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SD@PHI: Kendrick gives up one earned run over six

The Braves will be thinking about a fast start on Tuesday night when they square off against Kyle Kendrick at Turner Field.

The Phillies' right-hander has endured most of his struggles this season in the first inning, allowing 15 runs (13 earned) in the first frame in 13 starts this year.

Kendrick has a 9.00 ERA in the first inning and a 3.16 ERA in every other inning combined.

"I don't have an answer," Kendrick said last Thursday. "I've tried a lot of things. I don't know. Maybe next game I won't warm up."

In his last start, against the Padres, Kendrick put the Phillies in another early hole after surrendering two runs in the opening frame, but beared down the rest of the way. In his next five innings of work, Kendrick didn't allow a run en route to earning his second victory of the season.

Kendrick's counterpart on Tuesday night, Ervin Santana, began his first year in a Braves uniform 4-0. But in his last six outings, the right-hander has just one win.

Since posting a 1.99 ERA in his first six starts, Santana has produced a 6.99 ERA in the six starts that have followed.

"Nobody is perfect," Santana said last Thursday. "We're just trying to make good pitches. Sometimes they hit it and sometimes they don't. I'm just trying to keep the same positive mentality all of the time."

Santana has allowed one earned run in 13 innings in two career starts against the Phillies.

Phillies: Altherr fills in for Gwynn
The Phillies placed Tony Gwynn Jr. on the bereavement list Monday as he mourns the death of his father, Tony Gwynn Sr.

Gwynn Sr. died Monday at 54.

Gwynn Jr. left the team early Monday morning after flying with the team to Atlanta for the three-game series against the Braves at Turner Field. He can spend three to seven days on the bereavement list.

To take Gwynn's spot on the 25-man roster, the Phillies recalled outfielder Aaron Altherr from Double-A Reading. Altherr hit .245 with 11 doubles, one triple, four home runs and 23 RBIs in 52 games this season. Altherr will be making his Major League debut.

"I didn't see much at all [in the spring]," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He can play all three outfield positions. He had actually been really hot with the bat. He's been swinging the bat well."

Braves: Top pick Davidson signs
Three weeks after using his aunt's season tickets to watch the Braves play the Rockies, Braxton Davidson found himself back at Turner Field. Only this time, he was wearing a Braves uniform, interacting with Jason Heyward and taking batting practice with the big leaguers.

Davidson, the 32nd overall pick by Atlanta in this year's First-Year Player Draft, received the royal treatment as he spent Monday making the final preparations to begin his professional career. He signed his first professional contract, agreeing to the slotted $1,705,400 signing-bonus figure, and then spent the afternoon hours interacting with Braves players before they played a series opener against the Phillies.

"I'm speechless," Davidson said. "I get to play for the Atlanta Braves and hopefully be in the big leagues whenever I can -- three or four years hopefully, or a little sooner. But as long as I get there, that's fine."

Davidson is expected to report to the Braves' Gulf Coast League team in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., later this week.

Worth noting
• B.J. Upton stole his 11th base of the season on Sunday night, one away from his total all of last season.

• In Monday's series opener, the Phillies' John Mayberry Jr. had his 10th hit in 22 at-bats as a pinch-hitter this season.

• Heyward entered Monday tied for first among National League outfielders with six assists. Atlanta's outfield ranked third in the Majors with 13 assists. Comments