Olson homers twice to lead Braves past Phillies 5-3
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Matt Olson homered twice and Travis d’Arnaud also went deep to lift the Atlanta Braves to a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night.
The Phillies were without Bryce Harper for the second straight game, and the 2021 NL MVP will be sidelined indefinitely due to a broken left thumb that interim manager Rob Thomson said will require surgery.
Olson put on a Harper-like display with his two homers, the second time he’s done that in a game this season and the 13th in his career. His second shot broke a 3-all tie in the eighth, driving an 86 mph slider from Andrew Bellatti (1-3) out to right.
“He’s swinging the bat really well,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “It’s good to see. He’s in a good place right now.”
A.J. Minter, filling in for injured closer Kenley Jansen, pitched a perfect ninth for first save in his third chance. Collin McHugh (1-1) tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.
The Braves improved to 20-5 this month and are a win away from tying the club record for victories in June with two games remaining. Philadelphia, which began a resurgence when Thomson replaced fired Joe Girardi on June 3, is 18-7 this month.
Kyle Schwarber also stayed red-hot in June with a home run for Philadelphia, leading off the bottom of the seventh with a line drive off Dylan Lee that cleared the fence in center and tied the game.
“We’ve had a good month and we want to finish it off strong,” Schwarber said. “We just have to keep doing our thing.”
It was the 11th homer of the month for Schwarber, whose career average of a HR every 9.76 at-bats in June is tops in MLB history for the month among players who have at least 400 career at-bats.
D’Arnaud and Olson went deep in consecutive at-bats with one out in the first to put the Braves in front. Phillies starter Zack Wheeler had allowed just three homers in 75 innings this season before those two drives.
“You know he’s going to come at you,” Olson said. “You know he’s going to come at you. He’s not going to beat around the bush, and it makes sense with his stuff. I just wanted to get something in the zone.”
Wheeler was lifted after surrendering three runs on five hits with eight strikeouts and a walk in 6 1/3 innings.
Braves starting pitcher Charlie Morton gave up two runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and four walks in 5 2/3.
In addition to the long balls, Schwarber upped his on-base streak to 31 consecutive games with a first-inning walk. It is the longest such streak for the club since Chase Utley reached base in 35 straight contests in 2006.
D’Arnaud has nine extra-base hits (five homers, four doubles) in his last 10 contests while batting .341 with 12 RBIs over the stretch.
Braves: Jansen was put on the 15-day injured list because of an irregular heartbeat, the latest heart-related issue in the veteran right-hander’s career. The move was made retroactive to Monday when Jansen felt discomfort, Snitker said. … LHP Tyler Matzek (left shoulder inflammation) was scheduled to make a rehab appearance at Single-A Augusta on Tuesday night, but the game was postponed due to rain. Matzek has been out since May 17.
Phillies: RHP Zach Eflin (right knee bruise) was placed on the 15-day IL, retroactive to June 26. LHP Bailey Falter will take Eflin’s place in the rotation and is scheduled to pitch on Friday night.
Braves RHP Kyle Wright (8-4, 3.18) faces Phillies LHP Ranger Suarez (6-4, 4.23) in the second game of the three-game series on Wednesday night.
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