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Braves look to keep rolling in series finale vs. Phillies

Sportsnaut
Jul 26, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Atlanta Braves outfielder Eddie Rosario (8) celebrates with teammates after scoring against the Philadelphia Phillies in the ninth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

After a deflating loss in the opener of a crucial series, the Atlanta Braves responded with a 6-3 win over the host Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday.

Now the Braves will look for another series victory in the finale on Wednesday afternoon.

The Braves weren’t fazed by Bryson Stott’s game-deciding, three-run homer on Monday, coming back with home runs by Matt Olson and Michael Harris II on Tuesday. Dansby Swanson had three hits and Austin Riley doubled twice to extend his hitting streak to 18 games.

The result was the 500th career victory for Brian Snitker as the Braves manager.

“We checked a lot of boxes here the last few years,” Snitker said in a postgame interview on Bally Sports South. “Wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Atlanta, the defending World Series champion, appears to have the potential for another deep postseason run.

“We know that every day is its own day and you have to prepare to win every night,” Swanson said. “That’s what we do. We’re professionals here.”

The Braves will hand the ball to Charlie Morton (5-4, 4.20 ERA) on Wednesday. Morton is 5-5 with a 4.65 ERA in 14 career starts against the Phillies dating to 2008.

In Morton’s latest start, on Friday against the Los Angeles Angels, he tossed six scoreless innings, allowing two hits, striking out seven and walking three.

The 38-year-old veteran has been better at locating his pitches compared to early in the season.

“I feel like the past month and a half or a so, I’ve gotten back to pitching the way I was before,” Morton said. “It’s just the first month and a half was so bad, the aggregate numbers are not good.”

The Phillies have struggled during their six-game homestand, as they were swept by the Chicago Cubs prior to the series with Atlanta.

They’ll need a win Wednesday to finish 2-4.

Despite a late two-run home run by J.T. Realmuto, the offense was rather lifeless on Tuesday. Kyle Schwarber did hit his team-best 31st homer, though, and Alec Bohm had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.

Bohm has lifted his average to .290, and interim manager Rob Thomson was asked about possibly moving him up to the leadoff spot.

Philadelphia has been without a true No. 1 hitter all season.

“We’ve been talking about a lot of things with the lineup,” Thomson said. “We scored three tonight, but that’s not enough. We’re talking about a lot of things with the lineup and trying to inject some runs in there.”

Bohm continues to be one of the hottest hitters in the National League.

What has proven to be the difference?

“He’s just barreling the ball up,” Thomson said. “He’s using the field and he’s swinging at strikes, not chasing. He’s been really, really consistent for a while now.”

Kyle Gibson (5-4, 4.69 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Phillies. In three career starts against the Braves, Gibson is 1-1 with a 4.42 ERA.

Gibson scuffled mightily in his last start against the Cubs on Friday, as he allowed six hits and six runs in 4 1/3 innings. He walked three and didn’t record a strikeout.

The Phillies activated Nick Maton from the 10-day injured list on Tuesday and optioned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley for a rehab assignment. Maton injured his right shoulder while making a diving catch in right-center field on June 3 against the Angels.

–Field Level Media