PHILADELPHIA -- Before Monday's series opener against the Phillies, Braves manager Brian Snitker said his team had a good chance to build off Sunday's improbable comeback win if they got a good outing from their starting pitcher.Mike Foltynewicz held up his end of the bargain. The Braves' lineup, however, did
PHILADELPHIA -- Before Monday's series opener against the Phillies, Braves manager Brian Snitker said his team had a good chance to build off Sunday's improbable comeback win if they got a good outing from their starting pitcher.
Mike Foltynewicz held up his end of the bargain. The Braves' lineup, however, did not have any offensive magic left.
Foltynewicz threw six strong innings, but he was bested by Phillies starter Nick Pivetta. The Braves were shut out for the third time this season in a 3-0 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Atlanta had only five hits in the defeat as its lead over Philadelphia in the National League East shrunk to a half-game.
Foltynewicz allowed one run and struck out five over those six frames. After issuing walks to two of the first five hitters, Foltynewicz found his command. An opposite-field home run from Nick Williams in the fourth inning was the only one of the five hits off Foltynewicz that caused damage.
"That first inning, I had no idea where the ball was going, for some reason," Foltynewicz said. "But I made an adjustment, and after that, we started being aggressive and attacking guys. It was one pitch, really. I was upset about that, because with the way Nick was throwing, I was going to try to not let anyone score with the night he was having."
Walks were an issue in Foltynewicz's last start, when he struck out 10 batters but walked five and needed 107 pitches to get through five innings against the Cubs. He threw 105 pitches in this one, his fourth start of the season against the Phillies, and the six-inning outing matched his longest of 2018.
"I was letting them put the ball in play instead of trying to strike everybody out," said Foltynewicz, who lowered his season ERA to 2.72. "I kind of got away from that in the last few games, with all those walks. So if we can get back to just attacking, I think we're going to be fine."
The Braves are 3-7 in Foltynewicz's 10 starts this season, but he's given the team a chance to win nearly every time he's taken the mound. Monday marked the ninth time in 10 starts that Foltynewicz allowed two runs or fewer this season.
The loss on Monday had a lot ot do with Pivetta, who had seven strikeouts and gave up just four hits over seven innings.
"[Pivetta] was pounding the zone," said Braves right fielder Nick Markakis, who had one of the four singles off Pivetta. "He's got that curveball working, he's got good life on his fastball. He didn't leave too many pitches over the plate to do damage."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Camargo gets caught: In the seventh inning, Johan Camargo drew a one-out walk, setting up a chance for the Braves to knock out Pivetta with Dansby Swanson at the plate and pinch-hitter Preston Tucker in the on-deck circle. But Camargo was thrown out by Phillies catcher Jorge Alfaro attempting to steal second base, and Swanson grounded out to the catcher.
Carle's scoreless streak snapped: Braves reliever Shane Carle allowed a two-run homer to pinch-hitter Aaron Altherr in the seventh inning. It was the first homer the right-hander has allowed this season, and it ended his 16 2/3-innings streak without giving up an earned run. The last time he gave up an earned run was April 11 against the Nationals.
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Braves were hoping to extend the game as they challenged the last out. Ender Inciarte was called out on the field as he attempted to bunt for a base hit with two outs. But Alfaro's throw beat him by half a step, and the Braves went down in order in the ninth against Hector Neris.
• Inciarte back in lineup one day after running into wall
Brandon McCarthy goes for his fourth win against the Phillies in as many tries this season on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park. McCarthy has a 2.25 ERA against the Phillies in 2018, and a 6.53 ERA in his other six starts. The Braves' offense will face right-hander Vince Velasquez for the fourth time this season in the 7:05 p.m. ET start.
Stephen Pianovich is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia.