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Braves Fall Victim To Phillies Walk-Off

PHILADELPHIA — Down to their final out and trailing the Atlanta Braves by a run with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning, the Philadelphia Phillies needed a clutch at-bat from slugger Maikel Franco.

They got it.

Franco drove a Jim Johnson offering to the wall in right field, driving in two runs with a walk-off hit that gave the Phillies a 4-3 win on Saturday.

Johnson (2-1) threw Franco a 1-0 fastball that got too much of the plate and Franco made him pay.

The Phillies (8-9) won their third straight game and fourth in five games. Atlanta (6-11) dropped its fifth consecutive game.

Jeanmar Gomez (2-1) picked up the win despite allowing a run in the top of the 10th inning.

The Phillies nearly had the game won in the ninth.

With two outs and the Phillies leading 2-1, Atlanta’s Brandon Phillips launched a game-tying, two-out home run in the ninth off reliever Edubray Ramos.

With usual Phillies late-inning relievers Hector Neris and Joaquin Benoit unavailable (rest), and starting pitcher Jerad Eickhoff lasting just five innings, the late innings Saturday figured to be interesting for the Phillies if they had a lead.

They had one, failed to extend it, and saw it disappear in the top of the ninth with two outs.

Ramos was the fourth reliever the Phillies used after Eickhoff’s exit. Ramos struck out the first two batters he faced, but hung a slider to Phillips.

The Braves got a leadoff single from Dansby Swanson to start the 10th. Swanson advanced on what looked to be a simple sacrifice bunt by Emilio Bonifacio up the third-base line. But after Franco threw Bonifacio out at first, Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph inexplicably threw to an unoccupied third base, even though Swanson wasn’t advancing toward that base.

The error allowed Swanson to coast into third, and he would later score on an Adonis Garcia two-out grounder to Franco, who fielded the baseball but threw the ball past Joseph.

Franco made up for it.

Brock Stassi, a pinch-hitter, started the Phillies’ 10th-inning rally with a one-out single to right field. Cesar Hernandez and Aaron Altherr followed with infield singles before Odubel Herrera struck out to bring Franco up as the Phillies’ last chance.

The Phillies trailed 1-0 and had just two hits entering the sixth inning. They scored twice in the sixth to take a 2-1 lead. Herrera and Franco registered RBIs in the inning.

Eickhoff lasted just five innings. He allowed one run on two hits and struck out seven against two walks. He was done in by a high pitch count, needing 98 pitches to get through five. The Braves fouled off 20 pitches against Eickhoff.

Braves starter Jaime Garcia gave up five hits across six innings. He allowed two runs with six strikeouts and a walk.

The Braves scored the game’s first run in the fourth when Phillips plated Freddie Freeman — who reached base four times Saturday — with an RBI double for a 1-0 Atlanta lead.

NOTES: Prior to the game Friday, the Phillies acquired INF/OF Ty Kelly from the Toronto Blue Jays for cash considerations. Kelly, 28, appeared in 40 games for the New York Mets between 2016 and 2017. Philadelphia’s general manager, Matt Klentak, said Kelly would join the team on Tuesday… To make room for Kelly, the Phillies placed RHP Clay Buchholz (forearm surgery) on the 60-day disabled list… Atlanta 2B Brandon Phillips made it 14 consecutive games reaching base safely with his fourth-inning double Friday.

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