Rhys Hoskins homers as Nola, Phillies beat Braves 9-1

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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PHILADELPHIA – Rhys Hoskins homered and drove in four runs, Aaron Nola pitched six shutout innings and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 9-1 on Friday night for their third straight victory.

Alec Bohm had three hits for the Phillies (83-67), who moved into second in the NL wild-card standings, a half-game ahead of San Diego.

“Stay on the winning train,” Nola said. “Every game matters right now. We have to stay focused on tomorrow. Win a game tomorrow.”

Dansby Swanson and Eddie Rosario doubled for the Braves, who dropped their third in a row. Atlanta hasn’t lost four straight all season, and it’s just the fourth three-game slide this year for the reigning World Series champions.

“If you handle adversity, there’s good things on the back end of it,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “We’ll keep fighting and get ‘er going again.”

The Braves, who trailed the NL East-leading Mets by 1 1/2 games coming into the day, are on top of the NL wild-card standings.

Philadelphia jumped on Jake Odorizzi (5-6) for four runs in the second inning. A pair of singles by Bohm and Brandon Marsh and a four-pitch walk to Jean Segura loaded the bases with no outs. Bryson Stott hit a sacrifice fly before Matt Vierling‘s RBI single, and Hoskins added a two-run double.

The Phillies tacked on four more runs in the fourth, highlighted by Hoskins’ two-run shot to left for his 29th of the season.

“It was nice to jump on them early,” Hoskins said. “A better sign is we didn’t stop. We continued to add on.”

Said Snitker, “The game kind of got away from us.”

It was more than enough for Nola (10-12), who allowed four hits, struck out eight and walked three. The right-hander has 218 strikeouts and just 29 walks for the season.

“He was absolutely nasty tonight,” Hoskins said.

Odorizzi, making his eighth start with the Braves since he was acquired in an Aug. 1 trade with Houston, gave up eight runs and 10 hits in four innings.

“Too many pitches, too many long counts, couldn’t put hitters away,” Snitker said. “Just wasn’t his day.”

NO WORRIES

Philadelphia improved to 10-9 in September and calmed concerns brought on by a five-game slide that preceded their current win streak. The Phillies are looking to reach the postseason for the first time since 2011 when they won the final of their five straight NL East titles.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: OF Ronald Acuna Jr. (back) sat out for the second consecutive game.

Phillies: Marsh returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games with a left knee contusion, but he was lifted after the fifth as a precautionary measure, interim manager Rob Thomson said. He went 2 for 3 with an RBI.

UP NEXT

Braves RHP Kyle Wright (19-5, 3.18 ERA) opposes Philadelphia LHP Bailey Falter (5-3, 3.68 ERA) in the third contest of the four-game set on Saturday.

Braves sweep Mets, take 2-game lead in East with 3 remaining

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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered for the third straight game, Travis d'Arnaud hit a go-ahead two-run single in the third inning, and Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 5-3, completing a three-game sweep of their NL East rival and taking a two-game lead in the division with three games to play.

The defending World Series champion Braves have been chasing the Mets the entire season. In the final series of the season, any combination of one Atlanta win or one Mets loss would give the Braves their fifth straight division title.

New York plays its final three games of the season against worst-in-the-majors Washington. Atlanta closed out the regular season with a three-game set in Miami. Should the season end Wednesday in a tie, Atlanta would win the division after claiming the season series 10-9 with Sunday’s victory.

The Braves won five of the last six games in the series, outscoring the Mets 42-19 over that stretch. New York had a 10 1/2-game lead on June 1 but now is the lower in the standings than at any point this season.

It was a lost weekend for New York, which came to Atlanta hoping to clinch its first division title since 2015. Instead, aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer lost Friday and Saturday before 15-game winner Chris Bassitt lasted just 2 2/3 innings on Sunday.

Swanson took Bassitt deep to right-center in the first with his 25th homer, and Atlanta took charge with a three-run third. Bassitt (15-9) issued a bases-loaded walk to Olson before d’Arnaud delivered a single up the middle to score Ronald Acuna Jr. and Austin Riley for a 4-3 lead. That chased Bassitt, who was charged with four runs, three hits and three walks.

Olson connected for his 33rd homer to make it 5-3 leading off the sixth, his 410-foot shot landing in the seats in right-center. Olson, in his first year with Atlanta, surpassed 100 RBIs for the second straight season.

Charlie Morton stranded runners on first and second in the first, but he gave up Daniel Vogelbach‘s 18th homer that tied it at 1 in the second. The righty struck out Francisco Lindor with runners on first and second to end the threat.

Jeff McNeil went deep off Morton in the third and Vogelbach followed with an RBI single to put the Mets up 3-1. Morton entered the game having allowed 28 homers, sixth-most in the NL.

Morton scuffled throughout his start, giving up three runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings as the 38-year-old made his first start since signing a $20 million, one-year contract to remain with Atlanta next season.

Dylan Lee (5-1) relieved Morton and pitched 1 1/3 innings, leaving after a walk to Brandon Nimmo with two outs in the sixth. Collin McHugh entered and struck out Francisco Lindor.

Raisel Iglesias faced four batters in the seventh, A.J. Minter faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen converted his third save of the series with a clean ninth.

Jansen leads the NL with 40 saves in 47 chances.

The Braves’ bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA last month, pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings the last two nights.

BIG NUMBERS

Atlanta leads the NL with 241 homers. And the Braves have their first 100-victory season since 2003.

TWO, DARN HOT

McNeil went 3 for 5 and has multiple hits in five straight games. His average is .326, one point behind the Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman for the NL batting title. In 23 career games at Truist Park, McNeil is hitting .395 with 12 runs, nine doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and four walks. … Jansen tied Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley for eighth place on the career list with 389. He’s also is the 10th closer to have four different seasons with at least 40 saves.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. … Braves 2B Ozzie Albies (broken right pinky finger) is still wearing a cast. … Braves RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique.

ATTENDANCE

The Braves drew 42,713 in their regular season finale, the club’s 42nd sellout of the season. Overall. that’s 3,129,931 for the season – and the most tickets sold since 2000. In 2019, the team’s last full season before the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlanta drew 2,655,100.

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Carlos Carrasco (15-7, 3.95 ERA) will face Nationals RHP Cory Abbott (0-4, 5.11).

Braves: RHP Bryce Elder (2-3, 2.76 ERA) will face Marlins LHP Jesus Luzardo (3-7, 3.53).