Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
After small blip on the early season radar, Phillies starter Aaron Harang righted the ship and returned to his dominant ways Monday night against the Atlanta Braves.
The Phillies took the early lead, scoring three off Braves starter Alex Wood. Revere, Ruf, Francoeur, and Ruiz all had hits in the inning, leading to the first three all scoring.
Wood ended up going 4 1/3 innings for the Braves giving up just the 3 earned runs while striking out 4. He did however, surrender 9 hits while walking 2.
Harang, while only striking out 2 batters, managed to do what most Phillies starters have struggled with this season in getting batters out. The lone earned run off of Harang came in the bottom of the 6th inning when Atlanta shortstop Andrelton Simmons laced a line drive over the head of Phillies center fielder Odrubel Herrera. Herrera misplayed the ball off the outfield wall, allowing Simmons to race into third with a triple. Freddie Freeman followed that up with an RBI single up the middle to put the Braves on the board. Two flyouts then ended the inning, preventing any further damage.
The Phillies scored an insurance run in the top half of the 7th inning. Cesar Hernandez grounded a single up the middle scoring Chase Utley and taking a 4-1 lead. The ball was misplayed by Braves second baseman Jace Peterson, but was ultimately ruled a hit.
Harang turned the ball over to the bullpen in the bottom of the 7th, leading to two scoreless innings from relievers Jake Diekman and Ken Giles. Harang’s final line: 6 innings pitched, 5 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk and 2 strikeouts
Both teams added runs in the 9th inning, the Phillies scoring Ruf on a triple by Francoeur. The triple capped off a 4 for 5 game from Frenchy, just a home run shy of the cycle. The Braves rallied late, but in the end couldn’t overcome the early Phillies lead.
Final Score: Phillies 5 – Braves 2
- Darin Ruf’s 3-hit game was his first since July 13, 2013
- The 14 hits from the Phillies tonight was a season high and the most since August 27, 2014 when the Phillies collected 15 hits against the Nationals
The Phillies will look to guarantee a series win tomorrow night as right-hander Chad Billingsley makes his first start since April 15, 2013 as he faces Shelby Miller (3-1, 2.17 ERA).