Keuchel, Braves bullpen stifle PhilliesReuters | Philadelphia | Updated: 12-09-2019 08:33 IST | Created: 12-09-2019 08:28 IST
Dallas Keuchel threw six strong innings, Tyler Flowers hit a three-run homer and the visiting Atlanta Braves defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 3-1 on Wednesday. Keuchel (8-5) allowed three hits and one run while striking out eight and walking three.
Ozzie Albies also had a pair of hits for the Braves, who improved to 91-56. Mark Melancon earned his 11th save despite giving up a pair of singles in the ninth inning.
The Phillies (75-70), who managed only five hits, entered the night just two games behind the Chicago Cubs for the second wild-card berth in the National League. Phillies starter Zach Eflin lasted only 3 2/3 innings and allowed three hits and three runs, though all three were unearned. Eflin (8-12) struck out five, walked three and tossed 95 pitches, 61 for strikes.
The Braves placed runners at first and second with one out in the fourth inning and left fielder Johan Camargo fouled a ball off his leg and was forced to leave the scoreless game. Rafael Ortega came in to pinch hit for Camargo and struck out. Flowers then followed with a three-run homer to left field for a 3-0 advantage.
In the fifth, Harper grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded and one out. Corey Dickerson, who homered twice in Tuesday's 6-5 Phillies win, left the game in the sixth after grounding out. Dickerson winced coming out of the batter's box and barely made it a few feet before leaving the game.
The Braves had runners on first and second with two outs in the seventh and Freddie Freeman grounded out to end the threat. Harper drew a two-out walk in the eighth against reliever Shane Greene, but Rhys Hoskins lined out softly to shortstop Dansby Swanson.
The Braves tried to go ahead 4-1 in the ninth, but Harper recorded his 12th outfield assist by throwing out Austin Riley at home.