EditorsNote: Grammar tweaks in first, last graf
Nick Pivetta pitched seven shutout innings, Aaron Altherr and Nick Williams each homered and the Philadelphia Phillies opened an important three-game series with a 3-0 victory over the visiting Atlanta Braves on Monday at Citizens Bank Park.
Pivetta (4-2) gave up four hits, struck out seven and walked just one batter after throwing 107 pitches, 72 for strikes. It marks the third straight superb start for the 25-year-old. After being yanked after just one inning on May 4 against Washington, Pivetta has allowed just one run over his past three starts covering 19 innings.
Hector Neris earned the save after throwing a scoreless ninth.
Williams and Odubel Herrera each had two hits apiece for the Phillies.
Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz (3-3) pitched six solid innings, allowing only one earned run and six hits while striking out five.
The Braves managed just five hits — all singles — and no player had more than one.
Williams hit an opposite-field homer, his third of the season, to left in the fourth to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. The Phillies have now registered at least one home run in 16 consecutive games, the longest active streak in Major League Baseball.
Pivetta retired 11 straight batters before walking Johan Camargo with one out in the seventh. But after Camargo was thrown out trying to steal second by catcher Jorge Alfaro, Pivetta retired Dansby Swanson on a weak tapper in front of home plate.
In the Phillies’ seventh, Scott Kingery led off with a bunt single. Altherr then came up and delivered a booming pinch-hit homer off Braves reliever Shane Carle to deep left for a 3-0 Phillies advantage. It was the second career pinch-hit home run for Altherr.
Carle hadn’t allowed an earned run in his previous 15 1/3 innings before giving up two on Altherr’s blast.
Seranthony Dominguez pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the Phillies and allowed his first hit in seven appearances this season. Ozzie Albies singled with one out but was left stranded at first. The 23-year-old Dominguez struck out Freddie Freeman with a nasty slider to end the top of the eighth.
In the ninth, Neris got Nick Markakis to line out to deep center field. Kurt Suzuki then struck out and Ender Inciarte was called out at first on a close play after laying down a bunt. Alfaro pounced on the ball and fired a strike to first.
—Field Level Media