ATLANTA — The Philadelphia Phillies got the ninth-inning elixir they needed after a tough outcome a night earlier.
“There’s a lot that went on that could’ve pushed us to not give the kind of effort that we gave,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “A really impressive, heartfelt win by our club, a cohesive team win today. It was great.”
Cesar Hernandez singled in two runs off Luke Jackson in the ninth inning, and Philadelphia rallied from a one-run deficit to snap the Atlanta Braves‘ eight-game winning streak with a 6-5 victory on Saturday night.
It was a big comeback for the Phillies, who looked poised to lose for the fifth time in six games and fall 3 1/2 games behind their rivals in the NL East race. Philadelphia has dealt with rampant injuries this season and had starters Jay Bruce and J.T. Realmuto leave during the game.
Braves starter Sean Newcomb had a scary moment in the third when he was struck on the back of the head by Realmuto’s ground-rule double. He walked off the field under his own power.
“Right away I felt pretty good,” Newcomb said. “I was with it the whole time. I remember the whole play and all that kind of stuff. I knew I was pretty good as far as that went. Obviously I got squared up in the head. A little sore.”
Jackson (3-2) blew his sixth save in 16 chances as Scott Kingery singled and advanced to third when the closer fielded Sean Rodriguez‘s sacrifice bunt and errantly threw to first. Both runners scored easily on Hernandez’s single into left.
Hernandez hit his seventh homer in the fourth to put the Phillies up 4-2.
Josh Donaldson hit a three-run homer in the fifth off Phillies starter Aaron Nola to put Atlanta up 5-4. The Braves were getting big cheers from the sellout crowd of 43,593, the largest yet in three seasons at SunTrust Park, until the ninth.
Hector Neris, who took the loss on Brian McCann‘s two-run single Friday night, earned his 15th save in 16 chances in the bottom half of the inning, retiring Ronald Acuna Jr., Dansby Swanson and Freddie Freeman in order.
“It kind of shows you what our team is capable of doing,” Bruce said. “We have a chance to win the series tomorrow, so it was a big win for us and good bounce-back game.”
Edubray Ramos (1-0) faced four batters in the eighth to earn the victory.
The Phillies scored three times to take a 3-1 lead in the third against Touki Toussaint before Atlanta made it 3-2 in the third when Acuna singled, advanced to second on right fielder Bryce Harper‘s fielding error and scored from third on a groundout.
Nola allowed five runs, six hits, two walks and struck out four in 4 1/3 innings. He has a 7.71 ERA over his last three starts.
Atlanta led 1-0 on Austin Riley‘s 11th homer in 29 career games in the second.
Phillies: Bruce said he’s been dealing with left hamstring tightness for a couple of days and likely won’t be in the lineup Sunday after leaving in the fourth. … Realmuto left the game in the sixth after feeling nauseous when he was hurt in the fifth as Freeman’s foul tip glanced off his glove and smacked the catcher’s upper left leg. … Oft-injured OF Roman Quinn was hit in the shoulder by a pitch in a rehab game Friday with Double-A Reading. He has discomfort finishing his swing, but Kapler said the latest ailment is not serious.
Braves starter Dallas Keuchel received no decision in his last minor league start, allowing three runs, 11 hits and one walk with four strikeouts in seven innings with Double-A Mississippi, and is expected to join the Atlanta rotation next week. He will likely make his 2019 debut Friday at Washington.
Phillies: Kapler has yet to decide who will start the series finale, but RHP Cole Irvin (2-1, 5.48) is a possibility.
Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (1-5, 6.02 ERA) is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in his last three starts and has allowed 15 homers in nine starts, a span of 49 1/3 innings.
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