- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 17, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) - The last-place Phillies are eight games under .500 and still believe they have a chance in the mediocre NL East.

Ryan Howard homered and drove in the go-ahead run in Philadelphia’s five-run 13th inning, and the Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 6-1 Monday night.

The loss left the first-place Braves (36-33) just a half-game ahead of idle Washington in the NL East. The Phillies (30-38) are in last place, but only 5 ½ games behind Atlanta.

Reid Brignac, who had three hits, including a two-run triple in the 13th, said the Phillies have ample time to climb back into the race.

“Absolutely,” Brignac said. “I saw Miami dropped one (to the Cubs) today, too. There’s still a lot of baseball left. We’re only (5 1/2) out of first.”

The Braves lost in 13 innings for the second time in three days, following an 11-6 loss to the Angels on Saturday night. They have lost four of six and 12 of their last 20 games.

“I think we need to get on a little roll,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, who noted his team has played a string of long and late games.

“We’ve played three games in a row when we weren’t home before 1,” Gonzalez said.

Ben Revere led off the 13th win a sharp single up the middle off David Hale (2-2) before stealing second base and moving to third on Jimmy Rollins’ fly ball to right field. Following an intentional walk to Chase Utley, Howard hit a sharp grounder that took one hop through first baseman Freddie Freeman’s legs for an error as Revere scored from third.

“You’re always going to think about what could have been when you lose the game,” Freeman said. “Could have been (a win) if I’d caught the ground ball, get a double play right there, but it’s just one of those things. You’ve got to play perfect baseball when you don’t score a lot of runs.”

Marlon Byrd added a run-scoring single. Howard scored on a fly ball to deep right field by Carlos Ruiz before Brignac’s triple.

Antonio Bastardo (4-3) pitched two scoreless innings. Five relievers combined to allow one run in six innings.

“The bullpen was outstanding,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.

Cole Hamels allowed five hits in seven scoreless innings. The left-hander has pitched 23 2-3 consecutive scoreless innings over his last three starts.

“He has had quality starts several games in a row now,” Sandberg said. “He’s back to full strength. He pitched a heck of a game.”

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