After another one-run win Saturday night, the Atlanta Braves will go for a sweep Sunday afternoon when they wrap up a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Atlanta took the opener Friday thanks to a six-run eighth inning that turned a 2-1 deficit into a 7-2 win. Ronald Acuña Jr. kept it going Saturday driving in all four runs as Atlanta hung on for a 4-3 victory over Aaron Nola.
Spencer Strider will make his 20th start of the season in Sunday’s finale. He allowed a season-high nine hits, but just two earned runs in five innings in his last start against the Giants. Strider added nine more strikeouts in that outing and has 34 in his last three starts combined. He is just eight away from becoming the third Atlanta pitcher with 200 strikeouts in a season since Javier Vazquez in 2009. Mike Foltynewicz had 202 in 2018 and Charlie Morton had 216 last season.
The Phillies will counter with 25-year old left-hander Bailey Falter who will make his 13th start of the season. After an up and down start to the season, Falter has settled in since returning to the Philadelphia rotation on August 20. He has made five starts since then and has a 2.43 ERA and a 3.78 FIP in 29 2/3 innings. Falter has logged at least 5 1/3 innings in each of those five starts and has allowed two runs or less in four of those five outings.
Acuña has homered in consecutive games for the first time since early June. He is 7-for-20 with two doubles and two homers over his last five games. It wasn’t all good news for the Braves Saturday as they lost Ozzie Albies for the remainder of the season after he suffered a fractured pinky finger while sliding into second base during the fourth inning. Albies was playing in just his second game back after missing three months due to a fractured foot.
The Phillies have been without first baseman Rhys Hoskins for the first two games of the series after he was hit on the hand by a pitch in Thursday’s game in Miami. The Philly Inquirer’s Alex Coffey reported that Hoskins took some ground balls and hit in the cages Saturday and if the swelling stays down, could possibly return to the lineup Sunday. Alec Bohm started the first two games of the series at first base with Yairo Munoz and Nick Maton manning third.
Sunday’s game has a scheduled start time of 1:35 p.m. ET and can be seen on Bally Sports Southeast.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, September 18, 1:35 p.m. ET
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: Bally Sports Southeast, MLB Network
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan