The Braves faced a middling starter in Roberto Hernandez and were actually able to take advantage hitting Hernandez for 4 runs and Antonio Bastardo for another 5 in a 10-3 victory over the Phillies. With the win the Braves kept pace with the Washington Nationals for first place in the NL East and have a chance to take the lead with a win in game 2 of the series.
Things started off poorly for the Braves with the lineup going down in the order the first time through. The Phillies got to Ervin Santana early for two first inning runs and there was concern that Santana was in for another long day. After the second inning things turned for Santana who wouldn’t allow any more runs going while going 6 2/3 innings. The Braves offense got going in the 4th with some help from Superstar Ryan Howard.
Andrelton Simmons got the Braves first hit of the day in the fourth and Freddie Freeman smoked a ball through Howard’s legs that was ruled a two base error. With runners on second and third Howard was unable to field a Justin Upton grounder hit right to him for his second straight error and the Braves first run. Jason Heyward tied the game with a groundball to Howard who did manage to field this one but the game was now tied 2-2.
Simmons and Freeman would start another Braves rally in the top of the sixth inning. With two runners on base Justin Upton would continue his hot streak with a laser off the left center wall that barely missed going out and scored two runs. Things were still in doubt when Santana left the game with two outs in the 7th innings and two runners on. Luis Avilan came in and managed to get the out and let the Braves escape who would put the game out of reach in the 8th.
The Braves would load the bases via two walks and a Justin Upton single to set the table for Tommy La Stella. La Stella cracked his first career triple to clear the bases and put the game out of reach. The Braves would ultimately score ten runs and cruise to a very comfortable victory in the first half of the double header. Game two starts at seven and the Braves will look to regain first place by themselves in the division.
- Ervin Santana was quite good after his first inning struggles. Hopefully this is part of the process of a streaky pitcher going on another hot streak (hopefully all the comments on this article are the Santana driving a car gif)
- Justin Upton is hot. Push all your chips in and ride the hot table for all it is worth
- I will lose my mind if the Braves struggle against Sean O’Sullivan