clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ninth inning rally delivers 8-4 win over Phillies

Matt Kemp hit a three-run homer to get the Braves back in the game after falling behind 4-0, and the offense came through late with a four-run rally to give the Braves their fourth straight win.

Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

I’m not sure anyone saw this offensive explosion coming, but it’s been fun to watch. Once again, the Braves put up a high run tally and a smattering of hits to top their opponents, this time relying on a four-run rally in the ninth to grab an 8-4 win in the series opener in Philadelphia.

Before the Braves could proceed with their late-inning fireworks, they first had to endure another outing from Joel de la Cruz. While de la Cruz was better than he had been in his last two starts, he still allowed four runs in five innings. The first run came in familiar fashion to Braves fans: with two outs and a runner on second (after a leadoff walk on four pitches, oy), Ryan Howard dunked a soft first-pitch liner into left field for a double. Things got even worse in the second, as de la Cruz allowed a leadoff single to Darin Ruf, a double to Freddy Galvis, and then an opposite field home run to A.J. Ellis to put the Braves in a 4-0 hole.

To his credit, de la Cruz did keep the Phillies off the board from there, giving the Braves offense a chance to do some work.

The Braves offense managed to load the bases in the first against Philadelphia starter Jeremy Hellickson, but failed to score when Tyler Flowers rolled back to the mound. For the next few innings, they were stymied by the resurgent Hellickson. But, undeterred, they erupted to tie the game in the fifth. Gordon Beckham got things started with a leadoff double, but the Braves avoided that particular curse, as de la Cruz bunted him to third and Inciarte drove him in with a single. With two outs, Freddie Freeman earned a walk, and Matt Kemp capitalized on a hanging curveball from Hellickson to tie the game with a deep fly to left center. Hellickson had one more scoreless inning in him after that, but left the game tied at four apiece.

Chris Withrow, returning from a disabled list stint, threw a scoreless sixth for the Braves. The Braves then managed two baserunners in the seventh, but neither Freeman nor Kemp could bring them home to take the lead. In the bottom of the frame, Jose Ramirez continued the good string of recent relief efforts by chipping in a scoreless inning of his own.

The eighth featured a lot of action, though ultimately no runs scored. The Braves threatened with three baserunners against Phillies reliever Michael Mariot, but due to some weird decisions in the inning (sending Nick Markakis and his lead feet on a 3-2 count with Tyler Flowers, who strikes out in literally about a third of his plate appearances for his career, resulting in a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play, and then pinch-hitting with AJ Pierzynski with two on, two out), another goose egg went on the board. In the bottom of the frame, Mauricio Cabrera got into hot water by allowing two singles to start the inning, but then struck out the next three hitters to send the tie into the ninth.

That’s where things instantly got fun. Phillies closer Jeanmar Gomez has been pretty good this year but totally melted down in this one. Inciarte and Adonis Garcia singled to start the inning, and then Freddie Freeman inside-outed an elevated sinker into left field for a bloop double, scoring Inciarte as the go-ahead run. With the infield shifted over for Kemp, he hit a ground ball to right field, scoring Garcia. That was it for Gomez (ouch), but the hit parade didn’t stop quite yet, as Nick Markakis doubled to drive in the third run of the inning. Tyler Flowers then capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly.

In the ninth, Jim Johnson allowed a leadoff double but nothing more to give the Braves their fourth straight win. They’ve scored at least seven runs in each of those wins. Inciarte and Matt Kemp both had three hits, while Freeman reached base four times.

These two teams will tangle (tango?) again tomorrow night, as the Braves seek to run their winning streak to five and keep the offensive outburst rolling along.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Battery Power Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Atlanta Braves news from Battery Power