Final: Philadelphia Phillies 5, Atlanta Braves 4 ❖ Attendance: 35,123
ATLANTA, Ga. — It took eleven innings, a combined sixteen pitchers used between both teams, and over four hours, but the Philadelphia Phillies (1-1) pulled out a victory over the Atlanta Braves (1-1) and handed manager Gabe Kapler his first win as a Major League manager. The big story of tonight's game was the Major League debut of Scott Kingery. He made the start at third base and looked very comfortable there. Kingery struck out in his first at-bat, but he bounced back to get his first big league hit in the fourth inning: a single up the middle. According to Statcast, the ball left his bat at an impressive 108 mph. Kingery also singled in the eighth inning. He is the first Phillie to record two hits in his Major League debut since Domonic Brown in 2010.
On the offensive front, it was a combined effort. Almost all of the starting position players recorded at least one hit. Carlos Santana's first hit in a Phillies uniform was a solo home-run. He knocked in three of the five runs in the game. Rhys Hoskins also hit his first homer of the season. J.P. Crawford's first hit of the season led to him scoring the winning run.
The bullpen was excellent. Eight relievers threw a combined seven innings, in which they only allowed four hits and one run. The only pitcher from the 'pen that did not pitch was Jake Thompson. In these first two games, Kapler has gone to the bullpen an astounding thirteen times. When asked about this after the game, he said, "I'm well aware that we can't use everybody every night ... We'll be creative and we'll be flexible and we'll find ways to put together a bullpen that's gonna be protective." Based on that statement alone, it's clear that Kapler has no intention of changing this strategy, despite the strain it could put on his bullpen over the course of a 162-game season.
WP: Drew Hutchison (1-0, 0.00 ERA) ❖ LP: Shane Carle (0-1, 4.50 ERA)
The Phillies took an early lead in the ballgame. Left fielder Rhys Hoskins led off the second inning with a home-run to left field. The upper deck blast was Hoskins' first of the season and his third extra base hit of the season. Braves pitcher Mike Foltynewicz struck out the next three Phillies hitters in order to end the inning.
The Phils added on in the third. With one out, J.P. Crawford reached on catcher interference. Second baseman Cesar Hernandez followed with a double down the left field line to put runners on second and third for Carlos Santana. He flew out to deep right to score Crawford. Center fielder Odubel Herrera was retired on a fly out for the final out of the frame.
The Braves fought back in their half of the third inning. Dansby Swanson hit a lead-off single. Third baseman Ryan Flaherty followed with a double to score Swanson and make it a 2-1 game. Foltynewicz moved Flaherty up to third on a sacrifice bunt. Flaherty scored on a sacrifice fly by Ender Inciarte to tie the game at two runs apiece. The Phillies had the call reviewed, as they thought Flaherty left third base early. However, that was not the case and the run counted. Ozzie Albies lined out to first for the third out.
The Braves took the lead in the fourth. First baseman Freddie Freeman led off the inning with a walk. He was quickly eliminated, as Nick Markakis grounded into a double play. It seemed that the Phils would get out of the inning easily, but that was not the case. Catcher Kurt Suzuki was hit by a pitch in the hand, but opted to remain in the game. Preston Tucker followed with a single to put runners on first and second for Swanson. He singled to right field, scoring Suzuki. Tucker moved up to third on the play. Flaherty walked to load the bases for Foltynewicz. Fortunately, Foltynewicz struck out and the Phils were able to avoid any more damage.
The Phillies tied it back up in the fifth inning. With two outs, Santana hit a home-run over the right field wall. It was the first baseman's first hit as a Phillie and his second RBI of the game. Herrera followed with a double down the left field line. He moved up to third on a wild pitch. Unfortunately, Hoskins was retired on a soft groundout and Herrera was stranded at third.
The Phils took the lead once again in the sixth. Aaron Altherr led off the inning with a walk. He stole second during Kingery's at-bat. Kingery and Andrew Knapp were retired on a lineout and a strikeout, respectively. It looked like Altherr would be stranded. However, that was not the case, as pinch-hitter Nick Williams singled to left field and Altherr scored on the play. Williams advanced to second on a wild pick-off throw by Braves reliever Jose Ramirez. He was stranded at second, though, as Crawford grounded out to end the inning.
The Braves tied it up again in the bottom of the eighth inning. Freeman led off the inning with a walk. Markakis followed with a groundout to pitcher Luis Garcia. Because of the defensive shift, there wasn't anyone covering third, which allowed Freeman to advance an extra bag. Catcher Chris Stewart grounded out to second, which forced Freeman to stay at third. Freeman ended up scoring on a single by the next batter, Tucker, to tie the game at four runs apiece. Tucker was replaced on first by pinch-runner Peter Bourjos. Swanson doubled to left field and Bourjos was off running. After an excellent relay from Hoskins to Crawford to Knapp, Bourjos was initially ruled safe at the plate. However, upon review, the call was reversed, as footage showed Knapp getting a tag in before Bourjos' foot hit the plate. This loud third out was huge, as the game ended up going to extra innings.
The Phillies took the lead for good in the top of the eleventh. With one out, Crawford singled. He advanced to third on a single by Hernandez. Santana followed with a sacrifice fly to left field to score Crawford. Hernandez moved up to second on the throw toward the plate. Herrera grounded out for the final out, but the Phillies ended up only needing that one run to secure the victory.
- Carlos Santana: 1-3, R, HR, 3 RBI, .125 AVG
- Rhys Hoskins: 2-5, R, HR, RBI, .500 AVG
- Scott Kingery: 2-5, .400 AVG
- Dansby Swanson: 3-4, R, 2B, RBI, .375 AVG
- Ryan Flaherty: 2-4, R, 2B, RBI, .375 AVG
- Preston Tucker: 2-4, RBI, .375 AVG
- Victor Arano (5th): 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR, 0.00 ERA
- Hoby Milner (5th): 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR, 13.50 ERA
- Edubray Ramos (6th): 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR, 0.00 ERA
- Adam Morgan (6th, 7th): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR, 10.80 ERA
- Yacksel Rios (7th): 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR, 0.00 ERA
- Luis Garcia (8th): 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR, 4.50 ERA
- Hector Neris (9th): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR, 16.20 ERA
- Drew Hutchison (10th, 11th): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR, 0.00 ERA
- Jose Ramirez (6th): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR, 9.00 ERA
- Sam Freeman (7th): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR, 0.00 ERA
- Peter Moylan (8th): 0.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR, 0.00 ERA
- A.J. Minter (8th): 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR, 0.00 ERA
- Arodys Vizcaino (9th): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR, 0.00 ERA
- Shane Carle (10th, 11th): 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR, 4.50 ERA
- Saturday, March 31, 2018: at Atlanta Braves, 7:10 p.m.
- Atlanta, Ga. - SunTrust Park
- RHP Vince Velasquez (2017: 2-7, 5.13 ERA) vs. RHP Brandon McCarthy (2017: 6-4, 3.98 ERA)
- TV: NBCSP; Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP