‘YOU HAVE TO SAY BRAVES ARE BETTER,’ THOMSON SAYS, PHILS ARE TOO!

By Sam Bush

Matt Olson matched Andruw Jones for the Braves’ season home run record with 51 and Atlanta beat the Phillies 7-6 in 10 innings.

The Braves can wrap up their sixth straight division crown with a win tonight over the Phillies.

The NL wild-card leading Phillies tied it on a home run in the ninth for the second straight day but failed to complete the comeback.

Trea Turner tied it at 6 with a leadoff homer —- his 11th in the last 13 games — in the ninth off Braves closer Raisel Iglesias.

Bryce Harper got his 1,500th career hit on his 17th homer of the season in the eighth and Bryson Stott hit a two run-shot off Joe Jiménez in the inning to cut it to 6-5.

Thanks to pop throughout the offense, the Phillies are never out of any game. Consider, Harper hit a two-run, two-out tying homer in the ninth a day earlier off Iglesias. Iglesias (5-4) blew ninth-inning leads in consecutive days and picked up two wins.

“We’ve got to win these games, especially the close ones like that, especially when you’re at home,” Harper said. “Any time you’re able to win those games and put pressure on other teams, you’ve got to do it.”

Olson hit homers 49 and 50 in the second game of a doubleheader a night earlier, then hit the first pitch he saw from starter Zack Wheeler in the fourth inning of this one into the left-field seats. The fan who caught the ball threw it back onto the field. Olson’s 50th homer had to be retrieved from a fan by Phillies left fielder Kyle Schwarber.

Olson, who has 128 RBI this season, has 11 homers in 18 career games at Citizens Bank Park.

The Braves hammered Wheeler for three homers and showed again they are determined not to shrink in the October spotlight like they did last season in Philadelphia.

After Nick Castellanos and Olson exchanged solo shots, the Braves bust the game open with a five-run fifth. Acuña hit his 37th of the season for a 3-1 lead and Ozuna crushed his 34th for a 6-1 lead.

The Braves are the betting favorite, per , to win the World Series. Clinching the East on the same field where they were eliminated in the NL Division Series could put some finality in leaving last October’s flop behind them.

“The record’s better, so I mean you have to consider them better,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “But we’re better, too.”

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