Instant Replay: Phillies 4, Braves 3 (10 innings)

Instant Replay: Phillies 4, Braves 3 (10 innings)

BOX SCORE

The Phillies won a wild one Saturday night.
 
Maikel Franco's two-run single with two outs in the bottom of the 10th gave them a 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves.
 
It was the Phils' third straight win and fifth in the last seven games.
 
The Braves scored one in the ninth and one in the 10th to take a lead.
 
Edubray Ramos, attempting to convert the first save of his big-league career, gave up a game-tying solo homer to Brandon Phillips with two outs in the top of the ninth. An inning later, the Phillies fell apart defensively and the Braves took a 3-2 lead.
 
The Phils loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the 10th on hits by Brock Stassi, Cesar Hernandez and Aaron Altherr. Franco ended up with a liner to right against Jim Johnson.
 
First baseman Tommy Joseph made a costly error that set up the Braves' go-ahead run in the 10th. The unearned run scored on a two-out infield hit by Adonis Garcia. Third baseman Franco had a chance to make an inning-ending play, but could not get the ball out of his glove cleanly. He atoned in the bottom of the inning.
 
The Phils are 8-9.
 
Starting pitching report
Jerad Eickhoff struggled with his command and therefore ran his pitch count to 98 in five innings. But he made a lot of big pitches in holding the Braves to just two hits and a run over five. Eickhoff walked two and struck out seven.
 
Eickhoff often receives little run support. In this game, he got none. The Phillies did not score with him in the game.
 
Eickhoff has made 45 career starts. His average run support is just 3.73.
 
But his ERA in those 45 starts is 3.36, the lowest of any Phillies' starting pitcher in the first 45 starts of his career since Bruce Ruffin (3.27) from 1986-87. That stat courtesy of Elias Sports.
 
Braves starter Jaime Garcia pitched shutout ball for five innings then gave up two runs in the sixth and was on his way to a loss until his mates scored single runs in the ninth and 10th. He scattered five hits over six innings.
 
Bullpen report
Joely Rodriguez, Luis Garcia and Pat Neshek combined on three scoreless innings and Ramos was one out away from ending the game when he gave up the solo homer to Phillips in the ninth.
 
Jeanmar Gomez got the win.
 
Joaquin Benoit and Hector Neris were unavailable after pitching the previous two games.
 
Johnson allowed four hits in the 10th and took the loss.
 
At the plate
The Phils scored two in the sixth. Hernandez and Altherr opened with hits against Garcia. Odubel Herrera tied the game with a hard-hit single up the middle and Franco delivered the go-ahead run with a hard-hit ground ball in the hole between short and third.
 
The Phils left two men in scoring position in the seventh.
 
They had a man thrown out at the plate trying to score on a fly ball to end the eighth.
 
A leadoff walk by Eickhoff, a stolen base and a two-out double by Phillips in the fourth accounted for Atlanta's first run. Phillips tied the game with his second homer of the season.
 
In the field
Herrera made a great running catch on a scorched liner to right-center by Dansby Swanson for the second out in the seventh.
 
Freddy Galvis made a couple of terrific plays at shortstop.
 
Altherr made a nice diving catch to end the seventh.
 
Joseph threw to an empty base in the 10th.
 
On the bases
The Phils did not run the bases well.
 
Franco took them out of an inning with a base-running blunder after the team had scored two runs in the sixth.
 
Galvis was caught stealing third base with one out and a one-run lead in the seventh.
 
A trade
The Phillies acquired utility man Ty Kelly from Toronto for cash. General manager Matt Klentak spoke about the deal and other matters.
 
Up next
The series concludes Sunday afternoon with Zach Eflin (0-0, 3.60) opposing Braves' right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (0-2, 4.26)

Tonight's lineup: Michael Saunders dropped to eighth in order

Tonight's lineup: Michael Saunders dropped to eighth in order

Pete Mackanin is still searching for answers to the Phillies' offensive woes following Sunday afternoon's disheartening 1-0 loss in Pittsburgh during which the Phils could only muster three hits.

The latest lineup twist as the search for an answer continues will see Michael Saunders bat in the eight-hole tonight as the Phils open a four-game series with the surging Rockies tonight at Citizens Bank Park (see game notes).

When he has started this season, Saunders has been a fixture within the middle of the Phillies' order. After all, the offseason free-agent signing was an All-Star for Toronto last season when he hit 24 homers and drove in 57 runs.

But this season hasn't gone as planned as Saunders is hitting just .232 with four homers and 15 RBI in 41 games with the Phils this season.

With Saunders' drop down the lineup, Tommy Joseph will bat fourth, Maikel Franco fifth and Odubel Herrera sixth against Rockies spot starter Jeff Hoffman.

Tonight's full lineup can be found below:

Phillies
1. Cesar Hernandez 2B
2. Freddy Galvis SS
3. Aaron Altherr LF
4. Tommy Joseph 1B
5. Maikel Franco 3B
6. Odubel Herrera CF
7. Cameron Rupp C
8. Michael Saunders RF
9. Jerad Eickhoff SP

Phillies-Rockies 5 things: Jerad Eickhoff looking for consistency vs. Rockies' potent offense

Phillies-Rockies 5 things: Jerad Eickhoff looking for consistency vs. Rockies' potent offense

Phillies (15-26) vs. Rockies (28-17)
Coverage starts at 6:30 p.m. on CSN; streaming live on CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports App

The Phillies return home after a disastrous 2-7 road trip to host the NL West-leading Colorado Rockies in a four-game split.

Jerad Eickhoff gets the start for the Phils and is coming off of his best start in a month, but has a tough matchup vs. the Rockies’ potent offense.

Here are five things to know:

1. Like the old Eick
Eickhoff has been the model of consistency for Phillies pitchers since he joined the club in 2015, with 31 quality starts (six or more innings with no more than three earned runs) in 49 career games. But Eickhoff struggled recently, before regaining his form in his last start at Texas.

In his three prior starts — vs. the Dodgers, Cubs and Mariners — Eickhoff averaged just 4.2 innings per start as his ERA ballooned to 4.76. But the righty seemed to regain his form vs. the Rangers in his last start, a six-inning, two-earned-run outing.

Building off of that step will be a tall task, though against an explosive Rockies lineup.

2. Better hitters than Rocky
The hard-hitting Rockies are coming to town.

Colorado boasts one of the league’s best offenses, ranking fourth in runs scored, 10th in home runs and fifth in extra-base hits. Take the Rockies out of the thin air at Coors Field, and the numbers tell a different story, though. On the road, Colorado drops to 12th in runs, 14th in homers and 10th in extra-base hits. Still solid numbers, but nothing that jumps off the page at you. The Phillies (as bad as they are on the road) have more extra-base hits.

The Rockies are led by Mark Reynolds (yes, that Mark Reynolds), with 12 homers and 39 RBI. Shockingly, Reynolds — who has set the all-time single-season strikeout record in a season — is leading the team with a .323 batting average. 

Just about the only thing you don’t have to worry about with the Rockies’ offense is their speed. The Rockies rank dead last in MLB with just 11 steals on the year. 

3. Not the same old Rockies
Despite the dip in numbers on the road, the Rockies are still 15-7 on the road this season, the second-best mark in MLB, behind only the Astros.

What’s different about this year’s team, unlike years past, is the pitching. This year, they’re a middling staff, which is actually a huge improvement for the club. Last season, Rockies pitchers ranked in the bottom five in MLB in almost all categories: 27th in ERA (4.91), 28th in runs allowed (860) and 28th in opponent batting average (.274), just to name a few.

This year, the Rockies have knocked off nearly half a run per game (4.48 ERA) and rank 13th in the entire league with a .250 opponent batting average. With an offense like theirs, a middling pitching staff could be all the Rockies need to earn a postseason bid.

4. Oh, 'Dubel
What’s happened to Odubel Herrera?

After an All-Star 2016 season, Herrera has been one of the Phillies’ biggest disappointments in 2017. Batting just .236 on the year, Herrera is on pace to easily set a career high in strikeouts (168) and career lows in runs (60) and extra-base hits (39). Not a good look for Herrera after signing a five-year deal to be a building block of the future in the offseason. However, there is hope: In his career, Herrera has increased his batting average, runs scored and OPS each month as the season has gone along. 

5. This and that
•Jeff Hoffman will make a spot start for the Rockies on Monday. He’s the Rockies' third-ranked prospect by Baseball America and has a 4.97 ERA with 32 strikeouts and 19 walks in 10 career MLB games. Batters are hitting .282 off him this season.

•Eickhoff’s numbers have risen with Cameron Rupp behind the plate. With Rupp catching, Eickhoff has a 3.53 ERA as opposed to a 3.13 ERA with Carlos Ruiz catching.

•After a red-hot start to the month, Aaron Altherr has cooled off over the last week, hitting just .231 with more strikeouts (five) than RBI (four).