By Mark Bowman and Aimee Sachs
MLB.com |@mlbbowman |
ATLANTA -- Suburban Atlanta resident Adam Morgan extended his hometown team's woes and helped the Phillies add to their surprising early season success as he completed seven strong innings in Tuesday night's 3-2 win over the Braves at Turner Field.
Morgan scattered three hits while matching the career-high seven-inning total he had also posted in one of his three previous career starts against the Braves. The Phillies notched their third straight win with some assistance from Maikel Franco, who highlighted his three-hit performance with an eighth-inning home run.
Each of the Phillies' last seven wins have been by one run.
"You need luck," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "You need to be good. I think we're good. I'm not saying we're the best. I'm just saying we're doing things right."
Franco's home run soured the second straight eight-inning performance provided by Matt Wisler, who surrendered a season-high eight hits. Wisler was not as sharp as he was when he limited the Mets to one hit over eight scoreless last week, but he received little offensive assistance from the Braves, who inched closer with a ninth-inning home run from Freddie Freeman before falling to 1-16 at home this year.
"Wisler pitched great," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "That's where we're at. He pitches eight innings and gives up three [runs]. On most nights, that gives you a [great] chance to win a ballgame."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Morgan handles Braves: The Phillies' righty escaped a third-inning jam and found himself in another in the fourth with runners at first and third and no out. He traded a run for two outs when he induced Tyler Flowers to hit into a 6-4-3 double play, which tied the game 1-1. Morgan threw 90 pitches in seven strong innings. More >
Better than the line indicates: Wisler paid the price for the slider Franco hit into the left-field seats, and he surrendered Peter Bourjos' near wall-clearing double before allowing Cesar Hernandez to hit a 2-2 slider for a two-out RBI single in the fifth. But the Braves' right-hander remained steady throughout his 104-pitch outing, which began with him retiring nine of the first 11 batters he faced.
"I felt good for the most part," Wisler said. "I think the biggest thing today was I left a couple sliders up in the zone, and I didn't finish a couple pitches." More >
Making his presence felt:Ender Inciarte notched the first of his two singles to begin the fourth inning and scored on Flower's double-play groundout. But the center fielder, who was activated from the disabled list on Saturday, also showed off his powerful arm in the sixth when he caught Freddy Galvis' fly ball in right-center field and then made an accurate throw to double up Carlos Ruiz, who had strayed too far from first base.
"That was awesome," Braves left fielder Jeff Francoeur said. "I was actually yelling at [right fielder Nick Markakis] because I didn't think [Inciarte] knew where he was going. If I ever play against him, I'll have to remember that one." More >
"I think the one thing we honestly have going for us is that our starting pitching right now is stabilizing us a little bit, and we're just not scoring runs. We've got to find a way to get these pitchers some runs and let them feel comfortable out there." -- Francoeur
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Wisler and Mike Foltynewicz (Sunday's starter) became the first Braves pitchers to complete at least seven innings in consecutive games this season. Wisler has accounted for four of the 10 instances in which a Braves pitcher has completed at least eight innings since the start of last year.
WHAT'S NEXT Phillies: The Phillies will send Jerad Eickhoff to the mound on Wednesday when they continue their series with the Braves at 7:10 p.m. ET. Eickhoff will be looking for his first win since April 13.
Braves:Jhoulys Chacin will take the mound when this three-game series resumes on Wednesday. Chacin surrendered his first four homers of the season while completing just 4 2/3 innings against the Mets in his most recent start.