Final: Atlanta Braves 12, Philadelphia Phillies 2 ❖ Attendance: 22,104
ATLANTA — The Philadelphia Phillies (70-88) were hoping to shift the series momentum in their favor after last night's late-inning loss to the Atlanta Braves (65-92). However, that was not in the cards for tonight's match-up. Phillies lefty Adam Morgan was making his final start of the year in his hometown and to say that he struggled would be an understatement. He bumbled through five innings, allowing nine runs on ten hits to secure his eleventh loss of the season. The bullpen didn't fare much better. The Phils' pitching staff has allowed a whopping 65 runs in their last six games.
Offensively, the Phillies struggled immensely. Part of that is due to a lack of solid at-bats, but part of that can be attributed to the performance of Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz. The righty only allowed two hits and a single run over five innings and had excellent movement on all of his pitches. Foltynewicz looked like a completely different pitcher from the one the Phillies beat earlier this season; in that July game, he threw five and two-thirds innings and allowed five runs on eight hits. He deserves credit for the role he played in the Braves' victory over the Phils.
The Phillies have now lost eight of their last nine road games. Even worse, the team has a 16-35 record in their last 51 games against the NL East.
WP: Mike Foltynewicz (9-5, 4.31ERA) ❖ LP: Adam Morgan (2-11, 6.04 ERA)
The Braves offense jumped on Phillies starter Adam Morgan in the bottom of the second. Catcher Tyler Flowers led off with a single to center. Last year's number one draft pick Dansby Swanson followed with a triple just out of the reach of Phillies right fielder Aaron Altherr to score Flowers and give the Braves the lead. It was Swanson's first Major League triple. Mallex Smith tried to get on base with a bunt single and was originally ruled safe. However, the Phillies challenged the call and it was ultimately overturned for the first out of the inning. Daniel Castro followed with a single to center to score Swanson from third. Braves pitcher Mike Foltynewicz moved Castro up to second on a sacrifice bunt for the second out of the inning. After a walk by Ender Inciarte put runners on first and second, Adonis Garcia grounded out for the final out of the inning.
In the top of the third, the Phillies got one back in an unconventional way. With one out, Altherr singled to center field. Morgan followed with a sacrifice to move the Phillies right fielder up to second base. During the at-bat of Cesar Hernandez, Altherr advanced to to third on a wild pitch by Foltynewicz. Still during Hernandez's at-bat, another wild pitch was thrown and Altherr scored to put the Phillies one run closer to catching the Braves. Hernandez worked out a walk, but Freddy Galvis grounded out to end the inning.
The Braves worked to extend their lead in the bottom of the frame. Freddie Freeman was hit by a pitch to start the inning. A double by Matt Kemp moved him up to third. Flowers hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Freeman. Swanson was the next batter and he once again came up clutch, doubling down the left field line to score Kemp. During Smith's at-bat, Swanson stole third. Smith ended up striking out for the second out of the inning. Castro was the next batter and what followed seemed like deja vu of the second inning. He singled and scored Swanson from third base. Morgan was able to get the opposing pitcher to strike out for the final out of the inning, but the damage had already been done.
The troubles continued for Morgan against the Braves' offense in the bottom of the fourth. Inciarte led off the inning with a double to right field. Garcia singled to Morgan. However, when Morgan attempted to throw out Garcia at first, he threw the ball away. Inciarte scored on the play and the slow-running Garcia ended up all the way at third base. During Freeman's at-bat, Morgan threw a wild pitch and Garcia easily scored to give the Braves a 7-1 lead. Freeman walked to seemingly restart the string of base-runners. Freeman didn't stay on first for long. Kemp followed with a bomb into the left field seats to clear the bases and further extend the Braves' lead. Fortunately, Morgan was able to retire the next three hitters in order to avoid making the score even more laughable than it already was.
The Phillies started to chip away at the Braves' lead in the top of the sixth. Odubel Herrera led off the inning with a double to center field. He moved up to third on a ground out by Maikel Franco. First baseman Ryan Howard grounded out to first to score Herrera. Cameron Rupp struck out for the final out of the inning, but the Phils were still able to get another run on the board.
The bottom of the seventh brought more runs for the Braves. With one out, Swanson and Smith got back-to-back walks. Pitcher Phil Klein was removed in favor of Frank Herrmann. The new reliever promptly allowed the third RBI single of the day for Castro and moved Smith over to third base. Pinch-hitter Blake Lalli grounded out on a dribbler down the third base line. However, the focus of the play was placed on Smith's classless move to score on the play, when the Braves already had such a large lead over the Phils. Inciarte grounded out to end the inning, but the Braves now led 11-2.
Phils manager Pete Mackanin knew it was important to get the overworked reliever Jeanmar Gomez into a game to keep him from getting too rusty, so he was handed the eighth inning of this blow-out. He allowed a lead-off triple to rookie Rio Ruiz. This was Ruiz's first Major League hit and the Braves fans game him a standing ovation. The next batter was pinch-hitter Emilio Bonifacio, who grounded out to second to score Ruiz and give the Braves a ten run lead. Gomez retired both Kemp and Flowers on ground outs, but still allowed yet another Braves run to score.
The Phillies didn't much up much of a fight in their final at-bat of the game. Franco struck out swinging and pinch-hitter Darin Ruf followed with a line out out to second base. Rupp reached on an infield single, but it didn't really seem to matter at this point; scoring ten runs with two outs is a virtually impossible feat. Cody Asche struck out for the final out and the painful game was over.
- Odubel Herrera: 1-4, R, 2B, .289 AVG
- Aaron Altherr: 1-3, R, .199 AVG
- Ryan Howard: 0-3, RBI, .194 AVG
- Dansby Swanson: 2-3, 3 R, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, .299 AVG
- Daniel Castro: 3-4, 3 RBI, .206 AVG
- Matt Kemp: 2-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, .270 AVG
- Phil Klein (6th, 7th): 1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR, 8.22 ERA
- Frank Hermann (7th): 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR, 8.36 ERA
- Jeanmar Gomez (8th): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR, 4.35 ERA
- Joel De La Cruz (6th, 7th): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR, 4.91 ERA
- John Gant (8th): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR, 4.99 ERA
- Chaz Roe (9th): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR, 3.77 ERA
- Thursday, September 29, 2016: at Atlanta Braves, 7:05 p.m.
- Atlanta - Turner Field
- RHP Jeremy Hellickson (12-10, 3.78 ERA) vs. RHP Josh Collmenter (3-0, 4.19 ERA)
- TV: CSN; Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP