Lane Adams hit a home run and Anibal Sanchez went five strong innings as the Atlanta Braves earned a 2-1 victory Sunday, eliminating the visiting Philadelphia Phillies from postseason consideration.
One day after clinching a National League East title, the Braves completed their first four-game sweep of the Phillies since June 2014 and their first at home since June 1997.
The second-place Phillies saw their NL East title hopes end Saturday, then were eliminated from wild-card consideration Sunday. The Phillies have an NL-worst 15-29 record since Aug. 5, when they were in possession of the second-best record in the league.
Even with the four consecutive defeats and loses in 11 of their last 15 games, the Phillies (78-77) still have 17 more victories than they did at this point a year ago. The Braves completed their home schedule and finished 43-38 at SunTrust Park.
Adams hit his second home run of the season in the fifth inning, and the seventh of his career in 115 games, and he also had an RBI ground-rule double in the second inning.
Sanchez (7-6) gave up one run on four hits over five innings with no walk and a strikeout. He also delivered a single to right field to lead off the third inning, as he not only collected his first hit of the season, he snapped an 0-for-54 dry spell. Shane Carle pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his first career save.
Braves veterans Nick Markakis and Freddie Freeman were in the starting lineup after the division clincher, but were replaced before the start of the second inning in order to receive accolades from the home fans. Preston Tucker took over in right field and Lucas Duda took over at first base.
Phillies starter Aaron Nola (16-6) still managed to keep his Cy Young Award credentials intact, even in the loss, although the New York Mets’ Jacob deGrom is believed to be the leading candidate for the honor. Nola gave up two runs on four hits over six innings with a walk and six strikeouts.
After recording his first two outs of the game, Nola reached the 200-inning mark for the first time in his career. Counting Adams’ home run, Nola has given up nine home runs over his last six starts after giving up eight home runs over his first 27 starts.
The Braves improved to 11-5 over the Phillies this season, with the two teams set to close out the season against each other with three games next weekend in Philadelphia.
—Field Level Media