The Atlanta Braves opened their final homestand of the regular season with a loss to the Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 on Tuesday evening in the first outing of a three game set at SunTrust Park. It was the second loss in a row for the NL East leaders.
Atlanta struck first with a couple of runs off Vince Velasquez in the bottom of the first inning. Philadelphia came charging back with five runs off of Dallas Keuchel in the top of the fourth, including a pair of two-run homers by Rhys Hoskins and Jose Pirela. The Braves attempted a comeback late in the game with pinch-hit solo home runs from Adeiny Hechavarria and Adam Duvall in the eighth and ninth, respectively. Duvall’s home run off Hector Neris led off the bottom of the ninth and put the Braves within a run of the Phillies. It was all she wrote for the Braves, and the Phillies hung on to win the game, again, by a final score of 5-4.
Keuchel was tagged with the loss for Atlanta after surrendering five runs and eight hits, walking one and striking out two in five innings. Velasquez picked up the win, while Neris was credited with the save for Philadelphia.
Atlanta’s lead in the National League East now stands at nine games over the Washington Nationals as the Nats beat the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday night. The Braves’ magic number to clinch the division remains at three with just 10 games left in the regular season. They will face the Phillies again tonight; the first pitch is slated for 7:20 pm. The game will be broadcast on WLAQ 1410 AM and 96.9 FM. Air time is 6:05 pm.