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Austin Riley, Travis d’Arnaud lead Braves past Phillies

Atlanta scored three in the eighth to pull away in a back-and-forth affair

Los Angeles Dodgers v Atlanta Braves Photo by Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/Getty Images

Austin Riley homered twice and Travis d’Arnaud came through with a big pinch hit late to help the Atlanta Braves outlast the Philadelphia Phillies 8-5 on Thursday night.

The Braves’ offense got started quickly against Aaron Nola in the first. Matt Olson singled and then came all the way around when Austin Riley lined a 459-foot home run to left center to give Atlanta a 2-0 lead. It was Riley’s fourth career home run off of Nola.

Dylan Dodd allowed just a single in the first, but ran into trouble in the second. J.T. Realmuto singled with one out and then Alec Bohm brought him home with a long home run to center to tie the game. Brandon Marsh then singled and scored on a two-out double by Bryson Stott to put Philadelphia in front 3-2.

The Phillies lead didn’t last long, as Marcell Ozuna took Nola out to right-center to tie the game.

Dodd worked himself into another jam in the third as the Phillies loaded the bases with one out. Bohm then sent a grounder to Riley at third who stepped on the bag and then threw home in time to cut down Nick Castellanos for an inning-ending double play.

Atlanta missed out on an opportunity in the home half of the third. Ronald Acuña Jr. doubled to start the inning and then Matt Olson walked. They then pulled off a double steal with both runners moving up 90 feet. However, Nola came back and struck out Riley, Sean Murphy and Eddie Rosario to leave the runners stranded.

Dodd retired the side in order in the fourth and then the Braves offense struck again. Ozuna got things started with a one-out walk and then advanced to third on a single by Orlando Arcia. Michael Harris II brought Ozuna home with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-3.

Dodd struck out Trea Turner to start the fifth, but then hung a slider to Bryce Harper, who crushed it for a solo home run to tie the game again. Dodd then came right back and struck out Castellanos and Schwarber to end the inning.

The seesaw continued in the home half of the fifth as Riley took Nola deep again to put Atlanta back in front 5-4.

Kirby Yates took over in the sixth and allowed a single to Bohm, but nothing else in a scoreless inning.

Dodd gave up a lot of hard contact, but kept the Braves within striking distance. He allowed seven hits, one walk and four runs while throwing 83 pitches over five innings.

A.J. Minter entered in the seventh and retired the first two hitters before Harper reached on a bunt down the third base line. Castellanos then snuck a slow roller through the middle of the infield to put runners at the corners. Schwarber tied the game as he hooked one into the right field corner. Arcia’s relay throw home initially appeared to be late and Castellanos was called safe, but the Braves challenged and the call was overturned.

Nick Anderson entered in the eighth and struck out Realmuto and Bohm before getting Brandon Marsh to ground out to end the inning.

The Braves’ offense got back to work in the eighth against Phillies reliever Gregory Soto. Ozzie Albies singled with one out and then moved to third on a ground-rule double by Ozuna. Soto then walked Arcia to load the bases. Brian Snitker then sent Travis d’Arnaud to the plate instead of Harris, and d’Arnaud rewarded the choice by roping a sharp single through the drawn in infield that scored two to put Atlanta back in front 7-5.

The Braves weren’t finished. Acuña dropped in a single to right to load the bases again. Olson then brought home another run with a sacrifice fly to right to extend the lead to 8-5. Raisel Iglesias locked it down with a perfect ninth to seal the win.

The series will continue Friday with Jared Shuster matching up against Phillies’ righty Taijuan Walker.

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