braves take out phillies, philadelphia, vince, velasquez
By Sam Bush
Brandon McCarthy tossed 5 2/3 sharp innings, Ozzie Albies (above) hit his 14th homer and the Braves beat the Phillies 3-1.
McCarthy (5-2) allowed one run and four hits with five strikeouts. He is 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA against the Phillies his season and 1-2 with a 6.60 ERA against the rest of the league.
Vince Velasquez (4-5) gave up two runs — one earned — and fanned nine in 4 2/3 innings. He fell to 0-4 against the Braves.
The NL East’s top two teams have already met 11 times, with Atlanta winning seven games.
Braves lefty A.J. Minter escaped a first-and-third, two-out jam in the eighth, retiring Jorge Alfaro on a fly to center. Arodys Vizcaino finished with a perfect inning for his ninth save in 11 tries.
Albies put the Braves in front with a solo shot in the third. The leadoff hitter is second behind Bryce Harper for most homers in the NL.
“I worked hard in the offseason. I want good results to happen and it’s happening,” Albies said.
Sloppy defense by the Phillies helped Atlanta get another run in the fifth.
Albies walked to start the inning. He advanced to third on Freddie Freeman’s single after right fielder Nick Williams threw to an uncovered base because third baseman Maikel Franco was shifted. Freeman went to second on the play.Nick Markakis followed with a bouncer to first baseman Carlos Santana. His throw to the plate sailed over Alfaro’s head for an error, allowing Albies to score.
Cesar Hernandez’s RBI single in the bottom half cut it to 2-1. But McCarthy struck out Rhys Hoskins swinging to strand runners on second and third.
The Braves missed an opportunity in the fourth when they loaded the bases with no outs on a walk and two singles. Velasquez struck out Dansby Swanson,Ryan Flaherty and McCarthy — each went down swinging.
McCarthy said he was merely “decoration” in the batter’s box.
“I had no chance against Velasquez,” he said.
Phillies manager Gabe Kapler was impressed with Velasquez’s resilience.
“It’s a lot of growth for him, took deep breaths out there, really saw him continuing to compose himself which is definite indication of development,” Kapler said.
Ronald Acuna’s RBI single in the ninth off Edubray Ramos drove in Albies to give the Braves an insurance run.
“He’s ignited us,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Albies. “He’s done a great job. He’s got a lot of confidence. He’s strong, he has a lot of bat speed. He can do a lot of things.”
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