The Braves sent Brandon McCarthy to the mound to duel things out with Vince Velasquez and both pitchers were on top of their games today.
The first inning went quickly for both teams but not without some excitement. The first inning would not have gone scoreless without a sensational play from Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte against Scott Kingery who lifted a deep fly to the wrong part of the ballpark.
The game continued from there to move at a fast pace as neither team could get anything going until the fifth inning came along.
After a double play ball cleaned the bases Andrew Knapp was able to slice a single to center and was advanced to second on the very next pitch that got away from Kurt Suzuki. The opposing pitcher Vince Velasquez then, predictably, dribbled a single through to center field to score Knapp and give the Phillies a 1-0 advantage.
The Braves would respond in a big way in the bottom of the frame after a Preston Tucker walk and Dansby Swanson single. The next batter was Ryan Flaherty who proceeded to deposit the first pitch he saw into the right center field seats with a shot measured at 107 MPH off the bat travelling 428 feet into the night putting the Braves up 3-1.
After nothing got going in the sixth inning the Phillies got back to work against Shane Carle. Carle walked Maikel Franco to lead off the inning and then was hurt by an error from Ozzie Albies who booted a chance for a double play to put runners on first and third with nobody out. The Phillies pinch hit Carlos Santana in the pitchers spot and Ozzie was able to redeem himself by turning two as the Braves conceded a run. Carle finished with a strikeout to hold off the Phillies and keep the Braves up 3-2.
Dansby Swanson led off the next inning and decided that he would give the pitching staff a little breathing room with a rocket shot to the Hank Aaron home run porch in left field to put Atlanta up 4-2. Unfortunately the rest of the Braves went down in order as Johan Camargo made his return in a pinch hit appearance but struck out swinging.
The eighth inning will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. After Ozzie Albies struck out to begin the inning Freddie Freeman was plunked on the same hand he broke last season and immediately left the field. He was replaced by Charlie Culberson who would come around to score after consecutive singles by Nick Markakis and Kurt Suzuki. Markakis too would score after a balk by Phillies pitcher Hoby Milner. After Dansby Swanson was intentionally walked Ryan Flaherty made Philadelphia pay with another RBI hit to left field that scored Suzuki to bring the Braves tally to 7-2.
A.J. Minter was brought in for the top of the ninth inning to finish things up and immediately walked Rhys Hoskins to open the frame. Then after a wild pitch Hoskins was brought around to score on a double by Aaron Altherr to make the score 7-3. Minter then settled down well and was able to induce a groundout, a strikeout and a flyout to end the game and give Atlanta the win.
The Braves are right back in action tomorrow night against the red hot Mets. Stay tuned for updates on Freddie Freeman’s status.