July 14, 2024


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Trey Turner leads Philadelphia to win over error-prone Braves – NBC Sports Philadelphia

Trey Turner leads Philadelphia to win over error-prone Braves – NBC Sports Philadelphia

ATLANTA — Maybe Trea Turner should run the Home Run Derby, too.

Philadelphia knew they needed two more players when Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber joined JT Ralmotto on the injured list last Friday and Turner has done nothing but play well since then.

He started Philadelphia’s road trip at Wrigley Field this week with a two-run home run that resulted in two hits to left center in a two-run win and lifted two more over the wall in left center Friday night at Truist Park to lead Philadelphia to an 8-6 victory over the rival Atlanta Braves.

“When I act like that, I’m not necessarily trying to do that,” he said. “I think it’s more about loading the ball right, not feeling like I’m cheating, not pulling the ball, just letting it happen. I just feel like my shot is in a better place, my decision-making, my adaptability has been a lot better this year than last year, and that’s something that’s more common in my career, where I’m able to make adjustments.”

Turner has been at his best over his last nine games, recording seven extra-base hits, 10 RBI and 11 runs scored. He has a .343 batting average since returning from the injured list.

“That’s what he does,” manager Rob Thompson said. “When he’s active, he’s more active. He’s not the biggest guy on earth and I don’t know how he hits the ball yet. He’s got bat speed and he hits the ball hard and when he puts it in the air, it goes. It’s unbelievable to me.”

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“To be out for this long and not go to rehab and hit the big shots he’s had since he came back, it’s a testament to the athlete and the condition he’s in now.”

It was a frustrating start to a big series before Turner and the Phillies finally broke through Max Fried’s defense in the fourth inning. They struck out six baserunners in the first two innings after Johan Rojas failed to squeeze a baserunner and Whit Merrifield hit a grounder with the bases loaded.

They managed to score their first run on a home run by Bryson Stott, followed by Turner hitting his first home run. They were preceded by Christian Bache with his best hit in weeks, an eight-run single that advanced Johan Rojas to third base.

The bottom of the order looked like a clear weakness when the Phillies lost Harper and Schwarber to injuries two weeks after Ralmotto had surgery on his right meniscus. On Friday night, for example, the 6-7-8-9 lineup consisted of Merrifield, Rafael Marchand, Rojas and Pache.

Still, Philadelphia’s win at Truist Park put them 5-2 without a trio of bigs, and much of the credit goes to their pitching staff of Turner, Nick Castellanos and Alec Bohm, who learned Friday that he would pitch in the Home Run Derby in addition to starting the All-Star Game.

But Marchand and Garrett Stubbs also proved their worth in the bullpen, with Bache helping fuel the first at-bat Friday and Rojas making a huge defensive play to help seal the win Wednesday in Chicago before scoring twice with an RBI and a stolen base in Atlanta.

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Philadelphia has 58 wins and 30 losses this season, and is 10 games ahead of the Braves.

Aaron Nola shut down Atlanta’s offense early in the game. It was his 37th career game against the Braves, and he managed to make extraordinary swings the first two times in the game against hitters you’ve seen a million times like Ozzie Albaez, Marcell Ozuna, Adam Duvall and Orlando Arcia.

Nola (10-4, 3.48) couldn’t put a man on base until Albaez hit a single in the bottom of the fourth inning. Then Austin Riley, who was a .365 hitter against him with five doubles and six home runs, followed with a Nola grounder to center to make it a one-run game.

Albaez hit a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth to put the Braves within touching distance, but Ozuna hit the tying run to end Nola’s night. The Braves committed three errors in the top of the seventh, and by the time the Phillies went to Orion Kerkering, their first backup pitcher out of the bullpen, the lead had grown to five, a comfortable enough lead to withstand Ozuna’s triple off Jose Alvarado a run later.

Jeff Hoffman got the save, his eighth to Alvarado’s 13.

Philadelphia is looking to secure a series win on Saturday night as the Rangers face off against rookie right-hander Spencer Schwellenbach. The team has already accomplished a major goal heading into the weekend as it knew before the series began that anything less than a win would allow it to return home with at least an eight-game lead.

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