PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies are not a home run-hitting team, but they showed some serious muscle late in Sunday afternoon's 5-2 victory over the Braves at Citizens Bank Park.They hit back-to-back-to-back home runs to break a tie and sweep the Braves. Cesar Hernandez hit a two-run home run off Arodys
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies are not a home run-hitting team, but they showed some serious muscle late in Sunday afternoon's 5-2 victory over the Braves at Citizens Bank Park.
They hit back-to-back-to-back home runs to break a tie and sweep the Braves. Cesar Hernandez hit a two-run home run off Arodys Vizcaino to hand the Phillies a two-run lead. Aaron Altherr followed and ripped a solo homer into the Phillies' bullpen in center field, and Odubel Herrera hit a solo shot to left-center field against Ian Krol to make it a four-run game. The Phillies have won six of their last eight games to improve to 9-9.
"Very fun," Herrera said through the Phillies' interpreter. "You can imagine. That doesn't happen very often."
In fact, the Phillies had not hit back-to-back-to-back home runs since June 13, 2008, when Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell accomplished the feat in St. Louis. It was the first time they did it at Citizens Bank Park since May 18, 2004, when Bobby Abreu, Burrell and Jim Thome did it.
• Herrera bat flip caps back-to-back-to-back HRs
"It definitely motivated me," Herrera said about following Hernandez and Altherr with another homer. "I wasn't trying to hit it out of the park, but I wanted to make good contact."
Vizcaino had never previously allowed two home runs in a game, but he has now allowed three home runs within his past three innings. Before this stretch, he had surrendered six homers over 100 2/3 career innings.
"I think it was a good pitch [to Hernandez]," Vizcaino said of a knee-high slider through an interpreter. "I think he was just sitting on it. He just went down and got it."
Despite receiving nine strikeouts over seven strong innings from Mike Foltynewicz, the Braves suffered a sixth straight loss. They loaded the bases after Matt Kemp scored Freddie Freeman with a ninth-inning single. But Phillies closer Hector Neris shut the door when Tyler Flowers grounded out to end the game.
"Those guys in that room never quit," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "Eventually this thing is going to turn, and we're going to get the hits and be on the other end of this kind of thing. But you've got to handle something like this in order for it to happen on the back end."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Kemp leaves the yard: Kemp knocked his first home run since returning from the disabled list the opposite way into the first few rows of stands in right field to break a scoreless tie in the seventh inning. Phillies right-hander Zach Eflin was cruising up to that point, with the homer his only blemish on the afternoon. He pitched seven innings of one-run ball, allowing just four baserunners while striking out three.
"I felt really good today," Eflin said. "I did a good job of getting ahead in the count and getting early contact, trusting my sinker, and I stuck with that the whole game."
A GIDP preserves outing filled with K's: After showing off his nasty slider while notching his final three strikeouts during a perfect sixth inning, Foltynewicz surrendered three straight one-out hits, including Freddy Galvis' RBI single, in the seventh inning. After receiving a visit from pitching coach Chuck Hernandez, the Braves' young hurler was fortunate that his elevated 2-0 fastball to Andrew Knapp resulted in a ground-ball double play that kept the game tied, 1-1.
"A lot of pitches were up in that inning and they found the grass out in the outfield," said Foltynewicz, who allowed four hits and one run over his seven innings. "But that double play was huge. It could have ended up much worse. It was just a big pitch at a big time." More >
"He's a guy who throws hard. Those guys typically aren't going to locate that great. The first guy [Hernandez], I think he threw right down into his swing path. He's a rough ride for those guys. It just wasn't his day today." -- Snitker, on Vizcaino
"Ninety, 90 out of 100." -- Herrera, on his bat flip following his homer in the eighth.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Phillies have won four straight games for the first time since Aug. 10-14, 2016. Left-hander Joely Rodriguez earned his first big league win. He pitched two-thirds of a scoreless inning in the eighth.
Braves:Julio Teheran will attempt to extend his dominance of the Mets when Atlanta opens a three-game series at Citi Field on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Teheran has a 0.63 ERA over his past six starts against the Mets.
Phillies: Aiming to build off his best start of the season, Vince Velasquez will get the ball Tuesday when the Phillies host the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park at 7:05 p.m. ET. Opposing Velasquez for Miami will be Wei-Yin Chen, who was pulled after seven innings during a no-hit bid in his last start.
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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.