ATLANTA — Chipper Jones knows the Philadelphia Phillies’ lineup is too potent to stay quiet for long.
“At some point they’re going to break out of it,” he said. “You just hope it’s not against you. We’ve been fortunate.”
The Braves capitalized on another punchless Phillies’ effort to move into first place in the NL East with a 9-3 victory Monday.
Jones and Troy Glaus homered to back a strong start by Tommy Hanson. The Braves, winners of six straight, are one-half game ahead of Philadelphia, which has dropped two straight and nine of 13.
“Frustrated? Yes, we’re frustrated,” said Phillies left fielder Raul Ibanez, who had one of three RBI doubles in the seventh. “But we’re not down. This is a team of guys that are going to fight and scratch and claw.”
Improving to 16-4 since May 10, the Braves have made up 7½ games in the NL East since May 17, when they were in last place. Atlanta hasn’t held first place in the NL East this late in a season since they won the last of 14 straight division titles in 2005.
Philadelphia, which was shut out in five of its previous eight games, had just three hits off Hanson (5-3) before the right-hander left with two outs in the seventh.
Lowering his ERA 28 points to 3.78, Hanson struck out two and did not allow a walk after issuing three in the first two innings. The right-hander benefited from double plays that ended scoring threats in the first and second.
“Those were huge,” Hanson said. “They set our defense, and I started hitting my spots and throwing a little more strikes.”
Atlanta took a 3-0 lead in the first on Jones’ third homer, a two-run shot, and Eric Hinske’s RBI single. In the third, the Braves went up 6-0 on an RBI by Hinske and Yunel Escobar’s two-run double.
Glaus’ eighth homer, a three-run shot in the seventh off reliever Chad Durbin, made it 9-3.
Joe Blanton (1-4) lost his second straight start after giving up eight hits, six runs — four earned — and one walk with two strikeouts. Fielding errors by right fielder Ross Gload in the first and first baseman Ryan Howard in the third led to two unearned runs.
“It just seems that everything that can go wrong does.” Blanton said. “We know we’re a good team.”
The Phillies began the game as the first club since the 1992 Chicago Cubs to get shut out five times over an eight-game span, according to the team.
Philadelphia, which won the 2008 World Series and a second straight NL title in 2009, also is struggling defensively with 12 errors in the last nine games.
With his offense slumping, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel changed the batting order with Gload leading off, Greg Dobbs in the No. 2 spot and Shane Victorino hitting fifth. They went a combined 0 for 8.
The Phillies were without third baseman Placido Polanco, who has a .329 average in 216 career at-bats against Atlanta, and right fielder Jayson Werth, who was given the day off despite a .341 career average with three homers and 12 RBIs in 128 career plate appearances at Turner Field.
Manuel was ejected in the third for arguing that a call by home plate umpire Larry Vanover shouldn’t have been overturned by the umpiring crew. Vanover initially ruled that Dobbs’ uniform was hit by a pitch, but Atlanta manager Bobby Cox successfully appealed.
“The game is a game of momentum,” Manuel said. “I think everybody knows that. We’ve just got to keep playing and keep working. Let me put it like this: It’s been a long time since I’ve seen us score five, six, seven, eight runs. It seems like we’ve gone a couple months (since scoring) I know this, we’ve got our heads up. Something’s going to break for us.”
Cox is proud of his team’s recent surge, but he isn’t about to count out the Phillies.
“There’s a lot of baseball left, but we have made a great recovery,” he said. “We bent a little bit, but we never broke.”
NOTES: Philadelphia closer Brad Lidge, who came off the disabled list after missing 18 games with elbow inflammation, pitched a perfect eighth. … Manuel hopes Polanco will return Tuesday after going to Philadelphia to have his left elbow examined. … Atlanta C Brian McCann returned to the lineup after missing the last four games with a strained quadriceps and went 0 for 2 with two runs scored and two walks. … Braves RHP Jair Jurrjens threw a 45-pitch bullpen session that went well, according to Cox. … Hanson has won two straight starts for the first time in 11 starts this season. … Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin managed the rest of game following Manuel’s ejection.
George Henry/The Associated Press