ATLANTA — Talk about taking advantage of an overturned call.
Nick Castellanos hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth after an inning-ending double play was reversed, sending the Philadelphia Phillies to a 3-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
“That’s an example that all the little things are just as important as the big things,” Castellanos said.
After getting blown out 13-1 in the opener of the two-game series between NL East rivals, the Phillies looked to be down to their final three outs when J.T. Realmuto grounded into what was ruled a double play with the Braves nursing a 1-0 lead.
But Philadelphia challenged the call, and the replay showed Realmuto – hustling all the way down the line – getting a foot to the bag just ahead of the relay throw while Rhys Hoskins trotted home from third.
With the game now tied at 1, Collin McHugh (2-2) fell behind 2-0 in the count before grooving one to Castellanos, who launched a 420-foot drive over the center-field wall for his ninth homer of the season.
“J.T. running down the like that gave me an opportunity to get a hit like that,” Castellanos said.
Zack Wheeler (10-5) claimed the win over his hometown team with five-hit ball over seven innings, snapping Atlanta’s four-game winning streak. His only big mistake came in the fifth, when he served up a homer to Orlando Arcia.
“It was one of those games were you just keep grinding away and hope the hitters come around,” Wheeler said. “I have faith in those guys.”
Phillies newcomer David Robertson, acquired in a series of deals ahead of the trade deadline, worked a scoreless ninth for his first Philadelphia save after locking down 14 wins for the Chicago Cubs.
The Braves wasted 6 2/3 scoreless innings by Charlie Morton, who turned in another strong performance by Atlanta’s rotation.
“We’re going against a tough guy over on their side,” Morton said. “Zack threw the ball really well. Going into a game like that, you need to limit them as much as possible.”
Over the last five games, the Braves starters have surrendered just 16 hits and three runs in 33 innings, with seven walks and 40 strikeouts.
But the bullpen let this one get away.
Still, the Braves are leading the NL wild-card race and have their sights set higher as they hit the road for a rare five-game series against the first-place Mets.
New York came into the day 2 1/2 games ahead of the World Series champion Braves, who have won four straight NL East titles.
The Phillies are also in the playoff mix. Before the win, they were tied with St. Louis for the final wild card.
While Robertson got the save in his first appearance since the trade, manager Rob Thomson stressed that he’s not the full-time closer.
The Phillies have used a committee approach since Corey Knebel was stripped of the job in mid-June.
That will continue, according to Thomson.
“Robby closed the game, but he’s not labeled the closer,” the manager said. “Everyone will get a feel for pitching in different innings, which is good because you’re not going to have everyone available every night.”
Robertson said he’s fine with the arrangement.
“It is a little different” than his role with the Cubs, he said. “I’ll just have to adjust like I’ve done over the years.”
Phillies: Return home to begin a four-game series Thursday against the Nationals. Newly acquired Noah Syndergaard (5-8, 3.83 ERA with the Los Angeles Angels) will get the nod against a Washington team that no longer has star slugger Juan Soto. OF Brandon Marsh, acquired from the Angels in a separate trade, is also expected to join the Phillies on Thursday.
Braves: RHP Kyle Wright (13-4, 2.93 ERA) will get the nod in Thursday’s series opener against the Mets, while newcomer Jake Odorizzi – acquired in a flurry of trades ahead of the deadline – is scheduled to make his Braves debut with a start in Saturday’s doubleheader. Another deadline addition, RHP Raisel Iglesias, will join the bullpen in New York. RHP Jay Jackson was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett to fill the open spot on the pitching staff Wednesday.