It was a tough start for Ian Anderson who needed 30 pitches to escape the first inning. Anderson walked Andrew McCutchen to lead off the game. After a fly out by Rhys Hoskins, Bryce Harper and Alec Bohm recorded back to back singles to load the bases. Didi Gregorius then fought off a 2-2 pitch and dumped a single into right center that scored McCutchen and Harper to put the Phillies in front. Anderson recovered and struck out Jean Segura and Andrew Knapp to end the inning.
Despite the early deficit, the Braves responded quickly. Ronald Acuña Jr. poked a double over the first base bag to get things started against Zach Eflin. Ozzie Albies then yanked a 1-2 pitch into the right field corner for a double to cut the lead to 2-1. Freddie Freeman followed with a two-run bomb to right center to put Atlanta in front.
Anderson settled in after that rocky first and retired 13 straight before McCutchen connected for a solo home run with two outs in the fifth to tie the game. He came back out for the sixth and allowed a leadoff homer to Harper to put the Phillies in front 4-3. Anderson would get Bohm on a ground out before Brian Snitker emerged from the dugout and summoned Sean Newcomb from the bullpen. Newcomb struck out Gregorius before allowing a single to Segura and a walk to Knapp. He recovered though and struck out pinch hitter Roman Quinn to end the inning.
Anderson pitched better after that rocky first inning but the two home runs hurt. He allowed five hits, four runs and struck out six over 5 1/3 innings. Those four earned runs allowed were a career-high.
The Braves tied the game again in the sixth. Marcell Ozuna singled with one out and then moved up to second on a slow roller by Travis d’Arnaud that nearly beat the shift except for a great play by Segura. Ozuna moved over to third on a wild pitch and then came in to score on a double by Dansby Swanson.
Eflin would exit after the sixth having allowed seven hits and four runs. He walked one and struck out two.
Atlanta retook the lead in the seventh against the Phillies’ bullpen. Ehire Adrianza began the inning with a pinch-hit double to get things started. Acuña followed with a single to put runners at the corners with no one out. Archie Bradley then got Albies to fly out down the line in foul territory on a play where Bohm and McCutchen collided for the first out.
Joe Girardi would then bring in Jose Alvarado to face Freeman who tapped an 0-1 pitch back to the mound. Alvarado turned to throw to second but no one was covering. He then turned and threw home but wasn’t in time to get Adrianza who scored to put the Braves up 5-4.
Tyler Matzek worked a scoreless eighth and Will Smith set the Phillies down in order in the ninth to close out the win.
Atlanta will go for a sweep when they wrap up the three-game series Sunday on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Drew Smyly will make his second start of the season for the Braves while Philadelphia will go with lefty Matt Moore.