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Braves keep rolling, knock off Phillies

September 28, 2016

ATLANTA -- Dansby Swanson recorded a pair of extra-base hits through the first three innings and Matt Kemp provided Mike Foltynewicz more cushion with a two-run home run that accounted for just a portion of the damage the Braves produced against Adam Morgan in Wednesday night's 12-2 win at Turner

ATLANTA -- Dansby Swanson recorded a pair of extra-base hits through the first three innings and Matt Kemp provided Mike Foltynewicz more cushion with a two-run home run that accounted for just a portion of the damage the Braves produced against Adam Morgan in Wednesday night's 12-2 win at Turner Field.
After Swanson tripled during a two-run second inning and doubled during a three-run third inning, Kemp highlighted a four-run fourth with his 34th home run of the season. The abundance of support was more than enough for Foltynewicz, who allowed one run and two hits over five innings. That lone run came with the assistance of two wild pitches thrown in the third inning.
"Guys just kept putting good at-bats up," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "It was kind of like everybody did something to contribute. It was just another high-energy, get-after-it game. It was really good."

Morgan's attempt to finish this season on a positive note quickly soured as he allowed a career-high nine runs and 10 hits over five innings.
As the Braves rolled toward toward their ninth win within their past 10 games, Freddie Freeman singled in the sixth inning off Phil Klein to extend his hitting streak to 30 games, which now stands as the longest recorded in the Majors this season. He also extended his on-base streak to 46 games, which matches Washington's Jayson Werth for the longest produced this season.

The Phillies have allowed 63 runs in the past six games. Phillies veterans Ryan Howard and A.J. Ellis called a players-only meeting afterward. There might be only four games left in the season, but they still felt they needed to speak up.
"It's important to try and finish strong," Howard said. "It's easy to cash it in with four games left, you're not playing for a playoff spot or anything like that. You just want to be able to win and go out on a high note. You just want to finish on a positive note, and we've got four games to try and do that."
Kemp's power: There's no doubt the Braves' lineup has been positively affected by Kemp, who doubled during the third inning and then drilled the fourth-inning home run, which traveled a projected 423 feet with a 107-mph exit velocity per Statcast™. The veteran outfielder has collected 11 home runs over the 52 games played since joining the Braves on Aug. 2.

Morgan finishes on tough note: Morgan had a 3.69 ERA in his previous seven starts, but he could not carry his recent success into his final start of the season. He allowed 10 hits, nine runs, two walks and a home run and struck out four in five innings to finish the season 2-11 with a 6.04 ERA.
"It's not the way that I wanted to go out," Morgan said about his season's final start. "I made a lot of strides in the right direction and right there, that was not me. Going into the offseason you try to take the good and run with it and try to make improvements. I'm not going to go in the offseason sulking. I'm not going to go into the offseason thinking that I've got to be somebody that I'm not coming into Spring Training."

Folty ends strong: There were times this season when Foltynewicz looked like a potential ace and other times when he provided the reminder he still has not yet made 40 career starts. The former applied during this impressive effort against the Phillies, who saw the right-hander consistently spot his 98-mph fastball and aggressively attack with both his curveball and slider. Foltynewicz did not show any rust as he made his first start since being struck in the left calf by a line drive on Sept. 12.
"The stuff was live early on," Foltynewicz said. "I was hitting my spots. My curveball and slider were probably at the top of where they have been all year. We kept them off balance a lot during the early innings with a lot of curveballs and sliders. They were swinging over [the] top of them, and we were getting some fly balls." More >

Dubious streak snapped: Klein allowed two runs in the seventh inning, making it 12 consecutive Phillies relievers to make an appearance and allow at least one earned run. The streak started after David Hernandez threw a scoreless seventh inning Saturday in New York. It ended when Frank Herrmann pitched two-thirds of a scoreless inning following Klein in the seventh. Jeanmar Gómez then allowed a run in the eighth inning.
"It's all about pitching," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "Pitching keeps you in games. That's why we won 70 games. Now we're not getting the pitching."
"I felt [my feet] running, but I didn't feel them after the fact. Everyone asked how it felt. I said I was more nervous when I was on third base than I was during any of my previous [career plate appearances]. It was fun to get that one out of the way and get a win today." -- Braves' No. 15 overall prospect Rio Ruiz, who recorded his first hit with a triple in the eighth inning

"We have some older guys, Howie and A.J., that have been around, and they don't want to see guys stumble to the finish line. Finish hard, finish strong. We've had a good year in a lot of guys' eyes. We've improved on last year. There has been a lot of good things we can build off, and that's what the message was -- continue to work and get better." -- Cameron Rupp, on the players-only meeting after the game
The Braves will finish last in the National League East, but they recorded winning records against three division opponents -- the Phillies, Marlins and Mets -- this season.

The Phillies challenged a call in the second inning that Mallex Smith beat César Hernández to first base on a bunt attempt. The replay official overturned the call, saying the ball hit the interior of Hernandez's glove prior to Smith's foot touching first base.
Phillies: Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (12-10, 3.78 ERA) makes his final start of the season and possibly the final start of his one-year Phillies' career on Thursday night at 7:10 ET against the Braves at Turner Field. Hellickson will be a free agent after the season. The Phillies are expected to make him a qualifying offer after the season, expecting him to sign a multiyear contract elsewhere.
Braves: Atlanta will counter with Josh Collmenter, who will be making his third start since being acquired from the Cubs on Sept. 14. The right-hander has allowed four runs across both of his starts for the Braves.
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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for since 2001.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.