Phillies score 4 runs in 10th, beat Braves 5-1
ATLANTA (AP) The Philadelphia Phillies kept squandering chances.
Finally, in the 10th inning, they came through in the clutch.
Rhys Hoskins doubled home two runs with two outs to break a 1-1 tie, Maikel Franco added another two-run double before the inning was done and the Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 5-1 on Tuesday night.
Hoskins was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts when he faced Jose Ramirez (0-2) with two runners aboard. On a 2-2 pitch, the Phillies cleanup hitter lined a slicing drive against the wall in the right-field corner, clearing the bases.
”I learned from an early age you’ve got to want that fifth at-bat,” Hoskins said. ”Somehow, the baseball gods always seem to put that guy in situations to try to win the game.”
Hoskins also grounded into a double play.
”The first couple of at-bats for him weren’t his best of the season,” manager Gabe Kapler said. ”To see him really dig in there and get a big knock against a guy with some velocity is pretty awesome.”
Franco’s hit sent what was left of the small crowd headed for the exits, except for one irate Braves fan whose rant could be heard throughout the stadium.
For much of the night, the Phillies struggled with runners in scoring position. They grounded into four inning-ending double plays – each time with two runners aboard.
In the end, the Braves couldn’t overcome 10 walks by six pitchers.
”We dodged bullets the whole night,” manager Brian Snitker said. ”We were lucky with all the walks to stay in the game as long as we did.”
Ramirez walked three in the 10th, his ERA climbing to 17.05.
Hector Neris (1-1) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win.
Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz went six innings, giving up four hits and a run. He struggled a bit with his command – walking four and throwing a wild pitch – but recorded eight strikeouts, getting plenty of movement on his fastball and slider.
”Effectively wild,” he joked.
Nick Pivetta went five innings for Philadelphia. He surrendered a run on five hits.
Preston Tucker put the Braves ahead with a run-scoring single in the first, somehow finding a hole through the right side of the infield even with the Phillies playing a shift against the left-handed hitter.
Philadelphia tied it up in the third when Odubel Herrera brought home a run with a single to shallow center field. But Foltynewicz avoided the big inning, getting Hoskins on an around-the-horn double play with runners at first and third.
The first two games of the series have drawn the smallest crowds in the history of 2-year-old SunTrust Park. While unseasonably cold weather could be blamed for Monday’s turnout of 17,812, the second game was played on a clear night with temperatures in the mid-60s. Even so, the announced crowd was just 17,913.
Phillies: RHP Pat Neshek played catch for the second day in a row as he attempts to come back from a strained right shoulder. There’s no timetable for his return from the disabled list. The 37-year-old Neshek was an All-Star last season, going 5-3 with a 1.59 ERA in 71 games split between Colorado and Philadelphia.
Braves: LHP Luiz Gohara went 3 1-3 innings in a rehab start at Double-A Mississippi, taking the loss in an 8-4 setback to Pensacola. He surrendered five runs in the first inning, though only one was earned. The 21-year-old sprained his left ankle in spring training and is unlikely to join Atlanta rotation until at least early May.
Outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., the Braves’ top prospect, hit his first homer of the season for Triple-A Gwinnett, a two-run shot that powered an 8-3 win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Acuna has gotten off to a rough start in the minors after a dazzling performance in spring training, batting just .139 through his first nine games without a homer or RBI.
With Preston Tucker off to a solid start for the Braves, there’s no rush to bring up Acuna, who already has passed the cutoff date to ensure the Braves retain an extra year of control before he’s eligible for free agency.
”He’ll let us know when he’s ready,” Snitker said.
RHP Brandon McCarthy (2-0) will try to stay unbeaten for the Braves when he starts the series finale Wednesday night against Philadelphia RHP Vince Velasquez (1-1).
McCarthy bested Velasquez when the teams met March 31 , allowing two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings, while the Phillies starter was roughed up badly in his 2 2/3-inning stint. He surrendered nine hits and seven runs (four earned) in a 15-2 loss.
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