PHILADELPHIA -- Braves third baseman Adonis García owned Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park.
He went 2-for-4 with two home runs, three RBIs and three runs scored in a 6-4 victory in 10 innings over the Phillies. He hit solo homers in the first and sixth, knocked in the game-tying run in the eighth then had a leadoff walk and scored the go-ahead run in the 10th. The Braves can sweep the series with a victory Sunday afternoon.
The Phillies did not help themselves defensively. Maikel Franco's error on a dropped foul ball in the eighth led to the Braves' game-tying run when Chase d'Arnaud walked on the next pitch and eventually scored on Garcia's grounder.
It was the second straight night the Braves have clawed away at an early deficit to win in the late innings.
"It's almost like happenstance now," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "It happens, then we just come back."
"I called the ball too late and I dropped it," Franco said.
In the 10th, the Braves scored twice on balls that did not leave the infield, with Ryan Howard's throw to the plate being just late on Tyler Flowers' grounder down the first-base line for the first run, and a fielder's choice off the bat of Jace Peterson plating the other.
"That was a really good jump by Adonis," Snitker said. "That situation, you're kind of leery about getting doubled off and really didn't expect that from Tyler, the way he's been swinging the bat. So that was a great read by [Garcia]. We'll take it anyway we can get 'em."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Maikel giveth and taketh: Franco went 4-for-5 with three doubles and one RBI. He singled and scored in the third, doubled to score a run in the fifth and doubled to lead off the eighth. But the third baseman's dropped ball proved costly. The error became a big moment in the game as it allowed d'Arnaud to score two batters later to tie the game at 4. Still, the Phillies hope Saturday's effort helps Franco finish the season strong.
"Last year he hit .280," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "I expect him to hit at least .280. He had a little bit of an off year in that respect, but he's an aggressive hitter and I like aggressive hitters. It was a great day to see from him." More >
Adonis goes a-gone-is: The Braves weren't able to mount much offense beyond the long ball against Vince Velasquez. But Garcia had no troubles against the Phillies right-hander. He sprayed homers to both sides of the ballpark, giving fans in right and left field souvenirs. Garcia's 12th and 13th home runs of the year gave him the second multi-homer game of his career, the other coming on Oct. 3, 2015. Since being moved into the two-hole on Aug. 17, Garcia is batting .314 and has slugged four home runs in 16 games.
"I honestly do feel good hitting in the two spot," Garcia said. "I feel like I'm seeing more fastballs because of the guys hitting behind me." More >
Velasquez finally goes seven: Velasquez had been talking a lot lately about his high pitch counts, but he put together an efficient start against the Braves. He allowed five hits, three runs (two earned) and struck out eight in seven innings, throwing only 92 pitches. It was the first time he had pitched seven or more innings since July 19. It was just the third time it has happened this season. After the game it was announced that Velasquez would be shut down for the rest of the season.
"It's not the end of the road," Velasquez said. "It's all about learning the game and knowing how to get better for next year. This game is fun to learn. That's pretty much all I'm going to do." More >
No power, no problem: It takes a little bit of luck to score like the Braves did in the 10th inning. And when a team has won now five in a row, that luck usually goes its way. Atlanta scored the go-ahead run on a dribbler off the bat of Flowers -- a swinging bunt to Howard. The next play, Peterson grounded out to first, which allowed another run to score. In all, the Braves plated two runs in the 10th without the ball leaving the infield.
"When it's not going good, you line out or hit into a double play," Snitker said. "We've had plenty of those stretches where it wasn't going our way. Like I keep saying, if you handle that and deal with it, there's usually something good on the other end of it."
"These games we're losing remind me a lot of the games we were winning in the beginning of the season. We just weren't making mistakes then." -- Mackanin, on the Phillies' recent struggles
THE MINORS MATTER
Each of the Phillies' six Minor League affiliates will finish the season over .500. It is the first time it has happened since 1953, when nine affiliates finished over .500. Four affiliates will play in their respective postseason: Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Double-A Reading, Class A Lakewood and the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Phillies. Class A Advanced Clearwater is just one game behind Dunedin in the Florida State League standings.
The Phillies challenged a call at third base in the third inning. Ender Inciarte hit a chopper in front of the mound with a runner on second and one out. Velasquez fielded the ball and threw to third base. Franco caught the ball, but moved out of the way of Dansby Swanson, who appeared to beat the tag. But the replay official in New York saw Franco tag Swanson, overturning the call.
The Phillies lost a challenge in the fourth when they thought Matt Kemp was out at third base trying to advance on a passed ball. Replay confirmed the call. He was safe.
Braves: Atlanta sends its ace, Julio Teheran (4-9, 3.12 ERA), to the mound on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. ET in search of a series sweep and tying a season high of six straight wins. Teheran picked up his first win in nine starts last time out, going seven innings and allowing two runs to the Padres.
Phillies: Right-hander Jake Thompson (1-4, 7.86 ERA) starts the series finale against the Braves on Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. Thompson struggled in his first four starts before allowing two runs in seven innings last week against the Nationals.
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