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Magic number at 4 as Braves defeat Phillies 8-3

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Braves score four in the eighth to secure huge win

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves erupted for four runs in the eighth inning to help secure an 8-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves now lead the division by 6.5 games and reduced their magic-number to four.

Both teams got off to good starts with the Phillies striking first against Kevin Gausman. Rhys Hoskins worked a one out walk and then advanced to third on a single by Asdrubal Cabrera. Hoskins then scored on a groundout by Carlos Santana to put the Phillies in front 1-0.

Atlanta answered back in the bottom of the frame. Nick Markakis drove home Ender Inciarte to tie the game at 1-1. Johan Camargo followed with a ground ball to Hoskins at first who stepped on the bag and then threw to second. Markakis stopped running and got in a run down long enough to allow Freddie Freeman to score from third to make it 2-1.

The Phillies struck for two more in the third against Gausman. Odubel Herrera hurt the Braves again with a single to center that scored Cesar Hernandez to tie the game at 2-2. Jorge Alfaro followed with a sharp single to right center that scored Asdrubal Cabrera to put Philadelphia back in front 3-2.

The Braves came right back again in the bottom of the inning as Freeman scored on a sacrifice fly by Johan Camargo to once again tie the game at 3-3.

Gausman settled in from there retiring 11 straight. He would exit with one out in the seventh having allowed five hits and three runs in 6.1 innings. He struck out seven and walked two.

Atlanta took the lead back for good in the bottom half of the inning. Dansby Swanson led off with a hustle double and then came around to score on pinch-hit double by Lucas Duda.

After a scoreless inning by Arodys Vizcaino, the Braves would blow the game wide open in the bottom of the eighth. Back-to-back singles by Camargo and Kurt Suzuki got things going. Ozzie Albies followed with a walk to load the bases. Phillies’ reliever Luis Garcia then walked Swanson to force in Camargo to make it 5-3.

Charlie Culberson and Ronald Acuna followed with sacrifice flies to make it 7-3. Inciarte capped off the scoring with a single off the glove of second baseman Hernandez that scored Swanson to make it 8-3. Chad Sobotka struck out the side in the ninth to secure the win.

Inciarte, Freeman and Swanson finished with two hits each for Atlanta. Jesse Biddle, Vizcaino and Sobotka combined to allow just one hit over 2.2 scoreless innings in relief.

The series will continue on Friday with Julio Teheran set to go for the Braves while the Phillies will counter with Nick Pivetta.