PHILADELPHIA — On a night that featured a pair of solo home runs by third baseman Adonis Garcia, the Atlanta Braves used some extra-inning small ball to pick up their fifth straight win.
Catcher Tyler Flowers and second baseman Jace Peterson each drove in runs with weak ground balls to Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard in the 10th inning Saturday night, giving the Braves a 6-4 win in front of 19,543 fans at Citizens Bank Park.
The Braves’ five-game win streak is their second-longest of the season, one short of the six-game stretch they put together from June 15-21.
The Phillies received a career-high four-hit performance from third baseman Maikel Franco and a pair of RBIs from catcher Cameron Rupp, but suffered their fifth straight loss and seventh in eight games. Philadelphia’s longest losing streak of the season is eight games, from June 14-22.
Braves reliever Jed Bradley picked up his first win in his first major-league game, retiring all three batters he faced. Bradley, 26, was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday. He was the 15th player taken overall in the 2011 draft, by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Neither of the game’s starting pitchers factored in the decision. Phillies starter Vince Velasquez allowed just two earned runs (a pair of solo homers by Garcia) on five hits in seven innings but failed to pick up a win for the ninth straight time. His last win came on July 8.
Braves starter John Gant, looking for his first win since June 17, permitted three earned runs on five hits in five innings for his third straight no decision.
It didn’t take long for the Braves to grab an early 1-0 lead. Batting in the No. 2 hole, Garcia drilled Velasquez’s sixth pitch of the night into the stands in right-center field for his 12th home run of the season and first since Aug. 24.
The Phillies answered with a three-run outburst in the third. Second baseman Cesar Hernandez started the two-out rally by lining a 1-0 pitch by Gant into the third row of seats in right field.
Philadelphia loaded the bases when Aaron Altherr was hit by a pitch, Franco reached base on an infield single and Howard walked. That set the stage for a two-run double by Rupp, marking his first multi-RBI game since driving in four runs on Aug. 5.
Velasquez carried a 3-1 lead into the fourth, where he surrendered a one-out double to left fielder Matt Kemp, who advanced to third on a passed ball by Rupp and scored on a sacrifice fly by right fielder Nick Markakis to close the Braves within 3-2.
The Phillies restored their two-run lead in the fifth when Franco doubled home Altherr with his second extra-base hit of the night.
NOTES: The Braves placed RHP Aaron Blair on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 29 with a left knee strain and replaced him with RHP Brandon Cunniff, who was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett. … Atlanta RHP Matt Wisler, who allowed just one earned run in each of his last two starts, will not make his scheduled start on Monday night at Washington because of soreness in his left side. Wisler will be replaced in the Atlanta rotation by RHP Ryan Weber. … Looking for an offensive spark, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin moved RF Aaron Altherr into the second hole in the batting lineup. He replaced CF Odubel Herrera, who dropped to the seventh spot after going 0-for-5 in an 8-4 loss Friday night. … Philadelphia LF Darin Ruf made his second straight start after being called up on Friday and 1B Ryan Howard was back in the lineup after going 2-for-4 on Friday with an RBI. … The Phillies and Braves will close out their weekend series on Sunday afternoon (1:35 p.m., ET) when Atlanta RHP Julio Teheran (4-9, 3.12 ERA) faces RHP Jake Thompson (1-4, 7.86 ERA).