The Atlanta Braves erased a five-run deficit while Nick Markakis delivered a three-run walk-off home run in an 8-5 Opening Day win.
Things looked bleak for the Braves early as Philadelphia built a 5-0 lead. The Phillies wasted little time getting to work against Julio Teheran as Rhys Hoskins doubled home Carlos Santana in the first to put Philadelphia in front 1-0.
Teheran settled down from there before again running into trouble in the sixth. Cesar Hernandez led off the inning with a home run to extend the lead to 2-0. Teheran then got Santana to fly out and struck out Nick Williams before hitting Hoskins and walking Aaron Altherr.
That was it for Teheran as Brian Snitker went to his bullpen bringing in Rex Brothers to face the left-hand hitting J.P. Crawford. Brothers promptly walked Crawford to load the bases and then stayed in the game and walked Maikel Franco to make the score 3-0.
Snitker then turned to Dan Winkler who served up a two-run single to Andrew Knapp to extend Philadelphia’s lead to 5-0.
Atlanta’s comeback would begin in the bottom half of the inning. Aaron Nola entered the sixth cruising having allowed just two hits. Ender Inciarte led off the inning with a double before Ozzie Albies flied out to left. Gabe Kapler then elected to pull Nola after only 68 pitchers rather than have him face Freddie Freeman for a third time. Left hander Hoby Milner came on to face Freeman who jumped on an inside fastball and drove it into the right field stands for a two-run home run.
The score would remain 5-2 until the eighth when Albies led off the inning with a solo home run. Freddie Freeman walked and moved up to second on a walk by Kurt Suzuki. Freeman took third on a passed ball and came home when Knapp’s throw sailed into the outfield to make it 5-4. Preston Tucker then tied the game with a line drive single to center that scored Suzuki.
Arodys Vizcaino struck out the side in the ninth but not before Snitker was ejected by third base umpire Jordan Baker after arguing a non-strike call on a check swing.
Charlie Culberson led off the ninth against Phillies closer Hector Nerris with an infield single and moved up to second on a bunt by Inciarte. Nerris then got Albies to fly out before intentionally walking Freeman. That set the stage for Markakis who jumped on an inside fastball and drove it out for the walk-off winner.
#OpeningDay. Tie ballgame. Bottom of the 9th.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) March 29, 2018
Take it away Nick! #ChopOn pic.twitter.com/7Hr1Y7I7b5
Teheran picks up a no decision after allowing four hits and four runs over 5.2 innings. He walked three and struck out three. Nola allowed three hits and one run over 5.1. He walked one and finished with three strikeouts.