Baseball is a game of adjustments, they say, and after getting tattooed all season long in the first inning, Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick made an adjustment to his pre-game warmup routine Tuesday night.

Instead climbing the bullpen mound about 20 minutes before game time, Kendrick started throwing a little earlier, took a 10-minute break then threw some more off the mound.

It worked.

Kendrick got through the first inning without allowing a run -- in fact, he struck out the first two batters on six pitches -- as he helped the Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves for the second straight night, 5-2, at Turner Field.

Entering the game, Kendrick had allowed 13 earned runs in the first inning of his 13 starts. That's a 9.00 ERA.

“I put up a zero in the first inning, that’s the main thing,” he said.

It was imperative that Kendrick put up a zero in the bottom of the first because he was staked to a 2-0 lead in the top of the inning as Jimmy Rollins doubled to lead off the game and Ryan Howard homered on a full-count pitch from Ervin Santana with two outs.

Throwing back an early lead like that would have been demoralizing to the whole team. Putting up the zero was a positive tone-setter for the night.

“We got those two runs, it was big,” Kendrick said. “I knew I had to put up a zero.”

Kendrick went seven innings and allowed just two runs for the night. He struck out six and walked just one. He is 8-2 with a 3.23 ERA in 22 career games (16 starts) against Atlanta.

He loves pitching in Atlanta, especially on muggy nights. The warm night might have helped cure his first-inning woes as much as his new warmup exercise.