Late-inning replay controversy helps Phillies past Braves

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ATLANTA – Didi Gregorius hit a three-run homer in Philadelphia’s four-run fourth inning and had the go-ahead sacrifice fly in the ninth to help the Phillies snap the Atlanta Braves’ four-game winning streak with a 7-6 victory Sunday night.

Alec Bohm doubled off Braves closer Will Smith to begin the ninth, advanced to third on a bunt and scored to make it 7-6 on Gregorius’ fly to shallow left. Marcell Ozuna‘s throw bounced twice before Bohm was initially called safe – even though it appeared he didn’t get his foot on the plate against catcher Travis d'Arnaud‘s tag attempt.

The play was reviewed and upheld, prompting fans at Truist Park to throw debris into the outfield and causing the grounds crew to come out to pick up the trash.

“I was called safe,” Bohm said when asked if he thought he was out. “That’s all that matters.”

Bohm wasn’t surprised that third base coach Dusty Wathan sent him.

“The whole at-bat he was saying, `We’re tagging on a fly ball. I’ll be in your ear and let you know,”‘ Bohm said. “The ball went up. I got to the bag and he said, `Yes, yes, yes!’ As soon as (Ozuna) caught it, I took off.”

D’Arnaud was disappointed in the decision made by the video review.

“A nice two-hop, hit me right in the chest,” D’Arnaud said. “I leaned over, applied the tag, blocked the plate after I caught the ball. Initially, I didn’t know if he was safe or out just because I had to lunge to the right to make sure I blocked the plate, but after watching the replay it didn’t look like his foot touched the bag, from any angle we saw.

“Afterward, I saw it from even more angles and it didn’t look like his foot touched the plate.”

Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins homered for the Phillies, who had lost three of four. Hector Neris faced the minimum in the ninth to earn his second save and has a 1.86 ERA with five consecutive saves converted and 25 strikeouts, a span of 19 1/3 innings, since last Aug. 28.

Jose Alvarado (2-0) pitched the eighth to earn the win. Smith (0-2) took the loss.

Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies homered to power the Braves. Acuna, on a hot streak over his last six games, went 9 for 13 in the three-game series and homered twice.

Homering for the second straight night, Harper took reliever Nate Jones deep with an opposite-field solo shot to left to make it 6-5. Acuna’s fourth homer, coming in the bottom half of the inning to make it 6-all, sailed 428 feet into center field off reliever Sam Coonrod.

Freeman’s fourth homer, coming off starter Matt Moore‘s changeup, cleared the fence in center to force a 5-all tie in the fifth.

“It was a great game,” Bohm said. “Any time they’d score, we’d answer. Any time we’d score, they answered. That’s a good win.”

The Braves went up 3-0 in the first. Acuna reached on an infield single, and Albies hit his first homer before d’Arnaud doubled and scored on Dansby Swanson‘s single.

Philadelphia made it 3-1 in the second when J.T. Realmuto doubled and scored on Jean Segura‘s sacrifice fly.

In the fourth, Hoskins’ second homer went to left, trimming the lead to 3-2, before Gregorius crushed a curveball from starter Drew Smyly into the right-field seats for a three-run homer that gave the Phillies a 5-3 lead.

Gregorius credited Bohm and Jean Segura for getting on base ahead of his three-run shot.

“I came up big for the team with the three-run homer, but that inning didn’t happen without Seggie doing his job, and I tried to hit the ball deep enough so Bohm could score,” Gregorius said. “That’s the best part of the game right there.”

The Braves answered with a run to make it 5-4 in the bottom of the fourth when Cristian Pache doubled, advanced on a bunt and scored on Acuna’s sacrifice fly.

Phillies starter Matt Moore gave up five runs and nine hits and struck out three in five innings. Smyly allowed five runs and five hits and struck out three in five innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves manager Brian Snitker had no immediate timetables for RHP Mike Soroka (right Achilles) and RHP Chris Martin (right shoulder inflammation). Soroka has been out since last Aug. 3 and has fully recovered from surgery, but still has some inflammation. Snitker said Martin, who was placed on the injured list Saturday, is not a candidate for surgery.

ROSTER MOVE

Philadelphia placed RHP Archie Bradley on the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain. Bradley allowed two hits and one run and was charged with the loss in one-third of an inning on Saturday.

“It’s not something I can pinpoint,” he said. “It’s not one particular act that I felt it on. Obviously, I wasn’t very happy with (Saturday’s) results.”

LHP JoJo Romero was recalled from the team’s alternate training site in Lehigh Valley.

UP NEXT

Phillies: RHP Chase Anderson (0-1, 3.60 ERA) will face LHP David Peterson (0-1, 13.50 ERA) as Philadelphia begins a four-game series at the New York Mets.

Braves: RHP Huascar Ynoa (0-0, 0.00) pitches opposite RHP Sandy Alcantara (0-1, 1.50) as Atlanta hosts the Miami Marlins in the first of a four-game series.

No lease extension, but Orioles and governor tout partnership

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The Baltimore Orioles and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore announced a joint commitment to what they called a “multi-decade, public-private partnership” to revitalize the Camden Yards sports complex.

The statement from the team and the state’s new governor came Wednesday, the deadline for the Orioles to exercise a one-time, five-year extension to their lease at Camden Yards. The team was not planning to exercise that option, according to a person with knowledge of the decision. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club hadn’t announced its decision.

With no extension, the lease is set to expire at the end of this year, but the team and the Maryland Stadium Authority can keep negotiating. Wednesday’s joint release seemed to be an attempt to calm any nerves in Baltimore about the team’s future.

“I am looking forward to continuing to collaborate with Governor Moore, his administration, and the Maryland Stadium Authority in order to bring to Baltimore the modern, sustainable, and electrifying sports and entertainment destination the state of Maryland deserves,” Orioles CEO John Angelos said.

“We greatly appreciate Governor Moore’s vision and commitment as we seize the tremendous opportunity to redefine the paradigm of what a Major League Baseball venue represents and thereby revitalize downtown Baltimore. It is my hope and expectation that, together with Governor Moore and the new members and new chairman of the MSA board, we can again fully realize the potential of Camden Yards to serve as a catalyst for Baltimore’s second renaissance.”

Republican Larry Hogan, the state’s previous governor, signed a bill last year increasing bond authorization for M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, and Camden Yards. The measure allowed borrowing of up to $600 million for each stadium.

“When Camden Yards opened 30 years ago, the Baltimore Orioles revolutionized baseball and set the bar for the fan experience,” Moore, a Democrat, said Wednesday. “We share the commitment of the Orioles organization to ensuring that the team is playing in a world-class facility at Camden Yards for decades to come and are excited to advance our public-private partnership.”

Angelos recently reaffirmed that the Orioles would stay in Baltimore, although he dressed down a reporter who asked for more clarity on the future of the team’s ownership situation. Angelos was sued last year by his brother Lou, who claimed John Angelos seized control of the Orioles at his expense.