Matt Kemp’s eighth inning RBI double was the big hit that put the Braves ahead for good and gave Atlanta a three-game sweep of the Phillies as they won tonight’s game 5-2.
While the first two games of this series were games that featured plenty of offense, runs were at a premium on Thursday night between these two teams. The Phillies were the ones who drew first blood in this one, and it came in the top of the third inning.
Jeremy Hellickson ended up being the unlikely candidate to start a scoring rally for Philly, as his one-out single off of Josh Collmenter kicked things off. Collmenter nearly got out of the inning unscathed when he got two strikes on Freddy Galvis, but he hit him with an 83-mph cutter to put him on base and extend the inning. Odubel Herrera then hit a blooper to shallow left field that eluded the Braves defense and brought in Hellickson to score the game’s first run.
The Phillies held onto their slender one-run lead until the sixth inning. By that point, Hellickson was forced out of the game due to a right knee sprain, and their bullpen had gone a couple of innings keeping the Braves at bay. That changed in the sixth, which is when Dansby Swanson put the Braves on the board by hitting his third career homer into the seats in left center field.
The game remained tied going into the eighth inning, and that was thanks to Josh Collmenter giving the Braves another good start on the mound. He went seven innings, struck out four, didn’t walk any Phillies, and only gave up that one run back in the third inning.
The eighth inning was when the Braves offense finally broke through. The only bad news about this inning was that Freddie Freeman struck out in his plate appearance. He was 0-3 going into this inning and the strikeout meant that he finished the night 0-4 and that means that his 30-game hit streak and 46-game on-base streak both came to an end.
Other than that, this was a fantastic inning for the Braves — Dansby Swanson’s leadoff walk was cashed in by Matt Kemp, who hit a deep double to right field to make it 2-1 Braves. Philadelphia intentionally walked Nick Markakis, but then they unintentionally put Anthony Recker on first base by hitting him. Consecutive singles from Jace Peterson and Rio Ruiz gave the Braves three more runs and that made it 5-1 going into the final frame.
The Phillies did manage to push one run past Jim Johnson, but he kept the damage at just that one run, and the Braves ended up taking the victory 5-2. That’s now 10 wins out of 11 for the Braves, and they’ll be entering the final series in the history of Turner Field on a high note following this sweep of the Phillies.