Santana (8-6) pitched six innings and allowed four runs, three of them earned, on six hits. He walked three and had only one strikeout, but was backed up by two double plays and some timely offensive support.
Nine of Atlanta's 10 hits came with two outs, and the Braves scored five runs after two were out and no one was on base. The Braves had averaged only 2.9 runs in support of Santana is his previous 17 starts.
The losing pitcher was A.J. Burnett (6-9), who allowed 10 hits and six runs in five innings. Burnett left after throwing just 77 pitches in his worst outing since allowing eight runs to the Nationals on June 4. He now has a 5-13 career record against the Braves.
Philadelphia loaded the bases when Grady Sizemore blooped a single just out of the reach of second baseman Tommy La Stella. Third baseman Cody Asche drove Howard home with a long sacrifice fly to right field and catcher Cameron Rupp plated the other by lining a single up the middle.
The Braves responded by scoring four times in the bottom of the inning to take a 4-2 lead. It started when right fielder Jason Heyward hit a towering home run to right, his ninth and first since June 15. After retiring the next two batters, Burnett allowed four consecutive hits. Center fielder B.J. Upton picked up his 500th career RBI with a double and shortstop Andrelton Simmons knocked in a pair with a single to left.
Atlanta made it 6-2 with a pair of two-out runs in the fifth. Left fielder Justin Upton lined an opposite-field double into the right-field corner and scored when Heyward shot a single into left. After third baseman Chris Johnson's single, La Stella grounded a single up the middle to score Heyward.
The Phillies cut the lead to 6-4 in the sixth inning on Howard's bloop two-run single to left.
NOTES: Phillies 3B Cody Asche extended his hitting streak to 10 games in an unusual manner. In the fourth inning, he lined a grounder than hit base runner Grady Sizemore. Asche was credited with a single and the second baseman credited with an unassisted putout. … Atlanta released veteran 2B Dan Uggla, who was hitting .162 with two homers in 48 games. INF Tyler Pastornicky was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to replace him on the roster. Atlanta expects C Evan Gattis (bulging thoracic disk) to be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Monday. He is completing a Triple-A rehab assignment. … Philadelphia announced that LHP Cliff Lee will be activated Monday and make his return that night against San Francisco. C Wil Nieves is expected to complete a rehab assignment with Double-A Reading this weekend and return to the team next week. … LF Grady Sizemore started Friday for the Phillies in place of Domonic Brown, who missed time with an illness before the All-Star Game. Brown took batting practice, but manager Ryne Sandberg said he would err on the side of caution. … Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins experienced some back spasms Friday but felt well enough to remain in the starting lineup.