Phillies blow five-run lead, fall to Braves on a walk-off

Phillies blow 5 run lead, fall to Braves
It's certainly not how the Phillies wanted to open a weekend with first-place in the division on the line. Brian McCann capped off a three-run ninth inning with a walk-off two-run single off Hector Neris to give the Braves a 9-8 victory on Friday night at SunTrust Park.

The loss dropped the Phils to 2 1/2 games off the pace in the NL East.

“A crushing loss, no way around it,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told reporters afterward. “We had a two-run lead in the ninth inning with our best reliever on the mound. Neris has been tremendous for us all year long. Outstanding for a full calendar year. Can’t wait to get him back out on the mound in that same kind of situation. We have the highest level of trust with him in that situation. We felt really good in the dugout about it. It’s just a devastating loss. We’ll lick our wounds, come back tomorrow and be ready to fight again.”

Neris entered Friday night 15 of 15 in save opportunities. Dansby Swanson opened the final frame with a single and Nick Markakis walked with two outs. Swanson then scored on rookie Austin Riley’s single and then McCann popped an opposite-field single into the gap in left-center.



The Phillies offense provided some highlights on the night with Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery, and Bryce Harper each homering in the contest.

Nick Pivetta tossed 6 2/3 innings, surrendering four runs on eight hits.

The Phillies carried a 7-2 lead into the seventh inning.

“I think independent of the stadium, that’s a game that we expect to win every time,” Kapler said.

The two clubs resume their three-game set on Saturday with Aaron Nola squaring off against lefty Sean Newcomb.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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