Instant Replay: Braves 7, Phillies 1

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Instant Replay: Braves 7, Phillies 1

BOX SCORE

ATLANTA -- The Phillies’ slow and painful trudge to the end of the season continued in a 7-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night.

The Braves, who have already wrapped up the NL East title, came out of the gate with five runs against Tyler Cloyd in the first inning and coasted to the victory.

The Phils have lost seven of their last eight games and are 19-20 under Ryne Sandberg.

The Phils are 6-22 in their last 28 road games.

Starting pitching report
Cloyd faced 13 batters; 10 reached base. Five of the eight hits he allowed were for extra bases. The right-hander has an ERA of 15.43 this month. He has pitched 14 innings in four September starts. Over that span, he has allowed 33 hits and 24 runs.

Atlanta rookie David Hale, in his second big-league start, held the Phillies to one run over six innings. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.

Bullpen report
On the plus side, the Phillies' bullpen pitched seven shutout innings. Lefty Mauricio Robles led the way with three shutout innings.

Atlanta’s bullpen picked up three shutout innings.

At the plate
The Phillies had nine hits, but were a dreadful 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position.

The Phils have just five extra-base hits in the last four games, all doubles. They have not homered in eight straight games, their longest drought since 1996.

Jimmy Rollins had three hits for the Phillies.

Jason Heyward hit Cloyd’s first pitch of the game out of the park and it was all downhill from there for the Phillies. Heyward added three doubles and an infield hit to finish withfive hits. His four extra-base hits were one more than the Phillies had in the previous three games.

Howard visits
Ryan Howard, out for the season with a knee injury, worked out with the team before the game. He will be ready to go in spring training (see story).

Up next
Cliff Lee (14-7, 2.93) will make his final start of the season Friday night against Atlanta’s Kris Medlen (14-12, 3.24).

Sources: Phillies close to signing reliever Joaquin Benoit

Sources: Phillies close to signing reliever Joaquin Benoit

WASHINGTON – It looks as if the Phillies will have some action at the winter meetings.

The team is close to signing veteran reliever Joaquin Benoit, sources tell CSNPhilly.com. The winter meetings officially begin on Monday. The signing is expected to be announced before the meetings end on Thursday.

Benoit, 39, is a veteran of 15 seasons in the majors. He is coming off a strong 2016 season in which he pitched in 51 games for Seattle and Toronto and recorded a 2.81 ERA.

Benoit began the 2016 season with the Mariners and had a 5.18 ERA in 26 games. He was traded to Toronto in July and gave up just one run in 23 2/3 innings over 25 games, but did not pitch in the postseason after suffering a torn calf muscle in late September.

The right-hander has pitched for six teams in his career and has a lifetime 3.79 ERA in 712 games.

Entering the offseason, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said he wanted to improve the bullpen. He opened the offseason by trading for veteran right-hander Pat Neshek and last week claimed lefty David Rollins off waivers from Texas. Now, Klentak is poised to add Benoit.

Benoit has mostly pitched in a setup role in his career, but he does have closer experience. It is unclear what role he’d pitch in for the Phillies. The Phils have Jeanmar Gomez and Hector Neris returning to the back of their bullpen in 2017. Benoit could complement that pair or the Phillies could choose to trade Gomez or Neris.

Neris pitched in 79 games in 2016 and had a 2.58 ERA, so the Phillies would only deal him if they were to get a strong package of talent in return.

Phillies tender contracts to 3 players as Cody Asche becomes free agent

Phillies tender contracts to 3 players as Cody Asche becomes free agent

The Phillies tendered contracts to three arbitration-eligible players on Friday night and set another free.
 
Reliever Jeanmar Gomez and infielders Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis were tendered contracts for the 2017 season while outfielder Cody Asche was let go after four seasons with the club. 
 
The Phillies signaled their intention to let Asche go when they designated him for assignment, a move that removed him from the 40-man roster, on Friday afternoon. The club had the option of trading Asche — and likely had discussions with other clubs — but ultimately decided to non-tender him before the 8 p.m. deadline. The move made Asche a free agent.
 
The Phils had removed Asche from the 40-man roster to clear a spot for David Rollins, a left-handed reliever who was claimed off waivers from Texas on Friday (see story)
 
Galvis and Hernandez, the team’s regular shortstop and second baseman, respectively, were certain to receive contracts for 2017. Gomez was less certain. He saved 37 games for the Phils in 2016, but struggled badly late in the season.
 
Phillies officials will try to negotiate 2017 salaries with all three players. If an agreement cannot be reached with a player, an arbitration hearing will be held later in the winter to determine that player’s salary for the coming season.
 
Gomez made $1.4 million in 2016, Galvis $2 million and Hernandez $525,000. According to mlbtraderumors.com, Gomez projects to make $4.6 million in arbitration, Galvis $4.4 million and Hernandez $2.5 million. 

The Phillies' roster is full at 40.