Phillies fall to braves
The Phillies had an opportunity Monday night to deliver a massive blow to the Braves while securing a commanding two-game lead in the National League Division Series. 

Unfortunately for the Phillies, some late-inning heroics lifted the Braves to an impressive come-from-behind 5-4 victory in Game 2 of the NLDS at Truist Park. It was a game the Phillies could have won. Through six innings, it appeared things were on cruise control. 

Zack Wheeler was dealing, and a Braves offense that was dominant during the regular season looked overmatched. But things turned south for the Phillies despite carrying a 4-0 lead late into the contest. Wheeler walked Ronald Acuna Jr. with two outs in the sixth. Ozzie Albies followed with a single to right that scored Acuna on an error by Trea Turner as he bobbled a throw to the infield from Nick Castellanos.

Wheeler encountered more trouble in the seventh, surrendering a leadoff single to Matt Olson before Travis d'Arnaud took him deep to left later in the frame with a two-run homer to bring the Braves to within a run. 

The deciding blow came in the eighth when Austin Riley muscled a Jeff Hoffman slider into the seats in left for a two-run blast, cementing the win for the Braves. 

The Phillies chased Max Fried after three innings, scoring a run in the opening frame and another two in the third. Bryson Stott drove in another run in the fourth with a sacrifice fly. 

The Phillies had multiple chances to add insurance but failed to do so and left 11 runners on base while finishing 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position. 

"It's a little disappointing," said Phillies manager Rob Thomson. "You get up four nothing on these guys, and you had some opportunities to break it open, and you didn't, and they come back. We didn't score in the last four innings of the game. So it's a little disappointing, but hey, we've got home-field advantage now. And really, that's what you're looking for after these two games." 

The Phillies had one last gasp in the ninth when Bryce Harper reached base via a leadoff walk. Castellanos launched a ball to the gap in right-center field later in the frame that Michael Harris II caught while leaping into the wall. Harper was overly aggressive on the play, rounding second base expecting the ball to fall before being doubled off on an outstanding play by Riley as he backed up a cutoff throw and fired it to Olsen at first base to end the contest. 

"Usually, you don't pass the base," Thomson said. "You stay in front of it, make sure it's not caught. But he thought the ball was clearly over his head, didn't think he was going to catch it. And Harris made a heck of a play. Unbelievable. He tried to get back, and he slipped, but usually, you stay in front of the second base." 

"I made a decision, and I'll have to live with that," Harper said. 

The series shifts now to Philadelphia, with Game 3 set for Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park. 

Prior to Saturday's victory in Game 1, the Phillies would have been content with a split in Atlanta. Monday's loss though, in heart-breaking fashion, puts a damper on things as the series enters another phase. 

"No, you wanted to win both games, obviously, against a really good team," said Wheeler. "I guess we are happy with a split, but we probably should have won that game."

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