Freeman's double leads Braves over Phillies
ATLANTA -- All game, it seemed like the Braves were one hit away. In the eighth inning, Freddie Freeman supplied that hit in Saturday night's 2-1 win over the Phillies at Turner Field.
In the first seven innings, Atlanta stranded six runners and had a seventh thrown out at the plate. But in the eighth inning with two men on and no one out, Freeman drove a Jerome Williams pitch toward the left-field fence. Phillies left fielder Darnell Sweeney gave maximum effort, but he was unable to come through with the catch. Two runs scored, breaking the Braves into the run column for the first time all game.
"I was looking backdoor cutter and he just threw a two-seamer out where I was looking," Freeman said. "I was just able to get further down on it and put the ball over his head."
The win was just the Braves' eighth since Aug. 14, but it was the team's fourth against the Phillies over the same span. Edwin Jackson, who came in in relief of starting pitcher Ryan Weber, earned the win by throwing a perfect eighth inning, bridging the gap between Weber and closer Arodys Vizcaino, who earned the save.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Simmons' snag: With one out in the ninth inning and Phillies shortstop Andres Blanco on second base after a one-out double, Sweeney had a chance to atone for not catching Freeman's ball in left field. Sweeney ripped Vizcaino's pitch up the middle and looked to have tied the game, but Andrelton Simmons had different ideas. The Gold Glove shortstop ranged to his left and dove to pick off the liner and kept the Braves in the lead.
"Simmons saved the game there," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "If not we'd still be playing." More >
Weber's gem: Though he didn't go down as the winning pitcher, Weber turned in a dominating performance against all but two batters. Weber allowed singles to Brian Bogusevic and Carlos Ruiz to lead off the second inning and Bogusevic would score on a 3-6-3 double play off the bat of Cody Asche. But after that Weber was nearly perfect. The rookie right-hander retired 16 of the next 17 Phillies he faced and the one runner who reached base -- Darin Ruf on a walk -- didn't remain on base as Weber induced a double play against the next hitter.
"He pitched awesome," Freeman said of Weber. "He's been doing that since he came up. He pounds the zone and keeps the ball down and keeps the defense in. He was spectacular tonight." More >
Another good start lost: For the second straight night, the Phillies wasted a good outing from their starter. Friday night, it was Adam Morgan (just two runs allowed in six innings). On Saturday, Jerad Eickhoff went seven strong innings, didn't allow a run, scattered five hits, struck out five and got the no-decision. More >
Head's up Ruf: The Phillies carried a 1-0 lead into the eighth thanks in part to a head's up play by the Phillies' first baseman. With runners on first and third with one out in the bottom of the second, Atlanta's Michael Bourn hit a hard grounder to Ruf -- subbing for the injured Ryan Howard -- near the bag. Ruf initially bobbled the ball, but had the wherewithal to fire the ball home, where Ruiz put the tag on a sliding Simmons. Eickhoff would then strikeout Weber to end the inning.
"You don't want to all of the sudden name him Greg Maddux. But you know what, he compete." -- Gonzalez, on putting pressure on the 25-year-old Weber after one good start
"When you get three hits, you're not going to win many games. It's a shame we've had two real good pitching performances the last two days and it went for nothing." -- Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin, on the Philly starters on Friday and Saturday
Phillies: Rookie right-hander Aaron Nola (6-2, 4.11 ERA) will take the mound for the Phillies on Sunday afternoon at 1:35 ET in the season finale against the Braves at Turner Field. Nola is unbeaten in two starts against Atlanta (2-0, 1.50), giving up 11 hits and striking out 10 in 12 innings of work.
Braves: Julio Teheran will round out this three-game tilt on the mound for the Braves on Sunday. Teheran is 10-7 with a 4.34 ERA this year, but his numbers versus the Phillies make him look like a completely different pitcher. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA over three starts versus Philadelphia this year and has allowed 24 base runners in 21 innings. Teheran has factored in as pitcher of record in three of the Braves' last seven wins.
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