PHILADELPHIA — The Atlanta Braves are playing so poorly that even a routine rundown is difficult to execute.
Freddie Freeman hit his 100th career homer for Atlanta, but Williams Perez was knocked out in the fifth inning of a 9-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.
Atlanta has lost five in a row and eight of nine. It has one win in its last 13 road games.
The lowlight against the Phillies came in the fifth inning when Cesar Hernandez was caught between second and third because pitcher David Buchanan stopped at third on a hit to left. Hernandez put his hands on his hips and started to walk slowly back to the bag while catcher A.J. Pierzynski held the ball before throwing too late to second.
"He confused everybody," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said.
Domonic Brown hit a two-run homer for Philadelphia, and Ryan Howard drove in four runs. Buchanan (2-5) allowed three runs and eight hits in 7 1-3 innings after being called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to replace Cole Hamels in the rotation.
Perez (4-1) gave up nine runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings for his first loss in nine starts.
"In the first, his sinker wasn't sinking and they took advantage," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "In the middle, he did a nice job."
Freeman connected for his 14th homer in the eighth, a two-run shot the opposite way.
"It was nice to hit the ball hard to left field," Freeman said.
The resurgent and rebuilding Phillies won for the 11th time in 13 games since the All-Star break on a day they finalized a trade that sent Hamels to Texas. Philadelphia also dealt Ben Revere to Toronto before the non-waiver trade deadline. Earlier in the week, the Phillies traded All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon to Washington.
Despite their recent turnaround, the Phillies (40-64) still have the worst record in the majors.
Howard hit a bases-clearing double in the first inning to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead. He scored on Freddy Galvis' sacrifice fly.
Brown connected off Perez in a five-run fifth for his second homer of the season. Brown has gone deep in two straight games for the first time since June 2-3, 2013, when he was in the middle of a stretch of 11 homers in 15 games.
Buchanan and Cesar Hernandez had RBI singles and Howard walked to force in the ninth run.
Left-hander Mark Marksberry made his major league debut for the Braves and threw 1 2-3 scoreless innings.
RHP Matt Wisler (5-1, 3.43 ERA) takes the mound for Atlanta in the third of the four-game series on Saturday night. RHP Aaron Nola (1-1, 3.29 ERA) makes his third career start for the Phillies.