ATLANTA -- With his dad, James Phillips, and his children in attendance at SunTrust Park on Sunday afternoon, Brandon Phillips knew he had to make this Father's Day memorable.The Stone Mountain, Ga., native did just that by adding the final crescendo to a dramatic weekend. His second walk-off single in
ATLANTA -- With his dad, James Phillips, and his children in attendance at SunTrust Park on Sunday afternoon, Brandon Phillips knew he had to make this Father's Day memorable.
The Stone Mountain, Ga., native did just that by adding the final crescendo to a dramatic weekend. His second walk-off single in less than 24 hours gave the Braves a 5-4 victory over the Marlins.
"When I saw the inning start going, I was like, 'I think I am going to do it again,'" Phillips said. "'I am going to have another chance, and this is going to be pretty nice, especially to do this on Father's Day.' For me to do it two days in a row is a blessing in disguise, and I know my pops is happy to be here. My kids are happy, and all I got to say is that it's a beautiful day."
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Phillips seized his opportunity by jumping on an inside fastball from Marlins reliever Drew Steckenrider. His single snaked through the Marlins' five-man infield to score teammate Johan Camargo from third base.
"Both nights, we had the right guys up there," Braves manager Brian Snitker said after being ejected in the seventh inning by home-plate umpire Chris Segal. "I was watching on TV; the way he was taking pitches, he was going to put the thing in play somewhere. It is amazing even when they stacked the infield he found a hole somewhere."
The single gave the Braves their fifth walk-off win this year and their Major League-best 11th win in their final at-bat.
Phillips also became the first Braves player since Ozzie Virgil in 1988 to record consecutive game-ending RBIs. He joins Virgil, Dusty Baker and Denis Menke as the only players in Atlanta franchise history to accomplish the feat.
"Yesterday was crazy, but today was one of those epic things," Phillips said. "I never thought I had back-to-back walk-offs, but it wasn't just me but a team effort. The young guys went up there and did a good job -- Ender [Inciarte] and Camargo -- all these guys got it going."
Phillips has played well in his first season with the Braves. He is hitting .306 with four homers and 24 RBIs and has also provided veteran leadership to the team's young core. His presence has helped shortstop Dansby Swanson adjust and pitchers like Sunday's starter Mike Foltynewicz take the mound with confidence. They know that Phillips is there to back them up.
"It is awesome, and he has been playing great defense," Foltynewicz said. "He has won us games the last two days and even the whole season. It is great that we have these veteran guys stepping up in key situations with Freddie [Freeman] gone. It's awesome, and we are going to keep it going for sure."
Phillips loves being home to enjoy time with family and friends since being traded from the Reds. His family is at every game and has come to support him as he performs for the city that he loves. Phillips just hopes that he can keep it going for as long as his Braves career lasts.
"For me to see everyone on the regular basis is a blessing in disguise and a dream come true to put a Braves jersey on," Phillips said. "I am finally doing that and playing pretty good."
Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta.