PHILADELPHIA — Jeremy Hellickson crouched behind the mound and scratched his head while Matt Kemp circled the bases.
Just like that, a 4-0 lead had vanished.
Freddie Freeman hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the ninth, Kemp had four RBIs and the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-4 on Friday night.
Hellickson cruised through the first four innings before Gordon Beckham led off the fifth with a double and scored on Ender Inciarte’s infield single. With two on and two outs, Kemp drove a 1-2 hanging curve to the seats in left-center.
“I’d like to have that one back,” Hellickson said. “Just a curveball that stayed in the zone too long. I get ahead 0-2 on Kemp and I couldn’t put him away. I can’t make a mistake up in the zone like that with a 4-1 lead.”
Hellickson allowed four runs and five hits in six innings.
Inciarte and Adonis Garcia started the ninth with consecutive singles off closer Jeanmar Gomez (3-3). Freeman then lined a double to left to put the Braves up 5-4. Kemp followed with an RBI single past a drawn-in infield. Nick Markakis added an RBI double and Tyler Flowers had a sacrifice fly.
“The last two months I’ve felt really good,” Gomez said. “All my workouts were good. My velocity is the same and my pitches are moving.”
A.J. Ellis hit a three-run homer for the Phillies.
Braves starter Joel De La Cruz allowed four runs and six hits in five innings and remained 0-7. Mauricio Cabrera (3-0) struck out three straight batters in the eighth after allowing singles to the first two batters.
“We got to bunch hits together,” manager Pete Mackanin said. “We just didn’t add on. We couldn’t bunch hits together. The offense is an issue. We’ve got to improve.”
Ryan Howard slapped an RBI double the opposite way to left to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the first.
Darin Ruf lined a single, Freddy Galvis ripped a double and Ellis drove one out to right to make it 4-0 in the second. Ellis already has five RBIs in 11 at-bats for the Phillies after driving in only 13 runs in 139 at-bats with the Dodgers.
Inciarte has a 13-game hitting streak. … Braves had lost four straight in Philadelphia. … Maikel Franco snapped an 0-for-17 slump with a single in the eighth. … Hellickson has allowed a team-high 24 homers. …. Phillies had nine hits after getting nine combined in three games against the Nationals.
The Braves (52-83) have won four straight, but still have the NL’s worst record. The Phillies (60-74) have lost four in a row.
Galvis played his first game in dreadlocks. He got the new hairdo on Thursday.
Braves RHP John Gant (1-3, 4.59 ERA) opposes Phillies RHP Vince Velasquez (8-6, 4.21) on Saturday night.