Derek Lowe took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and the Braves got to Cliff Lee for three runs despite 16 strikeouts as Atlanta won the series opener over the Phillies, 5-0.
Lowe allowed two hits over six shutout innings, walking one and striking out four. He retired 14 straight at one point and carried a no-hitter into the seventh, but after hurting his foot or ankle while running the bases in the top of the seventh, he promptly gave up a single to Shane Victorino to lead off the bottom half.
Fredi Gonzalez left Lowe in to face Placido Polanco despite Lowe being in obvious pain, and Polanco drilled a double to put two in scoring position with no outs. Eric O'Flaherty came in and did his job perfectly, striking out three straight batters to leave both in scoring position and preserve the shutout. Wrong pitcher for the situation but perfect results.
The Braves scored three of their runs in a five-pitch stretch in the third inning. Alex Gonzalez doubled off the left field wall with two outs, followed by a Chipper Jones single that scored him. Chipper scored from first on a Brian McCann double off the wall, and Dan Uggla drove in McCann on a double down the line.
The Braves added insurance runs in the ninth when Jason Heyward singled as a pinch hitter, stole second and scored on a single by Martin Prado. Gonzalez singled home Prado for the fifth run.
The top four hitters in the lineup combined for nine hits and four RBIs. Gonzalez had three hits, including a double, and one RBI. McCann had two doubles and one RBI. Chipper had a double and single with one RBI. Prado had two singles and one RBI. Uggla added an RBI on a double.
Behind O'Flaherty, Jonny Venters pitched a scoreless eighth. Craig Kimbrel did the same in the ninth.
Lee set a career high with 16 strikeouts in seven innings of work, allowing three runs on nine hits with one walk. He only had four outs on balls in play in the entire seven innings. He threw 117 pitches, 87 for strikes.
J.C. Romero pitched a scoreless eighth. Danys Baez allowed two runs in the ninth.
For more on the series, Braves fans check out Talking Chop and Phillies fans check out The Good Phight.