A four-run deficit ended up being child’s play for the Braves, as they proceeded to put 12 runs on the board in order to pick up a big 12-6 win over the Phillies — clinching another series victory over their divisional rivals from Pennsylvania.
At first glance, Mike Soroka’s extremely rough first inning may have come off as a bad omen. Instead, it turned out to be a tone-setter for how the rest of the game would end up going. Still, it was definitely concerning to see the first three Phillies all hit singles, with Bryce Harper’s single putting Philadelphia on the board to start off. J.T. Realmuto and Cesar Hernandez eventually added RBI singles of their own and by the time the top of the first was over, Philadelphia had a four-run lead.
Indeed, this may have just put the onus on the Braves to put some runs on the board. The offense was up to the task, as they immediately went to work trying to lift Soroka after his rough entrance. After Ronald Acuña Jr. fought Zach Eflin for 13 pitches before eventually striking out, Dansby Swanson followed it up by putting one into the seats to put the Braves on the board. Freddie Freeman followed that up with a double and then Nick Markakis eventually brought him home with a double of his own, and the deficit was cut in half after just one frame.
Mike Soroka got his act together for the second inning, and the offense went right back to work in making Philadelphia’s lead disappear. A walk for Ozzie Albies and a good sacrifice bunt from Soroka brought up a scoring chance for Acuña, and the Home Run Derby participant showed off his speed in order to force Jean Segura into a tough throw. Segura’s throw went awry, and Acuña made it to second base while Ozzie easily scored. Dansby Swanson immediately jumped on Eflin and hit a double and the Braves had effectively shown the baseball world how to make a four-run deficit disappear in relatively short time. The home team wasn’t done, though.
The third inning rolled around, and the Braves got two men on thanks to a one-out double from Nick Markakis and a two-out walk from Brian McCann. That set the stage for Ozzie Albies to hopefully do something big, and he duly delivered some Fourth of July fireworks with a massive blast to the upper reaches of the Chop House. The four-run deficit was now a distant memory, and the Braves were now up 7-4.
Atlanta’s offense was still hungry for more, and their voracious appetite for runs carried over into the fourth inning. Edgar Garcia came on in relief for Eflin, and it initially seemed like Garcia was going to bring things under control for the Phillies as he picked up a strike out and a flyout of the top two batters in the Braves’ order. Then Freddie Freeman and Josh Donaldson both proceeded to ruin any sense that Philadelphia was going to settle into things, as they hit homers in back-to-back fashion. It was now 9-4, and Philadelphia was now tasked with trying to get out of a bigger hole that they had dug for the Braves after the top of the first inning.
To the credit of the Phillies, they kept at it. After Mike Soroka exited with two outs in the fifth inning, they found a way to break through against Atlanta’s bullpen by the time the sixth inning rolled around. That was when Sean Rodriguez hit a solo shot off of Grant Dayton and then later on in the inning, Rhys Hoskins capped off a rally against Jacob Webb by hitting a double that plated Jean Segura and made it 9-6. The Phillies weren’t quite there, but they were attempting to make a climb in the same fashion that the Braves had done earlier.
Fortunately for us Braves fans, Philadelphia’s offense stopped there but Atlanta’s offense didn’t. After three innings of silence, the bats woke up again for the Braves. Ozzie led off the eighth inning with a walk, and then Acuña took a walk with one out. Dansby Swanson then came up to bat and he capped off what was already a good night for him by transforming it into a great night by sending one high into the humid night sky of Cobb County — the ball eventually landed in the seats in left field, giving the Braves a 12-6 lead and making things comfortable for the end.
The Phillies are probably going to want to put their two recent trips to Atlanta all the way behind them, since the Braves have comprehensively defeated them in both of those series. The win put the Braves 6.5 games ahead of Philadelphia and also sent them into third place. The Nationals are now the closest team to the Braves in the standings (Washington is six games back), and hopefully Atlanta can continue to put space between them and their rivals as Marlins come into town.
The Braves are now set up to end the first half of this season with a flourish, and they absolutely delivered their own brand of fireworks on Independence Day with this big series-winning victory over the Phillies.