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ATLANTA — Cameron Maybin says he has “new-found energy” with the Atlanta Braves.
That energy has made Maybin perhaps the Braves’ biggest surprise in the season’s first half.
Maybin had three hits, including a home run, and the Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-5 on Saturday night in their best offensive showing in six weeks.
Maybin, who also reached on a throwing error by third baseman Mikael Franco in the eighth, is hitting .296 with seven homers. He added his 15th stolen base following the error. It was his second straight three-hit game.
“Good for us,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
“When he’s got his game going he can make an impact offensively, defensively and on the base paths.”
Maybin ranks with shortstop Andrelton Simmons and starting pitcher Shelby Miller as Atlanta’s top candidates for a spot on the NL All-Star roster. That’s no small accomplishment considering he didn’t have a full-time starting job when traded as part of a package that sent closer Craig Kimbrel and outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. to San Diego on April 5.
“We’ll see what happens, but I’m really enjoying my time here now,” Maybin said.
Kelly Johnson drove in three runs with two hits as the Braves scored their most runs since a 10-1 win over Milwaukee on May 21.
The Phillies, who have the majors’ worst record (27-56), have lost six straight and nine of 10.
Darin Ruf hit a three-run homer for Philadelphia in the fifth. Odubel Herrera added an eighth-inning homer off David Aardsma.
Alex Wood (6-5) won but wasn’t sharp. He allowed four runs, 10 hits and two walks in six innings.
“Pretty ugly,” Wood said following his first home win this season in six starts. “Probably the worst I’ve had in terms of command of all my pitches.”
Kevin Correia (0-3) allowed nine runs, matching his career high, and nine hits in 3 1-3 innings.
“I think my stuff was just a little off,” Correia said. “I was a little up on a couple pitches and when I did hit my spots, they still hit it hard. For whatever reason I just didn’t have that little extra I needed.”
Correia gave up nine earned runs for the San Diego Padres in an 11-5 loss to Arizona on Aug. 26, 2010.
The Braves scored four first-inning runs on five hits, including a double by Maybin and a two-run single by Johnson.
Maybin hit his seventh homer in the second and added a run-scoring single in Atlanta’s four-run fourth. Nick Markakis had a two-run double and Johnson knocked Correia out of the game by driving in Markakis with a single.
Cesar Hernandez had a run-scoring single off Wood in the third.
By losing the first two games of the weekend series against the Braves, the Phillies have lost 14 of their last 16 road series.
Andres Blanco (5-foot-10, 196 pounds), had two hits in his first start at first base as Ryan Howard was given the day off.
Blanco is much smaller than Howard (6-4, 250), but interim manager Pete Mackanin said adjustments were made.
“He’s wearing the longer mitt and some risers in his shoes to make him look taller,” Mackanin joked before the game. “He won’t be running as well as he normally does but he’s a little taller.”
Howard popped out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth.
Braves: LHP Andrew McKirahan is starting a rehab assignment at Triple-A Gwinnett while completing his 80-game suspension following a positive test for the banned substance Ipamorelin, which releases growth hormone. He can be recalled on July 20. His positive PED test came with the Marlins in March. He was suspended after he appeared in three games with Atlanta in April.
Phillies: LHP Cole Hamels will try to even his record in the final game of the series on Sunday. Hamels, 5-6 this season, is 16-9 in his career against Atlanta.
Braves: Miller will look for his third win over the Phillies this season. Miller is 3-1 against Philadelphia in his career, including 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA this season.