PHILADELPHIA -- Jeremy Hellickson turned in another solid outing, outdueled Bartolo Colon and got just enough run support to help steer the Philadelphia Phillies to a rain-delayed 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves on Friday at Citizens Bank Park.
Hellickson (3-0) retired the first nine batters he faced and cruised through seven innings of two-run baseball. The righty fanned five and walked none while allowing just three hits.
Joaquin Benoit pitched a clean eighth and Hector Neris made it 2-for-2 in save attempts. Neris, who was given his first closing opportunity of the season Thursday, allowed a leadoff home run to Adonis Garcia to cut the lead to 4-3 with rain coming down to start the ninth inning.
A rain delay of 24 minutes ensued as soon as Garcia crossed the plate, and Neris returned to the mound. Facing the heart of the Atlanta order, Neris induced slugger Freddie Freeman to pop out and retired Matt Kemp on a liner to right. He then got in a bit of trouble as Nick Markakis and Brandon Phillips slapped back-to-back singles to left field.
A visit from pitching coach Bob McClure settled down Neris and the righty struck out Tyler Flowers to end the game.
The Phillies (7-9) have won three of their last four games. The Braves (6-10) dropped their fourth straight.
In a 3-2 game in the bottom of the seventh, Maikel Franco gave the Phillies an insurance run with an RBI groundout that scored Cesar Hernandez, who doubled off Colon to start the frame. Hernandez went 3-for-4 with two runs scored on the night.
Colon (1-2) allowed four earned runs in his seven innings of work. The Phillies battered him for 11 hits. He walked one and struck out four.
A Freeman home run -- his seventh of the year -- with two outs in the sixth brought the Braves to within a run at 3-2.
But Hellickson was unfazed. He retired Kemp next to end the inning and pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, fanning Phillips and Flowers to end his night on a high note.
With Hellickson dominating early, the Phillies got a quick lead on Colon.
In the bottom of the third, with the Phillies already ahead 1-0, Aaron Altherr followed a Hernandez single with an RBI double. Altherr was later brought to the plate on a Tommy Joseph single.
Earlier, in the top of the second, Michael Saunders laced a one-out double off the wall in left and eventually scored the game's first run on a Freddy Galvis single that ricocheted off the large body of Colon for an infield single.
Ender Inciarte was Atlanta's first baserunner when he led off the third with a double to left field. Adonis Garcia drove him in with a single to get the Braves on the board and cut the lead to 3-1.
NOTES: Phillies OF Howie Kendrick may be out longer than the Phillies originally thought. Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said prior to the game Friday night that an MRI revealed Kendrick had a "grade one strain of the anterior margin of his right exterior oblique." Kendrick, who was put on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday and is hitting .333 in 39 at-bats, may miss two weeks. But Mackanin said they're taking it "day-by-day." ... After a seven-game homestand, the Braves started a nine-game road trip Friday. ... LHP Jaime Garcia (0-1, 4.67 ERA) gets the nod for Atlanta on Saturday against RHP Jerad Eickhoff (0-1, 2.75) of the Phillies.