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Buerhle has shortest outing of season as Blue Jays fall to Phillies 7-4

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PHILADELPHIA — Mark Buerhle wasn't displeased at all after the shortest outing of his season.

Buerhle lasted just four innings while Aaron Altherr homered, doubled and drove in three runs and fellow rookie Adam Morgan pitched seven strong innings to lead the Philadelphia Phillies past the Toronto Blue Jays 7-4 on Wednesday night.

Buehrle (13-6) gave up four runs and seven hits. Since May 29, Buehrle hadn't allowed more than three earned runs in his last 13 starts while going at least seven innings in 11 of those games.

Buehrle, though, felt he pitched well.

"I wish I could have a lot of these nights," he said. "My location was good. I thought my stuff was better than my last four outings. Just bad luck. I had a bad start, but I was making my pitches."

Jeff Francoeur and Andres Blanco also homered for Philadelphia, which snapped a four-game losing streak.

The Phillies traded six-time All-Star second baseman Chase Utley to the Los Angeles Dodgers after the game for Triple-A outfielder Darnell Sweeney and Single-A right-hander John Richy. Utley didn't play, but got a standing ovation after the game and he tipped his cap to the crowd.

After trading left-hander Cole Hamels at the July deadline and shortstop Jimmy Rollins last offseason, only Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz remain from Philadelphia's 2008 championship team.

Edwin Encarnacion homered for the wild-card leading Blue Jays, who fell two games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East. Toronto lost for just the fourth time in its last 20 games.

"It's a logjam right now," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We've got to get back in it. Somebody else could, also. It's good baseball."

The Phillies jumped on Buehrle for three runs in the first on Francoeur's sacrifice fly, Darin Ruf's RBI single and a run-scoring double by Altherr. It was the first career hit for the 24-year-old Altherr, a 2009 ninth-round draft pick who was called up to fill the roster spot of Maikel Franco after the rookie third baseman was placed on the disabled list on Tuesday with a fractured left wrist.

"It's a strange game," Buehrle said. "Sometimes you don't think you're pitching good, but things work out my way."

On this day, they didn't.

Francoeur's two-out homer in the third made it 4-0, and Buerhle crouched down next to the mound and hung his head when the ball just cleared the wall in left at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park.

PHOTO: Philadelphia Phillies' Aaron Altherr, right, is hit with a shaving cream towel by teammate Freddy Galvis after a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 7-4. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia Phillies' Aaron Altherr, right, is hit with a shaving cream towel by teammate Freddy Galvis after a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 7-4. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

"You never know in this ballpark," Gibbons said. "You just have to hold your breath sometimes."

Morgan (4-4), had success against one of the league's most potent offenses. The left-hander surrendered two runs and five hits while striking out three without a walk in seven innings.

"We couldn't do anything with Morgan although I thought we had him on the ropes in the fifth," Gibbons said.

Encarnacion extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a homer leading off the fifth. It gave the Blue Jays at least one home run in 11 straight road games while bringing them within 4-1. Cliff Pennington's RBI double in the inning made it 4-2.

The Phillies scored three runs in the bottom of the frame off Bo Schultz. Blanco led off with a drive over the wall in right, and Altherr hit a two-run shot to left to put Philadelphia in front 7-2.

"They have a lot of good young players," Gibbons said. "They had good performances at the plate and hit the ball hard."

The Blue Jays got two runs back in the eighth without a hit. They were helped by two walks from Luis Garcia and second baseman Cesar Hernandez's error.

Philadelphia won for just the second time in the last 12 games against Toronto.

Ken Giles pitched a scoreless ninth for his eighth save in 11 chances.

TAKE IT TO THE BANK

Francoeur has five homers in his last nine games at Citizens Bank Park.

SLUMPING JAY

Blue Jays OF Kevin Pillar is 8 for his last 56 (.143) after going 0 for 4.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: After Thursday's day off, Toronto plays the first of three at the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night with LHP David Price (11-4, 2.41) facing LHP Hector Santiago (7-6, 2.86).

Phillies: Philadelphia opens a four-game series at Miami on Thursday night with RHP Jerome Williams (4-8, 5.47) opposing LHP Brad Hand (2-3, 4.74).

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