ATLANTA -- A suddenly red-hot Odubel Herrera recorded three hits and Tommy Joseph drilled a towering first-inning home run against Bartolo Colon, whose latest ugly outing enabled the Phillies to open a four-game series with Monday night's 11-4 win over the Braves at SunTrust Park.Herrera highlighted his third consecutive multi-hit
ATLANTA -- A suddenly red-hot Odubel Herrera recorded three hits and Tommy Joseph drilled a towering first-inning home run against Bartolo Colon, whose latest ugly outing enabled the Phillies to open a four-game series with Monday night's 11-4 win over the Braves at SunTrust Park.
Herrera highlighted his third consecutive multi-hit game with a two-run homer during a five-run fourth inning, which chased Colon and enabled the Phillies to cruise toward their third consecutive win. Joseph gave starting pitcher Nick Pivetta an early cushion when he capped a three-run first inning with a two-run homer that traveled a projected 386 feet with a launch angle of 40 degrees -- the highest homer hit by a Phillie this year, per Statcast™.
Herrera, Joseph and Aaron Altherr went a combined 9-for-14 with three doubles, three home runs and eight RBIs.
"Well, I really like the ballpark at first sight, beautiful ballpark, and I think our hitters like the ballpark, too," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "Especially Odubel, Altherr and Joseph. We swung the bats well. We've been swinging them well for three days, and that's great to see."
Colon allowed eight earned runs and seven hits over 3 2/3 innings. The 44-year-old hurler's ERA ballooned to 7.78 as he created a significant early deficit for the Braves, who received a double and two-run triple from recently-promoted infielder Johan Camargo as well as RBI singles from Nick Markakis and Brandon Phillips.
After the game, Braves manager Brian Snitker did not commit to Colon making his next turn during Saturday's doubleheader against the Mets.
"They hit me hard in the first inning, but I was able to get through it," Colon said through an interpreter. "In the fourth, like I've said before, if you leave pitches up in the zone, they're going to make you pay for it. That's what happened."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Not for long: Colon opened the third inning by recording his fourth strikeout within a span of five batters. He then got ahead of Herrera with a 0-2 count before the Phillies' center fielder turned on an inside fastball and drove it to the right-center-field wall for his second double, positioning him to jog home on Joseph's two-out double.
"When he missed, he really paid for it," Snitker said of Colon, who has allowed opponents to hit .380 against him over his past eight starts.
Brief scare: Braves first baseman Matt Adams laced a fourth-inning infield single that glanced off Pivetta's right hand. The right-hander walked Rio Ruiz and allowed Camargo's two-run triple before ending the inning. He surrendered another run in the fifth on Markakis' RBI single, but escaped further damage in that inning and positioned himself for what was his first career win. He hadn't completed more than four innings in any of his previous four starts. Teammates celebrated the moment, throwing Pivetta into a cart and dousing him with shaving cream and baby powder.
"Phenomenal," Pivetta said.
"It's the same game, same players. You've got to mimic what you do down there up here. You've done it before, you can do it again. I know I can do it. I just need to get past that fifth inning now, which I need to do better to limit those bullpen guys, because I don't want to wear them out. That's what I'm going to work toward next time." -- Pivetta, on turning Triple-A success into big league success. Pivetta has not pitched more than five innings in his first five starts.
"It's the same kind of run he had at the end of last year. He's swinging that bat nice. He's not trying to do too much. He's taking what they give him. He's in a nice little groove right now." -- Snitker, on Ender Inciarte, who reached safely in his last 10 plate appearances (7-for-7 with three walks) before grounding out to end the game on Monday
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Herrera doubled in the first and third innings to become the first Phillies player since 1913 to double twice in three consecutive games. He is the fifth Phillies player to have two or more extra-base hits in three consecutive games. Dolph Camilli (1936) holds the franchise record at four. Herrera also homered in the fourth, becoming the second Phillies player since '13 to have two doubles and one homer in consecutive games. Del Ennis ('52) is the other.
Phillies: Right-hander Aaron Nola (2-3, 5.06 ERA) faces the Braves on Tuesday at SunTrust Park at 7:35 p.m. ET. Nola is 0-3 with a 5.63 ERA in three starts since returning from the 10-day disabled list last month with a strained lower back.
Braves:Jaime Garcia (2-3, 3.18 ERA) will take the mound when this four-game series resumes Tuesday. Garcia has allowed just one earned run over his past 21 1/3 innings and none of his past 14 innings.
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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.
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.