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BREAKING: Braves offense shut out again in loss

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In a developing story the Braves offense is apparently very bad

Kevin C. Cox

Mike Minor had another solid start and the Braves didn't get no hit. That was about all the positives that could be gleaned from the game as the Braves lost to the Phillies 4-0 on Tuesday night.

The bottom of the first inning was a frustrating one for the Braves offense but in retrospect it was the high mater mark for the team on the night. Jason Heyward immediately ended any hope of a repeat no-hitter by leading off the bottom of the first with a double. Heyward advanced to third on a groundout and Freddie Freeman walked. Kyle Kendrick then hit Justin Upton in the arm for the second time this season to load the bases with one out. Anybody who has been watching Atlanta this year could predict what followed as Evan Gattis and Chris Johnson both struck out to end the inning with no runs scoring.

After that the Braves offered little resistance at the plate. Minor was excellent on the mound for Atlanta but anything less than perfection wasn't going to be enough, Minor made his first mistake of the night when he allowed Carlos Ruiz to lead off the 5th inning with a solo homer. Minor is always going to have home run problems but when he isn't struggling with his command he can limit the damage as he did Tuesday night. It was 1-0 after five and that deficit couldn't help but feel rather large.

Things got worse for Atlanta in the sixth inning when Justin Upton had to leave the game with an arm injury he suffered on the hit by pitch in the first inning. Upton was replaced by Ryan Doumit who continues to play meaningful innings for Atlanta despite being generally worse this season than Dan Uggla was. The Phillies would compound the Braves misery by scoring their second run in the top of the sixth. Ben Revere led off the inning with a single and stood at third with two outs and Ryan Howard up. Howard is an abysmal hitter against lefties at this point in his career but Minor walked him to bring up Darin Ruf. Ruf made Minor pay with a single to extend the Phillies lead to 2-0.

The Braves mounted their last actual challenge in the bottom of the sixth. Heyward doubled for the second time in the game and Freeman walked once again. With two runners on and the game on the line Doumit came to the plate for Atlanta as he was batting in Justin Upton's spot. As you might expect from a hitter with a 48 wRC+ Doumit failed to reach base and the subsequent Evan Gattis groundout ended the inning. Overall Kyle Kendrick held the Braves to three hits and no runs over seven innings. Kendrick came into the game with a 4.97 ERA on the season and a 6.59 ERA in his last ten starts.

The Phillies pushed across two more runs but it was essentially piling on at that point. The Braves will win no games in which they don't score and the team has scored one run in their past four games. The offense just isn't good enough and features too many players who can't keep the line moving or hit the ball with authority. This is a team going nowhere with an offense that continues to come up with new ways to define the word putrid.