By CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — Nick Pivetta and Luiz Gohara provided more reasons to be included in their teams’ plans for 2018.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Update: When Might Your $1,400 Economic Relief Payment Arrive?
Only Pivetta had a win attached to his impressive start.
Pivetta out-pitched Gohara in a matchup of rookies, Mikael Franco homered to break up a scoreless tie and the Philadelphia Phillies beat Atlanta 2-0 on Sunday in the Braves’ final home game of their first season at SunTrust Park.
Pivetta (7-10) threw six innings , allowing five hits and one walk with four strikeouts. The right-hander, who left the game with a 1-0 lead, earned his second straight win.
“I didn’t really feel like it was a one-run baseball game,” Pivetta said. “I felt like the guys were swinging the bats really well and it felt like a 5-0 game. I was confident. I was able to get the guys out, attack the hitters and everything seemed to click. I didn’t put too much pressure on myself.”
Pivetta’s ERA fell to 6.26 — still unappealing, but Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said the right-hander “was real effective for the most part.”
“The key to his outing was he was throwing all his pitches for strikes,” Mackanin said.
Gohara (1-3) allowed one run on five hits and two walks in seven innings in his fourth start since his promotion from Triple-A Gwinnett.
“That’s really big for me,” Gohara said. “I can tell I can compete against major league guys and get outs with good pitches. For next year, that’s going to be a big thing for me.”READ MORE: Wanted For Homicide, Florida Man Leads Deputies On Chase, Breaks Into Home Before Placed Under Arrest
Franco hit Gohara’s first pitch of the fifth high into the second deck of the left-field seats for his 21st homer . It was Philadelphia’s 167th homer of the season, a high mark for the team since hitting 224 in 2009.
Aaron Altherr’s run-scoring double to left off A.J. Minter in the eighth stretched the lead to 2-0.
Hector Neris pitched out of trouble in the ninth for his 24th save in 27 chances. Neris is 18-for-18 in save opportunities since June 28.
Freddie Freeman led off the ninth with a single and moved to second on Kurt Suzuki’s one-out single up the middle. Neris struck out Rio Ruiz and pinch-hitter Matt Adams to end the game.
Ender Inciarte had three singles, continuing his push for 200 hits. His 197 hits are the most for Atlanta since Andruw Jones’ 199 in 2000. The last Braves player to reach 200 hits was Marquis Grissom with 207 in 1996.
Inciarte was stranded on third in the sixth, when he led off with a single and advanced on groundouts by Johan Comargo and Freeman. The inning ended with a groundout to first by Nick Markakis.
Freeman had one hit in his return to Atlanta’s lineup after missing Saturday night’s game with a stomach virus.
The attendance was 33,183, bringing the Braves’ total to 2,505,297 in their first season at their new park. It’s the most the Braves have drawn since 2013, their last playoff season. In 2016, their final season at Turner Field, the total was 2,020,914.
Right fielder Markakis threw out Phillies baserunners at second base in the first and third. Cesar Hernandez led off the game with a single but was thrown out in his attempt for a double . In the third, Jorge Alfaro singled off the right field wall and again Markakis made an accurate throw to second for the out.
Markakis is the first Atlanta outfielder with two or more assists in a game since Jason Heyward on Aug. 27, 2012 at San Diego.
Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola (12-10, 3.56) will start when the Phillies return to Philadelphia to open a series against A.J. Cole and the Nationals on Monday night.
Braves: RHP Lucas Sims (2-5, 5.14) and LHP Max Fried (1-0, 4.41) are scheduled to start Monday’s doubleheader to open a four-game series at the Mets on Monday.