PHILS SLIDE IN 2ND PLACE AFTER NOLA CAN’T STOP BRAVES!

By Sam Bush

So much for the first-place Phils.

Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson homered and the Atlanta Braves knocked the Phils i n second place behind the Mets with a 6-1 win.

Freeman, the reigning NL MVP who began the game 1 for 24 in May, hit his ninth homer, a solo shot, to make it 5-1 in the third as the Braves won their second straight game and fifth in the last six. Freeman finished 3 for 3 and reached base four times, raising his batting average 20 points to .217.

Aaron Nola (3-2) took the loss after allowing four runs, five hits and one walk with four strikeouts in four innings.

Atlanta carried over momentum from winning in dramatic fashion Saturday night when it erased a two-run deficit in the ninth, a one-run deficit in the 11th and rallied to overcome Philadelphia’s three-run lead to win 8-7 in 12 innings.

The three-time defending NL East champion Braves improved to 17-17. The Phils dropped to 18-17.

The Phillies led 1-0 in the first when McCutchen, on the first pitch of the game, hit his fifth homer.

Atlanta went ahead 4-1 in the bottom of the first. Ronald Acuña Jr., back in the lineup after getting hit in the left pinkie and leaving Saturday’s game in the seventh, walked, stole second and scored on Freeman’s single. Freeman scored on Ozzie Albies’ triple before Swanson added his fourth homer.

Austin Riley’s RBI double made it 6-1 in the eighth.

Nola’s ERA in nine career starts at Truist Park rose to 59 points to 4.56. Manager Joe Girardi thought his ace lacked command.

“I know he’ll be frustrated, but that’s baseball, too,” Girardi said.

“Pitchers aren’t going to be perfect. That’s the bottom line. Tonight he didn’t have his good stuff. He’s worked really hard and maybe that had something to do with it, but I’m glad he gets an extra day (of rest) and again, I think it’s really going to benefit our starters.”

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