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Braves comeback falls short in 5-4 loss to Phillies

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The Braves fought hard, but in the end the Phillies took the win.

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

The Braves came into the night looking to keep the momentum rolling from last night’s exhilarating first win of the season as Mike Foltynewicz took the mound for Atlanta.

The game started out well for the home team as Folty got the Phillies to go down in order while wracking up two strikeouts in a crisp first inning. Nick Pivetta, not to be outdone, was able to get the Braves to go quietly in the bottom of the first as the game was off to a brisk start.

The second inning began sour for the Braves right-hander as Rhys Hoskins lined a screaming fastball into the second deck of left field for a 1-0 Philadelphia lead. Folty quickly erased any doubts about his ability to bounce back with three consecutive strikeouts of the side to follow sending the game to the bottom of the second. Pivetta had no trouble with the Braves 4-5-6 hitters as they went down in order to keep the game in Philly’s favor at 1-0.

Folty was able to keep his hot streak going in the top of the third for the first two batters before the lineup turned back over to Cesar Hernandez who nailed a double down the left field line advancing J.P. Crawford, who reached on a catchers interference, to third base with only 1 out. The Braves then got away with two rockets to deep right and deep center by Philadelphia big boppers Carlos Santana and Odubel Herrera which only resulted in a single sacrifice fly keeping the Phillies close at 2-0.

The Braves thought little of the Fightin’s rally in the top of the third and decided to put together a rally of their own headlined by a Dansby Swanson sharp single to left followed up by a run scoring double off the bat of Ryan Flaherty. After a nice sacrifice bunt from Folty, which moved Flaherty to third, Ender Inciarte tee’d off to left field with a fly ball deep enough to score the Braves third baseman to knot the game at 2-2.

Not much was going on in the top of the fourth as Philadelphia posted two outs rather quickly. Scott Kingery, who was making his major league debut tonight, hit a sharp single up the middle for his first career hit but it led to nothing as Folty was able to get the Phillies pitcher Nick Pivetta to strike out swinging.

The bottom of the fourth inning in this game will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Freddie Freeman started the inning on base as he drew a lead-off walk, but was then erased by a Nick Markakis GIDP. Kurt Suzuki came up to the plate and was subsequently plunked by Pivetta on the right palm with a 96 MPH fastball. He attempted to stay in the game and actually scored following singles from Preston Tucker and Dansby Swanson to give the Braves a 3-2 advantage, but sadly had to exit the game before the Braves half of the 6th inning.

Philadelphia responded to the Braves quick score in the top of the fifth on the back of a Carlos Santana home run to right field on a misplaced Foltynewicz slider that tied the game back up at 3 all. Odubel Hererra followed with a sharp double to left, but was then stranded after a ground-out to third from Phillies rising star Rhys Hoskins as Ryan Flaherty made a respectable defensive pick-and-throw on the run.

The Phillies turned to their bullpen in the bottom of the fifth after 4 innings of three run ball from Pivetta in his season debut. Victor Arano and Hoby Milner combined to throw a scoreless frame against the Braves.

It was then Atlanta’s turn to involve their relief core beginning with Jose Ramirez in the top of the sixth. Ramirez gave up a five pitch walk to open the top half of the inning which he followed with two quick outs before a pinch-hitting Nick Williams was able to slice a single just in front of Preston Tucker in left field putting the Phillies back in the lead at 4-3.

As the game moved on into the home half of the sixth inning Chris Stewart was able to get his first at-bat for Atlanta after signing with the club this off-season and promptly lined out to center. There was nothing going for the Braves as they went quietly into the seventh inning after seeing two more relievers in Edubray Ramos and Adam Morgan.

Sam Freeman entered the game to work his second appearance of the season in as many days and allowed yet another lead-off walk to Cesar Hernandez, but was able to redeem himself by inducing a ground ball double-play out of Carlos Santana. Then, with Odubel Hererra at the plate, Freeman was able to get a harmless 5 foot grounder which he was able to field cleanly and throw to the other Freeman on the diamond to end the top of the inning.

Phillies rookie manager Gabe Kapler continued to burn through the bullpen after Adam Morgan was able to get Ryan Flaherty looking at a strikeout bringing in Yacksel Rios to face Braves pinch-hitter Lane Adams. After Adams struck out on three pitches Ender Inciarte was able to poke a dribbler past the pitcher for an infield single in front of Ozzie Albies who could not get a rally started after grounding out to second to retire the side.

Peter Moylan was tasked with the challenge of facing the heart of the Phillies order and could only retire one of three batters faced before giving way to A.J. Minter for his first action of the season. Moylan had one of the closest calls in recent memory as he was nearly decapitated by a Scott Kingery single that shaved his chin to the tune of approximately 100 MPH. Minter came into the game and was able to get Phillies catcher Andrew Knapp to ground-out to first before facing pinch-hitter Maikel Franco who flew out to left field sending the inning to the Braves 3-4-5 hitters.

The Phillies turned to Luis Garcia with the tall task of holding off the Braves which quickly got interesting as Freddie Freeman walked and was advanced all the way to third on a Nick Markakis high chopper as nobody was covering the base. Chris Stewart was unable to handle the job of getting Freddie in as he grounded out sharply to second base holding Freeman at third with two outs. Preston Tucker decided it was his day again to play hero and slapped a single to left to tie the game at 4. Dansby Swanson jumped all over a fastball and sent it deep into the left field corner as Peter Bourjos, who was pinch-running for Tucker, came streaking around to home. Originally called safe, Bourjos was eventually called out on replay review sending the game into the ninth tied at 4.

Arodys Vizcaino got the call for his second consecutive game of work in the top of the inning to face the 9-1-2 hitters of the Phillies. After getting a tremendous play in left field from the newly inserted Peter Bourjos on a fast falling liner, Vizcaino began to struggle with his location walking Cesar Hernandez and Carlos Santana. With Odubel Herrera at the plate Vizcaino induced a ground ball which got them an out at second to put two away with Rhys Hoskins coming up. In this power-on-power matchup it was Vizcaino who had the last laugh as he made Hoskins look silly while striking him out to send the game into the bottom of the ninth.

Hector Neris entered the game for Philadelphia and made quick work of the Braves in order to send the game into the 10th inning for the Braves first action in extra innings this season.

The Braves put new addition Shane Carle to work in the top of the tenth against the Phillies 5-6-7 hitters. Carle managed to get Altherr to ground out to third, then got Kingery to fly into short right field and capped things off by receiving a sparkling running catch on the warning track by Nick Markakis to send things to the Braves 2-3-4 hitters.

In the Atlanta half of the tenth it was Drew Hutchinson that drew the assignment of getting the Phillies another chance and did just that after retiring Ozzie Albies on a flyout, Freddie Freeman on strikes and, after Markakis walk, Chris Stewart on a ground-out sending the Braves back out for another inning.

Shane Carle continued for Atlanta into the eleventh inning against the Phillies Jorge Alfaro who entered the game to catch the rest of the game. Carle was able to get Alfaro swinging but then allowed singles to J.P. Crawford and Cesar Hernandez putting runners on the corners with one out for Carlos Santana who brought in Crawford with a sacrifice fly to left for a 5-4 Phillies lead.

In the bottom of the 11th came the Braves last chance which came down to Peter Bourjous, Shane Carle (Atlanta was out of bench players), and Ryan Flaherty. Hutchinson continued to pitch and got Bourjos to ground out, Carle to go down on strikes and, after a short rally of a single by Flaherty and hit by pitch for Culberson, got Ender Inciarte to fly out to center to end the night with a hard fought 5-4 win over the Braves.

Atlanta is right back to work tomorrow night with a 7:10 PM EST first pitch. Join us again for all the top news regarding the Braves with the best game coverage around.