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Foltynewicz, Braves bounce back vs. Phillies

Righty strikes out six, allows one run in six sharp innings
Special to MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Mike Foltynewicz described his third meeting with the Phillies in the season's first month as a "chess match." The right-hander made the right moves Saturday night.

Behind Foltynewicz's six strong innings, the Braves picked up a 4-1 win at Citizens Bank Park to even the weekend series. It was the first time Atlanta beat Philadelphia in Foltynewicz's trio of starts against the divisional foe this season.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Mike Foltynewicz described his third meeting with the Phillies in the season's first month as a "chess match." The right-hander made the right moves Saturday night.

Behind Foltynewicz's six strong innings, the Braves picked up a 4-1 win at Citizens Bank Park to even the weekend series. It was the first time Atlanta beat Philadelphia in Foltynewicz's trio of starts against the divisional foe this season.

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The six-inning outing matched Foltynewicz's longest of the season -- which also came against the Phillies -- and he gave up just three hits and two walks while striking out six.

Video: ATL@PHI: Foltynewicz gets Hernandez swinging in 1st

"It was kind of weird facing these guys for a third time. It was a chess match," Foltynewicz said after he improved to 2-1. "...Kept them off-balance. Looked like they were taking some pitches today and letting me throw some strikes. Got first-pitch strikes, got ahead of them and they either rolled out or punched out. It was great defense and great bullpen."

Foltynewicz entered Saturday's start with a 6.27 ERA in four career appearances at Citizens Bank Park. But the only mistake he made Saturday was leaving a first-pitch fastball over the plate for Maikel Franco, who drove it to the left-field seats for a solo homer to start the fifth.

"He had everything going it seemed like," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "He was really on the attack, kept the ball down. It was really a solid outing."

Video: ATL@PHI: Foltynewicz nabs Hernandez at first

Foltynewicz, 26, lowered his ERA to 2.53 with the quality start. He was hoping to pitch into the seventh inning, but experienced some back tightness in the sixth. A team trainer visited the mound, but Foltynewicz finished the frame by getting Rhys Hoskins to pop out as rain fell in South Philadelphia.

"I would've liked to get to the seventh, but there was a little bit of precaution there. It was a long inning, it was raining, so we took a precaution," said Foltynewicz, who assured reporters he could "easily" make his next start. "But next time I think we'll get that seventh."

Offensively, the Braves chased Phillies starter Nick Pivetta after five innings. Nick Markakis hit a solo homer to start the scoring in the second inning. Freddie Freeman, who was robbed of a homer by Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera in the third, added an RBI triple in the fifth.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Winkler gets out of trouble: Dan Winkler came out of the Braves' bullpen in a tough spot. The Phillies had the tying run at the plate with one out in the eighth inning, and Winkler had to deal with the heart of Philadelphia's order. The righty struck out Hoskins looking and put Nick Williams away with a swinging strikeout to get out of the jam. It was Winkler's sixth straight scoreless outing.

"I don't know if you have the perfect matchup for [Hoskins] in your bullpen because he's such a good hitter," Snitker said. "But those were two really big outs. Those guys are both dangerous."

Three-bagger for Freeman: After he was robbed in the second inning, Freeman drove a ball where nobody could catch it in the fifth. His liner to the right-center-field gap rolled to the wall as he hustled into third base for his first triple of the season. It was Freeman's 17th career three-base hit and his first since Oct. 1, 2017 -- the final game of last season. 

Video: ATL@PHI: Freeman smacks an RBI triple to right field

HE SAID IT
"To go in the bushes is pretty good in itself to bring the ball out. The focus that it takes for an outfielder to make that catch is phenomenal." -- Snitker, on Herrera's home run-robbing grab

UP NEXT
Brandon McCarthy will take the mound for the Braves in their 1:35 p.m. ET series finale against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday. McCarthy is 2-0 in a pair of starts against the Phillies this season, giving up just three earned runs over 10 2/3 innings in those two starts. The Phillies will send right-hander Vince Velasquez(1-3, 4.50 ERA) to the mound.

Stephen Pianovich is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

Atlanta Braves