For the second consecutive night, the Braves defeated the Phillies by a score of 2-1, pulling three games ahead (behind?) their division-mates in the race for the #1 pick in next year's amateur draft. Unlike last night, the Braves only struck late, with the big and only blow being a two-run double from Freddie Freeman off of Philadephia reliever Jerome Williams.
Ryan Weber and young Philadelphia hurler Jerad Eickhoff contained the offenses for most of the game. Weber continued his string of good starts by allowing just four baserunners and one run over seven innings; Eickhoff stymied the Braves to the tune of seven scoreless innings with five hits and two walks. Both starters struck out five opposing batters.
The Phillies struck for the first and only time in the second. Brian Bogusevic and Carlos Ruiz hit back to back singles off Weber to begin the frame, putting runners on first and third. Cody Asche then hit a ball to Freddie Freeman, who fired to Andrelton Simmons at second for an out. Simmons initially thought about throwing home to cut down Bogusevic at the plate, but ended up throwing back to Freeman for the surer out, putting the Phillies ahead 1-0.
The score would remain that way despite a few Braves threats. In the bottom of the second, the Braves got runners on first and third courtesy of hits from Simmons and Jace Peterson. But Michael Bourn hit a sharp ball that short-hopped Phillies first baseman Darin Ruf, who corralled the ball and threw home to get Simmons. On the one hand, the Braves were lucky Ruf didn't catch the ball and record a double play, but on the other hand, the fact that Simmons had to hold up to make sure the ball wasn't caught made it easier to peg him at the plate. The next inning, after Hector Olivera hit his first career triple (it was a ringing shot to right that nearly left the park), Eickhoff pitched around Freeman and got AJ Pierzynski and Cameron Maybin to make outs, stranding Olivera.
Innings four through seven were very passive: only one batter more than minimum came to the plate between both teams. But in the eighth, the Braves would break through. Facing Jerome Williams, who's been super-dreadful on an already-dreadful Phillies team, Nick Markakis led the inning off with a single through the middle, and Hector Olivera walked. This set up Freeman's big, full-count opposite field blast. Freeman thought he may have gotten all of it off the bat, but despite a leaping scramble from the Phillies' left fielder, Darnell Sweeney, the ball found some ground within the park, allowing both runners to score.
Arodys Vizcaino closed out the ninth with some flair. After completely carving up old friend Jeff Francoeur, Vizcaino allowed a double to Andres Blanco, who is somehow a good hitter for the Phillies this season. Vizcaino almost got himself and the Braves into hotter water against Sweeney, but Simmons made a routine-for-Simmons-but-still-fantastic diving catch on a ball headed up the middle. After a crazy wild pitch that moved Blanco to third, Vizcaino struck out Odubel Herrera on a full-count pitch to wrap up the game and notch his sixth save.
Nick Markakis had another multihit game, and Jace Peterson contributed two hits as well. The Braves won despite going 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and leaving seven men on base. Edwin Jackson managed to throw a clean eighth inning.
The Braves and Phillies wrap up their series tomorrow, but no matter what happens, the Braves won't start next week with the worst record in baseball.