PHILADELPHIA -- Saturday night's matchup with the Braves got off on the wrong foot for the Phillies when they announced first baseman Ryan Howard would be heading to the disabled list. The evening went downhill from there.
The Braves had no trouble against Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick in a 13-4 win. The loss pushed Philadelphia to 8 1/2 games behind first-place Atlanta in the National League East.
"It was their night," said Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick, who was tagged for six runs in five innings.
The Phillies had won three of their last four games, but fans were filing to the exits early during the blowout. The Phillies, on a vital homestand that carries them to the All-Star break, need a victory Sunday to win the series.
"You're going to have those games like tonight where nothing is going right," left fielder Domonic Brown said. "We hit some balls hard, and they made some great plays on us."
Andrelton Simmons led off the game with a home run against Kendrick. It would be a sign of things to come off of the Phillies' starter.
The right-hander -- who had a lot of success against the Braves previously in his career -- was in trouble every inning he was on the mound, and surrendered runs in four of his five frames. And though Kendrick sustained a "mild" concussion in his last outing when he was hit on the helmet with a pitch against the Dodgers, he said he felt fine.
"He had the ball up. His fastball and his changeup were up tonight," manager Charlie Manuel said of Kendrick's start. "It was the first time I saw him having trouble keeping the ball down. They kind of put it on us."
The Braves -- whose win was their 50th of the season -- also scored seven times in four innings against the Phillies bullpen. The biggest blow came when Jason Heyward launched a three-run home run off of reliever Joe Savery in the seventh inning.
Kendrick did not get much help from third baseman Michael Young in his final frame. Young failed to corral two playable grounders. He was originally charged with an error on one of the balls, but the official scorer later deemed it a hit, so all runs against Kendrick were earned.
Saturday marked the eighth time this season the Phillies have allowed 10 or more runs. Meanwhile, the team has only scored 10 or more runs once.
Braves starter Tim Hudson cruised through seven innings to collect his fifth win of the season. The righty struck out four, and allowed one run on five hits.
"It was a great night for everybody," Hudson said. "It's not usually that easy against these guys. These guys can be really tough at times. It makes my job a lot easier when we're able to put up some crooked runs."
Three of the Phillies' runs came in the final two innings. One of which was scored by Darin Ruf, who was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Saturday to replace Howard.
Ruf had to drive from Scranton to Philadelphia, and did not arrive at Citizens Bank Park until the fifth inning. But by the eighth inning, he was in the game playing first base. The 26-year-old, who made 12 appearances with the Phillies at the end of the 2012 season, was 1-for-2 with a single.
"I just think coming into an atmosphere where I can show up in the fifth inning and am comfortable hitting out there and playing that same night, it will help a lot," Ruf said of his Major League experience.
Brown took over the cleanup spot for Howard, and the All-Star selection went 1-for-4 with a single and three strikeouts. Brown did reach base on a strike-three wild pitch in the ninth inning and scored on a two-run homer by Young.
Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.