Miller, Braves fall late to Phillies

Braves5After Cole Hamels and Shelby Miller produced a pitching matchup that lived up to expectations on Sunday afternoon at Turner Field, Ryan Howard helped the Phillies claim a 4-0, 10-inning win over the Braves courtesy of the sacrifice fly he produced against Dana Eveland.

Before Nick Masset loaded the bases with none out in the 10th inning, this was a pitchers’ duel being waged between two teams that had recently gone in different directions. The Phillies had lost six straight and the Braves had won their past four games.
Miller escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first inning and then kept the Phillies scoreless while scattering seven hits and notching eight strikeouts over 6 1/3 scoreless innings. The All-Star candidate lowered his ERA to 2.07, but he remains winless over his past nine starts. The Braves have not scored a run while he has been the pitcher of record in any of his past four starts.
Hamels also escaped a first-inning, bases-loaded threat on the way to keeping the Braves scoreless over seven innings. After surrendering A.J. Pierzynski’s one-out double in the fourth inning, the Phillies’ left-hander recorded consecutive strikeouts against Pedro Ciriaco and Jonny Gomes.
The Phillies loaded the bases with no outs in the 10th inning against Masset and Howard followed with a sacrifice fly to right field to score the first run of the game. Carlos Ruiz and Freddy Galvis followed with hits to score three insurance runs.
Miller recorded three strikeouts during a 24-pitch first inning that remained scoreless thanks to Ciriaco’s ability to knock down Ruiz’s two-out single before it reached left field. After pitching around two singles and a walk in the first, Miller proved sharp enough to keep the Phillies off the board.
Hamels allowed six hits and struck out six in seven scoreless innings, but got the no-decision. It was the eighth time in 17 starts this season the Phillies have not scored to score a run for Hamels while he has been the pitcher of record, explaining his 5-6 mark.
After Pierzynski’s one-out single gave the Braves runners at the corners with one out in the ninth, the Phillies utilized Cody Asche as an extra infielder and saw Luis Garcia escape the jam. Ciriaco lofted a fly ball that was not deep enough to score Kelly Johnson and Garcia concluded the inning by striking out Juan Uribe.
Cesar Hernandez swiped his 10th and 11th bases, and Galvis stole his sixth Sunday off of Pierzynski. Those steals — plus Odubel Herrera’s mistake on the bases in the fifth inning — brought Pierzynski’s caught-stealing percentage to 16 percent (41 of 49 have been successful), which is essentially the same as turning baserunners into Billy Hamilton (41-for-47, 87 percent).
Matt Wisler will take the mound when the Braves open a three-game series on Monday night against the Brewers at Miller Park. Wisler has impressed in two of his first three career starts. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. CT .  Thunder Radio will have the broadcast of the game beginning at 7:00 PM.