Braves take series opener from Phillies
ATLANTA -- Cameron Maybin delivered a go-ahead single in the fourth inning and some solid bullpen work preserved the effort Williams Perez provided while helping the Braves claim a 2-1 win over the Phillies on Friday night at Turner Field.
Adonis Garcia's first-inning double and Maybin's two-out single accounted for the only runs Phillies starter Adam Morgan surrendered over six innings. But the production was enough for the Braves, who have won just five of their past 31 games. Three of those victories have been recorded against the Phillies.
"It's been a rough year for all of us," Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said. "It's nice to see the positive side of things. The whole pitching staff had a great game tonight. Hopefully they can carry that into tomorrow and we'll get a series win."
Perez scattered six hits over 5 2/3 innings and limited the Phillies to just one run, which came courtesy of Cameron Rupp's two-out solo homer in the second inning.
The Braves bullpen stranded eight runners while completing 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Arodys Vizcaino notched three strikeouts during a scoreless ninth inning that was marred by Hector Olivera error. Vizcaino notched three strikeouts, the last of which resulted in a wild pitch that landed in the stands and loaded the bases before Darin Ruf lined out to end the game.
"They gave us, what, six outs in that ninth inning? And we couldn't capitalize," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "Just an overall disappointing night. Just a bad night."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Maybin delivers: After Freeman delivered a one-out double in the fourth inning, he advanced to third base on Michael Bourn's flyball to center field. This set the stage for Maybin, who delivered his game-winning single to center field. Maybin entered that plate appearance 1-for-10 with six strikeouts since returning earlier this week from a left cornea abrasion.
Fanning Frenchy: The Phillies had a chance to break open the game in the sixth -- or at least get even, considering they were trailing 2-1 at the time -- but couldn't come through with two outs and the bases loaded. After knocking out Perez, and going through reliever Brandon Cunniff, Mackanin sent veteran Jeff Francoeur up against McKirahan. Six pitches later, every one of them a strike, Francoeur, the ex-Brave, struck out on an 84-mph slider.
Perez sets the tone: Other than allowing Rupp to hit a 1-2 fastball over the right-field wall with two outs in the second inning, Perez did not make many costly mistakes. After allowing singles to two of the first three hitters he faced in the fourth inning, he induced a Cody Asche flyout and gained some revenge with a threat-ending strikeout of Rupp. The Braves rookie has worked into the sixth inning and allowed three earned runs or less in each of his past three starts.
"There's some times you can live with physical mistakes and mental mistakes. But there are some times there are mistakes where we don't want to play those games here at the big league level. The young man will learn from that. He'll be back in there whenever he gets back in there. It just didn't sit well with me and I don't think it sit well with our fans, especially the way the season is going." -- Gonzalez, on why Garcia was pulled from the game after getting called out while lackadaisically returning to second base in the first inning.
"We're not getting the big hits we should get. The only way we're scoring is hitting home runs, and we're not a home run-hitting team." -- Mackanin, on the Phillies' offense
After Garcia hit an RBI double in the first, he strayed off second base and was tagged by an alert Ruf. Second-base umpire Jim Joyce's original safe call was overturned after the Phillies issued their first challenge of the game.
Pinch-hitter Chase d'Arnaud, stepping in for Morgan, led off the seventh inning with a bouncer to short. Andrelton Simmons fielded it and made a long-bounce throw to first, where first-base umpire Pat Hoberg called d'Arnaud out. The Phillies challenged, the call was overturned, and d'Arnaud was awarded an infield single.
Later in the seventh, d'Arnaud was tagged out at the plate when McKirahan fielded Odubel Herrera's comebacker and flipped the ball out of his glove to Bethancourt. The Phillies were unsuccessful with their challenge that Bethancourt violated the plate-blocking rule.
Phillies: Rookie right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (1-3, 3.90 ERA) is scheduled to make his sixth start of the season Saturday night at 7:10 ET when the Phillies and Braves square off in the second game of this three-game set. Eickhoff has made it to the sixth inning in all but one of his starts.
Braves: Atlanta will counter with Ryan Weber, who will be making his third career start. Weber surrendered two runs over six innings while making his Major League debut against the Phillies on Sept. 9 .
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