PHILADELPHIA — The Atlanta Braves wobbled once again on the road, something they know will need to change if they are to claim their first NL East title since 2005.
Freshly chosen All-Star Domonic Brown homered, tripled and drove in two runs Sunday, leading the Philadelphia Phillies over the Braves 7-3.
It was the 10th loss in the last 15 road games for Atlanta, which is 21-25 overall on the road this season.
“I really can’t tell you why. It’s one of those things,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “To be a championship team, you have to win at home and on the road.”
Chris Johnson homered and Brian McCann got three hits for first-place Atlanta, which has a four-game lead on Washington. McCann finished 9 for 12 in the series and is batting .512 (22 for 43) over his last 11 games.
“Even though we had 10 hits, we couldn’t put up enough crooked numbers,” Gonzalez said. “You get 10 hits, you can’t blame the offense.”
Kris Medlen (6-8) gave up a season-high six earned runs in 51/3 innings.
Medlen had won three straight and five of his last six starts. He surrendered eight hits with five strikeouts and three walks.
“It came down to execution, and I didn’t execute,” Medlen said. “They’re a veteran team and they make you throw it down the middle. They’re a quality team. It was one of those days for me.”
Of the road losses, Medlen said, “It’s one of those weird things that’s hard to explain.”
Ben Revere hit a two-run triple for Philadelphia, which took two of three from the Braves. The Phillies, who won five straight NL East titles from 2007-2011, have played under .500 for most of the season but haven’t given up hope of another division title.
The Phillies jumped out to a 4-0 lead through four innings. Brown’s RBI triple and Delmon Young’s single staked Philadelphia to a 2-0 advantage in the first.
Revere tripled home two more in the fourth.
The Braves scored in the fifth on Medlen’s opposite-field RBI single. The first five runs of the game came with two outs.
Brown, picked Saturday to his first All-Star team, got that run back in the bottom of the fifth by turning on Medlen’s inside pitch and just clearing the wall in right for his 23rd homer.
“It was down, I thought it might hit him,” Medlen said. “What can I say? He’s an All-Star and he’s having a heck of a year.”
The Phillies were gifted a pair of runs in the sixth when Darin Ruf and Carlos Ruiz scored on Alex Wood’s wild pitch and McCann’s throwing error on the play.
Johnson’s homer and Jason Heyward’s single accounted for the Braves’ two runs in the seventh.
Atlanta’s B.J. Upton was ejected in the fifth by plate umpire Doug Eddings for arguing after being called out on strikes. Upton went 0 for 2, dropping his average to .175 with 96 strikeouts.
“B.J. didn’t say very much from where I was standing,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t know what he said at the plate.”
NOTES: Atlanta reliever Luis Ayala allowed one hit in a scoreless seventh inning. Ayala, activated from the DL on Friday after being out due to anxiety disorder, was pitching in his first game since April 24. ... The Braves open a three-game series at Miami on Monday night. LHP Mike Minor (8-4, 3.15) takes the mound for the Atlanta against RHP Kevin Slowey (3-6, 4.24). ... Phillies LHP John Lannan (1-3, 5.15) is scheduled to oppose Washington RHP Dan Haren (4-9, 6.15) when the teams open a four-game series in Philadelphia on Monday night.