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Braves’ winning ways prove sustainable, drop Phillies 7-2

Acuña and Donaldson went deep while Mike Foltynewicz channeled his 2018 form

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Foltynewicz had his best start of the season Monday night as the Braves took down the Phillies, 7-2. After being swept on Opening Weekend, the Braves now lead the season series against Philadelphia, 7-6.

With this win - the 90th of the season, tying the 2018 team - Atlanta’s lead in the National League East is back to 9 ½ games. The magic number to clinch the division is 10.

Foltynewicz continues to distance himself from the brutal start to his season, as he went seven strong innings of one-run ball, striking out seven and walking none.

Keeping up a trend that began during last week’s game against the Blue Jays, he did a great job of keeping the ball on the ground, inducing eight ground balls against only three air outs. This is somewhat uncharacteristic for Folty, as he came into this game with only a 35.1% GB rate on the season. Getting contact early in the count allowed Folty to keep his pitch count in check, averaging 14.4 pitches per inning.

Aaron Nola’s arsenal looked decent after the second inning, but unfortunately for him, it was after he had already surrendered four runs. It was his first loss of the season against the Braves.

Ronald Acuña, Jr. has been the subject of a lot of scrutiny recently, but he wasted little time in showing that he might be getting back on track. He did this on the second pitch of the game:

This blast to left field was Acuña’s 38th of the season, inching him even closer to the power portion of the 40/40 club. The Braves went on to post another run before the first was over, giving Folty a 2-0 lead before he even threw a pitch.

The second inning started in auspicious fashion much like the first, with the recently struggling Dansby Swanson knocking a double into the left field corner, then eventually being chased home by an Ozzie Albies single. Freddie Freeman tacked on an RBI single to make it 4-0, and we were all feeling fine.

The Phillies broke up the no-hitter and finally got on the board in the fifth inning when Corey Dickerson roped a Folty fastball just over the right field wall.

The Braves rode the 4-1 lead into the seventh inning, when Gabe Kapler decided Nola’s night was over. When Nick Pivetta came on in relief, the Braves took advantage of the opportunity to break the game open. After a walk to Acuña (his second of the night) and a single from Freeman (his third hit of the night), Josh Donaldson decided it was time to break out the imaginary umbrella.

It was his 37th homer of the year, and the fifth in his last 27 at-bats. Re-sign him now, please.

After JD padded the lead, Sean Newcomb worked a clean eighth inning. Josh Tomlin allowed a towering home run to Cesar Hernandez in the ninth to make it 7-2, which is where the scoring would end.

These two teams will go at it again tomorrow, with first pitch slated for 7:05pm ET.

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