ATLANTA (AP) — Ryan Flaherty homered and drove in four runs, Brandon McCarthy outpitched Vince Velasquez and the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 on Wednesday night.
McCarthy (3-0) allowed one run on five hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings.
Flaherty’s three-run homer off Velasquez (1-2) in the fifth gave Atlanta a 3-1 lead. The Phillies got within one in the seventh before Dansby Swanson’s homer off Edubray Ramos in the bottom of the inning put Atlanta ahead 4-2. Flaherty added a run-scoring single in the Braves’ three-run eighth.
Velasquez allowed three runs in six innings.
Phillies left-hander Hoby Milner hit Freddie Freeman’s left wrist with a pitch in the eighth. It was near the spot where Freeman had a fracture last season. Freeman winced, stood at the plate for a few seconds and then walked straight to the dugout to take himself out of the game.
Charlie Culberson, running for Freeman, scored on Kurt Suzuki’s single. There was no immediate report on Freeman’s status.
Flaherty’s first homer of the season came hours after the Braves signed Jose Bautista to a minor league contract. Bautista will report to extended spring training and will play third base — Flaherty’s position.
The Braves also activated Johan Camargo from the disabled list before the game. Camargo was expected to be the team’s starting third baseman before suffering a right oblique strain.
With Camargo healthy and Bautista now looming, Flaherty’s grip on the starting job was in jeopardy — even though he began the day leading the NL with his .354 batting average. He strengthened his job security by hitting a 93-mph fastball from Velasquez into the seats in right-center.
The homer, the first allowed by Velasquez this season, drove in Preston Tucker, who walked, and Swanson, who singled.
The Braves, who won two of three in the series, have won their first four home series for the first time since 2000, when they won five straight to open the season.
Phillies: After starting the first 16 games of the season, 1B Carlos Santana was given a day off before entering the game as a pinch-hitter. Rhys Hoskins started at first base after 14 starts in left field.
Braves: C Tyler Flowers, who landed on the DL with a left oblique strain on March 30, could be ready for a rehab assignment this weekend. … Manager Brian Snitker said he “felt there was something going on” with RHP Jose Ramirez, placed on the 10-day DL, before Ramirez finally reported his right shoulder inflammation after Wednesday night’s game. LHP Jesse Biddle, a first-round draft pick by the Phillies in 2010 who had Tommy John surgery in 2015, was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.
A ‘WOW’ CATCH
Ender Inciarte reached over the center field wall to take a possible home run from Scott Kingery in the first inning. The ball could be seen sticking out of the top of Inciarte’s glove as he made the catch. Watching from the mound, a grateful McCarthy mouthed the word “Wow.”
Phillies: RHP Jake Arrieta (1-0, 3.38 ERA) is set to make his third start when Philadelphia opens a home series against Jameson Taillon and the Pirates.
Braves: After placing Anibal Sanchez on the 10-day DL with a right hamstring strain, the team did not immediately announce a new starter for Thursday night’s game against the New York Mets. RHP Lucas Sims, recalled Sunday to pitch in relief, could start. Matt Harvey (0-1, 4.80) pitches for the Mets.
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