By Sam Bush
Carlos Santana drove in J.P. Crawford with a sacrifice fly in the 11th inning and manager Gabe Kapler went through nine pitchers for his first win as the Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 5-4.
“Pretty exhilarating,” Kapler said.
Kapler has used a combined 13 relief pitchers in his first two games. He was criticized for pulling Aaron Nola with a 5-0 lead after Nola threw only 68 pitches in the Braves’ 8-5 win on Thursday night. Last night, he pulled starter Nick Pivetta after only four innings.
“I’m well aware that we can’t use everybody every night, if that’s what you’re asking,” Kapler said, and he said “we’ll be creative and we’ll be flexible” to make the plan work.
“We’ve discussed this and continue to say it’s the strength of our club, major strength of our club,” he said. “We’re going to continue to lean on those guys.”
Crawford hit a one-out single up the middle off Shane Carle (0-1) and moved to third on a single by Cesar Hernandez, who had two hits and two walks. Santana, who hit his first homer with the Phillies in the fifth, drove in Crawford with a fly ball to left field.
Santana, who drove in three runs, said his approach was “don’t try too much” after falling behind 0-2 in the count.
Drew Hutchinson (1-0) closed it out when he got Ender Inciarte to hit a shallow fly ball to center field with runners on first and second.
The Phils grabbed a 4-3 lead on Nick Williams’ pinch-hit single in the sixth off Jose Ramirez.
The Braves took advantage of the Phillies’ defensive shift to tie the game in the eighth. Luis Garcia walked Freddie Freeman. With the infield defense shifted against left-handed-hitting Nick Markakis, Freeman was able to advance to an uncovered third as Markakis was thrown out at first on a high bouncer to Garcia.
After Chris Stewart grounded out, Preston Tucker hit a tying RBI single to left.
The Braves appeared to have the go-ahead run when Dansby Swanson followed with a double and pinch-runner Peter Bourjos was called safe by plate umpire Greg Gibson. But the call was overturned when a video review showed a sliding Bourjos had his right foot in the air as he was tagged by catcher Andrew Knapp.
“It was pretty obvious that his foot came up,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.
Rhys Hoskins homered in the third off Mike Foltynewicz. Hoskins’ drive landed in the second level of the left-field seats. Santana’s homer in the fifth tied the game at 3-all.
Foltynewicz allowed three runs, two earned, and five hits in five innings.