ATLANTA -- Gabe Kapler is not one to collect mementos from his baseball career. He very rarely wears his World Series championship rings from the 2004 and '07 Red Sox. In fact, he barely looks at them.But he got a few new collectibles Friday night. Phillies right-hander Andrew Hutchison walked
ATLANTA -- Gabe Kapler is not one to collect mementos from his baseball career. He very rarely wears his World Series championship rings from the 2004 and '07 Red Sox. In fact, he barely looks at them.
But he got a few new collectibles Friday night. Phillies right-hander Andrew Hutchison walked into Kapler's office following a 5-4, 11-inning victory over the Braves at SunTrust Park to drop off the ball that recorded the final out. It represented not only the Phillies' first victory of the season, but Kapler's first as Phillies manager.
Kapler got the lineup card, too.
"Pretty exhilarating," Kapler said. "I think it was a really shared victory. There were a lot of contributions. A tremendous performance by our bullpen. We've discussed this and continue to say it: It's the strength of our club, a major strength of our club. We're going to continue to lean on those guys."
Kapler used nine different pitchers in the victory. Starter Nick Pivetta threw 73 pitches in four innings, as Kapler asked Victor Arano, Hoby Milner, Edubray Ramos, Adam Morgan, Yacksel Rios, Luis Garcia, Hector Neris and Hutchison to record the final 21 outs. The nine pitchers were the most used by the Phillies in a non-September game since Aug. 24, 2013, when they used 11 against the D-Backs. Kapler also used six different pitchers in Thursday's much maligned and thoroughly dissected Opening Day loss.
It seems aggressive bullpen usage is going to be a thing for the Phillies this season.
"I'm well aware that we can't use everybody every night, if that's what you're asking me," Kapler said. "But I can also tell you that we'll be creative and we'll be flexible and we'll find ways to put together a bullpen that's going to be protective."
Rhys Hoskins hit his first home run of the season to open the scoring in the third inning, and Carlos Santana followed with his first Phillies hit and homer in the fifth to tie the game at 3. Santana picked up three RBIs, including the game-winning sacrifice fly in the 11th that plated J.P. Crawford. Santana fell behind Braves reliever Shane Carle 0-2, but he battled back to hit a 2-2 fastball to left field to get the winning run home.
• Hoskins, Santana hit first HRs of 2018
"Unbelievable at-bat," Kapler said of Santana in the 11th. "Incredible at-bat. Down 0-2 on swings that weren't perfect Santana swings, but he grinded, he battled, he saw pitches and then he was able to get the fat part of the bat on the ball and drive the ball out to left field. A really exceptional at-bat."
But it was an equally exceptional performance by the Phillies bullpen. The only hiccup came in the eighth when the Braves scored a run against Garcia to tie the game.
"You just stay patient, stay calm and when they call your number, you come in and do your job," Hutchison said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Good fortune: Crawford reached via catcher's interference with one out in the third inning and raced to third base when Cesar Hernandez laced an opposite-field double past the third-base bag. Santana then followed with a sacrifice fly.
"Don't try too much," Santana said of his approach. "Thinking up the middle and make good contact."
Leadoff walk: Braves reliever Jose Ramirez issued a costly leadoff walk to Aaron Altherr to begin the sixth with the game tied at 3. Altherr stole second base against Braves catcher Chris Stewart and scored to make it 4-3 when Nick Williams laced Ramirez's 0-2 fastball to left field.
"It's a special moment stepping on the field. It's something you work for your whole life. It's incredible." -- Phillies rookie Scott Kingery, on picking up two hits in his Major League debut
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SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
It was Hutchison's first win since April 24, 2016, and the first of his career as a reliever.
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Phillies won a big challenge in the eighth inning. Dansby Swanson doubled to left field with two outs to score Peter Bourjos as the go-ahead run. But the Phils challenged the play, believing Bourjos' right leg slid over the plate as catcher Andrew Knapp tagged him. Replay officials overturned the call, calling Bourjos out. It kept the game tied at 4 and allowed the Phillies to win three innings later.
"Cam, man, he is so dependable," Kapler said of Phillies video coaching services director Kevin Camiscioli, who works the Phillies' review system in the clubhouse. "And [bench coach Rob Thomson] was right on top of it. Everything we do as a team, and I'm really proud of the group collectively tonight."
In the top half of the eighth inning, Hoskins was on first and was called out on a pickoff throw from Braves reliever Peter Moylan. The Phillies challenged, and Hoskins was ruled safe.
Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez makes his 2018 debut in Saturday's series finale against the Braves at SunTrust Park on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET. This is a big season for Velasquez, who is trying to prove he belongs in the rotation. If he struggles, the hard-thrower could be moved into the bullpen.
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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.