A three-run home run by Tyler Flowers and another strong performance from Dallas Keuchel was the difference in a 3-1 win for the Atlanta Braves over the Philadelphia Phillies Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
Atlanta would break through against Phillies’ starter Zach Eflin in the fourth. After Freddie Freeman grounded out to start the inning, Josh Donaldson reached on an error by Jean Segura to give the Braves their first baserunner. Matt Joyce continued his good work of late with an opposite field single to put runners at first and second.
That would bring Johan Camargo to the plate who would immediately foul a ball off his right shin which would force him to leave the game. The Braves announced later that it was a right shin contusion for Camargo and will be considered day-to-day going forward. Rafael Ortega would take over for Camargo and strike out for the second out of the inning.
Tyler Flowers then stepped to the plate and worked a 2-2 count before leveling off on a fastball and driving it into the left center stands for a three-run home run to put the Braves in front 3-0.
Eflin would then walk Dansby Swanson and allow a hit to Keuchel before exiting. After struggling against the Braves in two previous appearances this season, he deserved a better fate this time around leaving after just 3 2/3 innings while allowing three hits and three unearned runs. He walked three and struck out five while throwing 95 pitches.
Keuchel would run into trouble in the fourth as well. Bryce Harper singled and then moved all the way up to third on a hit by Rhys Hoskins. Harper would then come in to score on a ground out by Scott Kingery to cut the lead to 3-1. Keuchel came right back however and struck out Corey Dickerson and Cesar Hernandez to end the inning.
The Phillies threatened again in the fifth. After retiring Sean Rodriguez on a fly out to start the inning, former Brave Phil Gosselin recorded a pinch hit single to left. Keuchel then issued back-to-back walks to Segura and J.T. Realmuto to load the bases for Harper. He then ran the count to 2-2 before getting Harper to ground to Ozzie Albies for the inning ending 4-6-3 double play to preserve the lead.
Keuchel exited after the sixth having allowed three hits and just one run. He walked three and struck out eight while throwing 97 pitches. He has now allowed a total of four runs in his last 37 innings pitched.
Chris Martin took over in the seventh and would have himself an eventful inning as he struck out the side on just nine pitches for an immaculate inning. That was the first such inning by a Braves pitcher since Buddy Carlyle turned the trick back in 2007.
Shane Greene worked a scoreless eighth while Mark Melancon worked around a pair of infield singles in a scoreless ninth to seal the win.
With the win, Atlanta improves to 91-56 on the season and reduces their magic number to eight to clinch the NL East division. They will go for a series win on Thursday when they wrap up their four-game series against the Phillies.