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Light-hitting Braves bemoan wasted scoring chances in 6-1 loss to Phillies in 13 innings

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ATLANTA - Another late night at Turner Field left the Atlanta Braves with more reasons to bemoan an extra-innings loss.

Ryan Howard homered and drove in the go-ahead run in Philadelphia's five-run 13th inning, and the Phillies beat the Braves 6-1 on Monday night.

The loss left first-place Atlanta (36-33) only one-half game ahead of idle Washington in the NL East.

The Braves lost in 13 innings for the second time in three days, following an 11-6 loss to the Angels on Saturday night. They have lost four of six and 12 of their last 20 games.

"I think we need to get on a little roll," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Ben Revere led off the 13th win a sharp single up the middle off David Hale (2-2) before stealing second base and moving to third on Jimmy Rollins' fly ball to right field. Following an intentional walk to Chase Utley, Howard hit a sharp grounder that took one hop through first baseman Freddie Freeman's legs for an error as Revere scored from third.

"You're always going to think about what could have been when you lose the game," Freeman said. "Could have been (a win) if I'd caught the ground ball, get a double play right there, but it's just one of those things. You've got to play perfect baseball when you don't score a lot of runs."

The Braves couldn't score after Freeman tripled off the left-field wall with one out in the 10th. Domonic Brown reached for Freeman's shot but couldn't make the catch. Brown then stood facing the left-field wall, apparently thinking Freeman's blast was a homer. Revere ran over from centre field to retrieve the ball.

Another wasted opportunity came in the seventh, when the Braves loaded the bases with no outs but couldn't score. Andrelton Simmons hit into a double play to end the inning.

Braves right-hander Julio Teheran allowed only one run on four hits and no walks in eight innings, but Gonzalez said the inability to score put too much stress on the bullpen.

"We didn't score," Gonzalez said. "And you start getting deep into the bullpen and you start putting guys in situations that they could hurt themselves or risk injuries. It's not good. It's not good.

"We had some opportunities with the right people at the plate. It didn't happen."

Reid Brignac had three hits, including a two-run triple in the 13th, for the Phillies.

Antonio Bastardo (4-3) pitched two scoreless innings. Five relievers combined to allow one run in six innings.

Cole Hamels allowed only five hits in seven scoreless innings. The left-hander has pitched 23 2-3 consecutive scoreless innings over his last three starts.

"He has had quality several games in a row now," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He's back to full strength. He pitched a heck of a game."

Howard led off the second inning with a homer over the centre-field wall. Jonathan Papelbon blew the 1-0 lead in the ninth.

Justin Upton and Chris Johnson led off the ninth with singles off Papelbon. With one out, Simmons' blooper fell in shallow centre, allowing Upton to score the tying run from second.

Papelbon suffered only his second blown save in 17 chances.

Revere made the defensive play of the game in the fourth, catching a long drive by Freeman before crashing into the centre field wall.

The Phillies placed outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. on the bereavement list before the game and hung his No. 19 jersey in their dugout during the game. Gwynn travelled with the team to Atlanta but then departed for San Diego following the death of his father, Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn.

NOTES: The game lasted 4 hours, 47 minutes. ... Braves RHP David Carpenter pitched a scoreless inning before leaving with discomfort in his right biceps. The Braves said Carpenter's status is day to day. ... OF Braxton Davidson, Atlanta's first-round pick, took batting practice. ... Freeman had three hits. ... Gattis has a 16-game hitting streak, a Braves franchise record for a catcher. ... Braves RHP Ervin Santana will face Phillies LHP Kyle Kendrick on Tuesday night.

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