By Mark Bowman and Jed Weisberger
MLB.com |@mlbbowman |
PHILADELPHIA -- The Braves snapped a 20-inning scoreless drought and ruined David Buchanan's strong start by producing a decisive three-run seventh inning in Saturday night's 5-2 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
Eric Young Jr.'s two-out RBI double off Jake Diekman capped the go-ahead seventh that was sparked by Andrelton Simmons' leadoff home run. Before allowing Simmons to line his shot over the left-center-field wall, Buchanan had surrendered just one hit against the Braves, who had tallied just two hits while getting shut out in Friday's series opener.
"I just like the way we battled against a tough reliever and got the win," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
The Braves snapped a four-game losing streak, with assistance from Shelby Miller, who scattered three hits over six innings. Miller's only costly mistake came courtesy of a fastball that Ryan Howard lined over the center-field wall for a two-run homer in the fourth inning.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Buchanan streak at 13: The Phillies led 2-1 when Buchanan left after 6 2/3 innings -- his longest outing of the year. Diekman allowed a pair of inherited runners to score courtesy of Chris Johnson's pinch-hit single and Young's double. Buchanan has not won in last 13 starts, dating back to Aug. 11, 2014, vs. Houston. More >
Mixing and matching: Responding to the lack of production he has received from the top of his lineup, Gonzalez replaced Young in the leadoff spot with Nick Markakis. Young provided some value in the eighth spot after Chris Johnson extended the seventh inning with his game-tying pinch-hit RBI single. More >
Miller extends early success: Utilizing the sinker he added to his repertoire during his lone start in Philadelphia last year, Miller kept the Phillies off balance and was in command before and after Howard's home run. He has posted a 2.07 ERA over his past 11 starts. His effort was preserved by Cody Martin, Jim Johnson and Jason Grilli, who blanked the Phillies over the final three innings. More >
Galvis dazzles, recovers: Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis appeared hurt after a rolling stop and throw to first base to retire Markakis in the top of the sixth inning. "Freddy kind of scared me," said Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg. "But he was OK by the time he got to the dugout." More >
"A defense is pretty light on its feet and aggressive when you're behind a guy like Shelby Miller mowing them down. Good pitching creates good defense, and you saw it tonight." -- Braves left fielder Jonny Gomes
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Among all players who have compiled at least 500 at-bats against the Braves, Howard ranks first with a 12.02 at-bat/home run ratio. The next four players on this list are Willie McCovey (12.66), Willie Stargell (12.96), Ralph Kiner (14.08) and George Foster (14.35).
Gomes and Kelly Johnson were rewarded when a replay review confirmed Carlos Ruiz was out when he attempted to stretch a single into a double with one out in the seventh. Standing along the left-center-field wall, Gomes made a strong, accurate throw that Johnson secured before diving back across the second-base bag to tag Ruiz.
WHAT'S NEXT Braves:Trevor Cahill will oppose Jerome Williams when the Braves and Phillies conclude their three-game series on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. ET. Cahill has posted a 6.56 ERA over his past 19 starts, dating back to the beginning of last season. But he showed some improvement with his sinker before being chased in the fifth inning of Tuesday's start against the Mets.
Phillies: Williams has allowed three earned runs in the 12 innings he has totaled through his first two home starts of the season. His primary nemesis on Sunday might be Markakis, who has gone 6-for-13 in his career against the right-hander.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Jed Weisberger is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.