ATLANTA -- Jimmie Rollins supplied all of the offensive support left-hander Cole Hamels needed to defeat the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.
The veteran Philadelphia shortstop hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning and Hamels struck out nine in seven innings as the Phillies defeated the Braves 2-1 before 38,602 at Turner Field.
Hamels (4-5) allowed four hits while improving to 15-8 in his career against the Braves. Of the left-hander's 95 pitches, just 24 missed the strike zone.
Rollins' 12th homer of the season came on a 2-2 fastball from rookie reliever Shae Simmons (1-1), the drive caught in the first row of right-field seats by a leaping fan.
Center fielder Grady Sizemore scored ahead of Rollins after doubling for this third hit of the game. He also drew a walk and is 8-for-20 in five games with the Phillies (43-54) since his release by Boston.
The Braves got one of the runs back in the bottom of the seventh on doubles by left fielder Justin Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson, whose two-out two-bagger went off the glove of second baseman Chase Utley and survived a video review.
Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 23rd save in 25 opportunities.
The loss dropped the Braves (53-44) back into a virtual tie with Washington for first place in the National League East.
Braves starter Aaron Harang pitched six scoreless innings, although he retired the Phillies in order just once. The veteran right-hander, who had won his past four starts, allowed five hits, walked three and struck out four in the no-decision.
The Braves didn't have a hit until second baseman Tommy La Stella doubled to left-center field with two outs in the fifth inning. Their only baserunner until then came when Hamels hit right fielder Jason Heyward with a pitch in the second inning.
Harang had to work out of a major jam in the third inning.
Hamels led off with a single and center fielder Grady Sizemore followed with his second hit of the game. Second baseman Chase Utley walked with one out to load the bases, but Harang escaped as Heyward's strong throw on first baseman Ryan Howard's fly ball held Hamels at third base and right fielder Marlon Byrd bounced into a forceout.
NOTES: The Braves optioned LHP Luis Avilan to Triple-A Gwinnett in hopes of getting the reliever back on track. Avilan a 1.52 ERA in 75 games last year, but his ERA was up to 4.85 in 47 games this season and he no longer was getting left-handed hitters out regularly. … LHP Chasen Shreve was promoted from Double-A Mississippi to take Avilan's spot in the bullpen. Shreve, 24, was 3-2 with seven saves and a 2.48 ERA in 36 relief appearances, striking out 76 and walking nine in 54 1/3 innings. … With the 6-4 victory Friday over the Phillies, the Braves won their first game after the All-Star break for the ninth consecutive season. According to Elias Sports Bureau, that ties a major league record. … The series concludes Sunday with LHP Alex Wood (6-7, 3.36 ERA) starting for the Braves against Phillies RHP Kyle Kendrick (4-9, 4.62).
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