ATLANTA (AP) — Brandon Phillips gave Atlanta the lead with a two-run homer in the third to continue his productive homestand, R.A. Dickey threw seven strong innings and the surging Braves beat the Milwaukee Brewers 3-1 on Saturday.
Phillips has homered in three straight games after delivering game-winning hits in back-to-back games against Miami on June 17-18, early in the 10-game homestand. The Braves have won four straight and nine of 12.
Dickey (6-5) allowed one run in seven innings to improve to 5-1 at SunTrust Park. He has won three straight home starts.
The NL Central-leading Brewers began the day 1 1/2 games ahead of the Cubs.
Phillips had two hits, including the homer off Matt Garza (3-4) into the Brewers’ bullpen behind the left-field wall. The homer drove in Ender Inciarte, who singled.
Jim Johnson gave up a single to pinch-hitter Jesus Aguilar with two outs in the ninth before striking out Lewis Brinson for his 15th save in 20 chances.
The Braves (36-38) are only two games under .500 for the first time since April 19, when they were 6-8.
Garza allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings.
Keon Broxton led off the game with a single off Dickey. He stole second and later scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by Hernan Perez.
The Braves pulled even with three hits in the first, including a run-scoring single by Tyler Flowers to drive in Phillips.
Dickey did not allow more than one baserunner in any inning after the first.
Outfielder Nick Franklin, who was not in the starting lineup, was ejected by second base umpire Jerry Meals in the first inning. Franklin and others in the Brewers’ dugout were apparently objecting to the amount of time given the Braves to consider an appeal on Dickey’s pickoff attempt on Broxton at first base.
It was Franklin’s first career ejection.
Phillips homered in four straight games with the Reds on May 4-7, 2016.
Brewers: 2B Eric Sogard did not start after being hit by a pitch on his right elbow in Friday night’s game. Sogard walked as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. … Brinson started after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch Friday night. … Franklin (hamstring tightness) also was available before his ejection.
Braves: LF Matt Kemp (left hamstring) was held out for the second straight game.
Brewers: RHP Zach Davies (7-4, 5.40) has an 8.40 ERA in his last three starts and will face Atlanta for the first time this season.
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (6-5, 4.76) is 2-2 with a 1.91 ERA in six career starts against Milwaukee.
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