Braves Struggle vs. Phillies’ Nola in Opener Loss

Rhys Hoskins can’t be stopped.

While the rookie sensation didn’t extend his home run streak to six games, Hoskins went 2-for-4 with an RBI double, as the Phillies took the series opener from the Braves, 6-1, on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park. Hoskins ripped a first-pitch fastball from Braves starter Lucas Sims in the sixth inning to drive in the go-ahead run, which kept the Phillies in front for good. Hoskins’ 25 RBIs are the second most in baseball history through a player’s first 19 big league games. Mandy Brooks had 28 in 1925.
Sims, making his sixth career start, threw 6 1/3 innings and allowed four runs — three of which came in the sixth and seventh innings — as the Braves fell to 2-12 this season against the Phillies.
After a pair of starts that saw him allow a combined 12 runs, Aaron Nola held the Braves in check over seven strong innings. The Phillies’ right-hander allowed one run on five hits without a walk and struck out six. Brandon Phillips, who has 1,999 career hits after going 2-for-4, drove in the Braves’ only run with a single in the sixth inning.
The Phillies added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth inning through a bases-loaded walk to Cameron Rupp, who hit a solo homer off Sims in the seventh, and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Daniel Nava.
After Phillips’ two-out single tied the game at 1 in the sixth, Freddie Freeman hit a line drive to right field, where Nick Williams made a diving catch to end the inning and Atlanta’s threat. The ball had a catch probability of 44 percent, making it a four-star catch according to Statcastâ„¢. The rookie outfielder ran 38 feet in 3.1 seconds to make his first catch of at least four stars this season.
Sims held the Phillies in check through the first two innings, but Pedro Florimon led off the third with a triple to right-center field. After Rupp grounded out, Nola stepped into the box 1-for-36 this season and laced a 98-mph grounder up the middle to score Florimon and give the Phillies a 1-0 lead.