By Mark Bowman and Nick Suss
MLB.com |@mlbbowman |
PHILADELPHIA -- Jace Peterson's three-run home run in the fifth inning gave the Braves the lead and they never looked back in Sunday's 6-2 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, preventing the sweep and ending Atlanta's six-game losing streak.
Peterson's home run came two at-bats after Chris Johnson tied the score, 1-1, with a single that scored Cameron Maybin. The four runs in the fifth inning provided enough cushion for starting pitcher Julio Teheran to silence the hot offense of the Phillies. Teheran allowed two runs in seven innings, striking out seven and walking none. The effort was good enough to provide him his first road win since Opening Day.
"He pitched in to both sides of the plate and all of his secondary pitches were working," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "His command was really good and he wiggled out of a couple situations, especially in the seventh inning. He did a nice job. You can't ask for anything more than that."
The loss ended a three-game winning streak for the Phillies and was just the team's third loss since the All-Star break. Cody Asche and Odubel Herrera provided the offense with RBI singles in the second and fifth innings, but the team couldn't muster much offense beyond that and didn't get much help from starting pitcher Adam Morgan or the bullpen.
"The story was Teheran was good and Morgan wasn't sharp," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "He didn't have real good command of his fastball. He got hurt. Teheran, he's been tough on us for the past two years. He changes speeds, he mixed his pitches well. He had a real good slider. He always has a good changeup. He just pitched very well. We got some hits, but didn't string a lot together."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Much-needed start: Teheran stumbled as he surrendered three consecutive two-out hits, including Herrera's RBI single in the fifth. But he stranded two runners with a Ryan Howard groundout and escaped unscathed after the Phillies began the bottom of the seventh with consecutive singles. With this performance, the former All-Star hurler lowered his road ERA from 7.24 to 6.75. More >
Balks and walks: After making one of the best starts of his young career the last time he faced the Braves, Morgan wasn't able to replicate the same level of success on Sunday afternoon. Most of his struggles can be attributed to a lack of control. Morgan walked three batters, with two of them coming around to score. A leadoff walk to Maybin in the fifth, was followed by a balk that sent Maybin to second and he eventually scored later in the inning.
"When you don't have command of the fastball it's tough to get ahead," Morgan said. "Hitters, in my opinion, are taught to sit on the breaking pitches and react off the fastball. And when you don't have the fastball, it's easier for them."
Jace breaks out: Peterson highlighted his third three-hit game of the season with his three-run homer in the fifth. The Braves' second baseman, who entered Sunday with a .170 (9-for-53) batting average since the All-Star break, added a single in the two-run seventh that provided some unfamiliar cushion for the Braves. Atlanta, which went 2-8 on this road trip, had scored three or fewer runs in each of its previous 10 games.
"I felt good up there," Peterson said. "Baseball is a funny game, so you've just got to keep going, keep swinging and eventually it will turn. It was a good team win. We didn't want to get swept here in Philly. So it's good to get that win on the last day and go home with a win."
Men left behind: The Phillies stranded almost as many men on base as they had hits on Sunday. The Phillies managed 10 hits, hitting double digits for the fourth consecutive game. They weren't able to do much with those hits though, leaving eight men on base and going just 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Multiple runners were stranded in the second, fifth and seventh innings.
"It's always nice to get a win before you get on a plane to go home. Once you win a game, you feel like there could be a winning streak started at any time." -- Gonzalez, on the Braves ending their losing streak
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With a win, the Braves prevented a four-game sweep at the hands of their NL East rivals, something they've been quite skilled at over the years. The Phillies haven't swept a four-game series against the Braves since May 5-8 1995, and haven't swept a four-game series in Philadelphia since Sept. 2-4 of 1949, at Shibe Park.
Braves:Mike Foltynewicz will take the mound when Atlanta begins a three-game series against San Francisco on Monday at 7:05 p.m. ET at Turner Field. Foltynewicz returned to the Majors last week and limited the Orioles to two runs over six innings.
Phillies: The Phillies are off Monday before they welcome a familiar face to town on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET when the Dodgers come to Philadelphia for a three-game series. Jimmy Rollins, the Phillies' all-time hits leader and former MVP, will play at Citizens Bank Park for the first time as a visitor as the Dodgers' shortstop. Alex Wood will be making his Los Angeles debut in that game.