- Associated Press - Monday, September 7, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Aaron Harang came right at the Braves, and the Atlanta batters took full advantage.

Harang gave up five runs in five innings on his way to his major league-leading 15th loss in the Philadelphia Phillies’ 7-2 loss to the Braves on Monday night.

Harang (5-15) is 1-12 with a 6.33 ERA over his last 17 starts. He allowed eight hits with six strikeouts and three walks.

“They know I’m going to throw strikes,” Harang said. “That’s what I do. They came out swinging.”

Hector Olivera hit his first major league homer, doubled and drove in four runs and Williams Perez pitched seven strong innings to help Atlanta end its 12-game losing streak



Freddie Freeman homered and Jace Peterson and Andrelton Simmons each got three hits for the Braves.

Harang said a fourth-inning double by Olivera was the only bad pitch he threw, but Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin saw a pitcher struggling with command.

“If you don’t make pitches, you’re going to get hurt,” Mackanin said. “I sound like a broken record, but it always boils down to location and commanding your stuff.”

Brian Bogusevic homered for the Phillies, who have lost four straight and 11 of 14. Bogusevic, called up Friday from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, homered as a pinch hitter in the fifth in his first at-bat in the big leagues since 2013.

“He crushed that ball,” Mackanin said.

Olivera, the centerpiece acquisition of the Braves’ three-team deal with the Dodgers and Marlins in July, entered 2 for 15 in five big league games. He struck out swinging badly in his first two at-bats.

“They were horrible pitches to swing at,” Olivera said. “I wasn’t focused. I focused a little better on the next few at-bats after that.”

Perez (5-6) threw seven strong innings. The rookie had been 0-6 with a 9.50 ERA over his last seven games.

Perez earned his first victory since June 20, giving up two runs and six hits while striking out seven.

“For once all my pitches were working, and I was locating,” Perez, who didn’t walk anybody, said through an interpreter. “I felt really good out there.”

Atlanta, which stopped its worst skid since 1988, also had lost 13 in a row on the road since defeating the Phillies on Aug. 2.

“It’s been a real tough time getting W’s,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “What stuck out like a sore thumb was Williams not walking anybody.”

Freeman hit a two-run homer, his 16th, in the first. The Braves began the day with a majors-low 83 home runs.

Olivera’s two-run double in the fourth highlighted a three-run inning that made it 5-1. He hit a two-run homer in the ninth.

“I’m just happy I could contribute and help the club win,” Olivera said through an interpreter. “I feel that it builds more confidence, and the more we get going, I’ll start feeling better. All in all I’m just happy we were able to get the win.”

SMALL CROWD

The crowd of 15,125 was the smallest in the 12-year history of Citizens Bank Park. Once a regular sellout, attendance has dropped sharply at Phillies games in the last two seasons as the team’s losses have mounted.

“It’s really different,” Mackanin said. “Put it this way, it’s more fun (with a big crowd). You’ve got to win (to) pack the house.”

GOOD LUCK CHARM

In an attempt to end the losing streak, Gonzalez turned to backup catcher Ryan Lavarnway to bring the lineup card to the umpire prior to the first pitch. “It was definitely a superstition thing,” Gonzalez said. “And he’s going to do it tomorrow also.”

NICK FOR TWO

Nick Markakis, playing in his 1,500th game, hit a pair of doubles. He ranks fourth in the majors with 45 multihit games this year.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: Olivera returned to the lineup after sitting out Sunday’s game at Washington with a bruised left foot.

Phillies: C Cameron Rupp was back in the lineup. He missed two games after getting hit in the arm by a pitch.

UP NEXT

Phillies rookie RHP Aaron Nola (5-2, 4.02) tries to rebound from his worst outing when he starts Tuesday night against RHP Ryan Weber, who will make his major league debut. Nola gave up a career-worst six runs on nine hits in four innings of a 9-4 loss at the Mets last Wednesday.

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