stella, Wood lead Braves' win over Phillies

Atlanta Braves' Tommy La Stella, right, follows through on a three-run double as Philadelphia Phillies catcher Koyie Hill, left, looks on in the third inning of a baseball game in Atlanta, Sunday, July 20, 2014.
Atlanta Braves' Tommy La Stella, right, follows through on a three-run double as Philadelphia Phillies catcher Koyie Hill, left, looks on in the third inning of a baseball game in Atlanta, Sunday, July 20, 2014.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

ATLANTA — Tommy La Stella drove in three runs and Chris Johnson hit a two-run homer to back Alex Wood and help the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-2 Sunday.

The Braves have won of five of seven to remain tied for first with Washington in the NL East.

Wood (7-7) allowed three hits and one run with eight strikeouts in six innings to win for the first time four starts.

The first five innings were played in a steady drizzle before heavy rain caused a 1 hour, 39-minute delay in the middle of the sixth.

Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead in the second when John Mayberry Jr. homered, but the Braves went up 2-1 in the bottom half of the inning on Johnson's seventh homer.

Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick (4-10) created a big mess in the third, walking B.J. Upton, hitting Freddie Freeman with Justin Upton with pitches and walking Jason Heyward to make it 3-1.

After Johnson lined out, the Braves went up 6-1 on La Stella's three-run double. The rookie improved to 6 for 7 with 13 RBIs with the bases loaded.

Kendrick gave up five hits, six runs, two walks and struck out one in five innings. Over his last six starts, Kendrick is 1-4 with a 6.99 ERA.

Wood, who returned to Atlanta's rotation on June 25 after pitching nearly seven weeks in relief, improved to 4-6 with a 2.95 ERA in 12 starts this year.

After the rain delay ended, Phillies reliever Mario Hollands gave up two runs in the sixth to trail 8-1 on Andrelton Simmons' bases-loaded walk and Freddie Freeman's RBI single.

The Phillies have lost four of five to drop 11 games back in the NL East. Dropping to 9-42 when scoring three runs or less, Philadelphia missed a chance to score with the bases loaded in the eighth when Jimmy Rollins grounded into a double play and Chase Utley popped up.

Marlon Byrd hit his 19th homer to cut the lead to 8-2 in the ninth off David Carpenter.

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