Philadelphia at Atlanta

W: D. Hale (1-0) L: T. Cloyd (2-7)
HR: PHI - None   ATL - J. Heyward (14)

Heyward homers, leads Braves to easy win over Phillies wire reports

ATLANTA -- The Braves found the solution for their September slump -- Phillies rookie Tyler Cloyd.

Jason Heyward's leadoff home run sparked a five-run first inning and the Braves shook off what has been a chilly September at the plate with a 7-1 win over the Phillies on Thursday night.

"It is good to get hits," said Heyward, who had a career-high five, including three doubles. "Good to get on base and get the game going early. We are still playing for something."

The win pulled the Braves even with the idle Cardinals at 94-65 for the best record in the National League with three games to play. The Braves won the season-series against the Cardinals and would win the NL's No. 1 seed if the teams finish tied.

"It is a big spot," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We'll try to win tomorrow and keep guys healthy at the same time."

Braves catcher Bryan McCann left the game in the second inning with an adductor strain. After the game, Gonzalez said he thinks McCann will be OK and wanted to avoid having something small get worse.

After scoring just three runs in a three-game series loss to the Brewers, the Braves entered Thursday averaging 3.3 runs per game in September. They surpassed that in just six batters against the Phillies when Chris Johnson doubled home Evan Gattis to give the Braves a 4-0 lead in the first.

Braves rookie David Hale (1-0) picked up his first win in his second career start, going six innings while giving up one run and striking out five. The right-hander allowed six base runners in the first three innings, but settled down after that and cruised to the win. In two starts since getting called up from Triple-A, Hale has given up one run in 11 innings.

"It is amazing, especially to (get my first win) at home," said Hale, who grew up in nearby Marietta. "I was a little more relaxed, but still nervous. I just kept the ball down and it turned out all right."

Cloyd (2-7) had been struggling, surrendering 17 runs in 13 innings in his previous three September starts, and the right-hander did not see a turnaround against the Braves. He gave up seven runs on eight hits and did not retire any of the first four batters in the second inning before being pulled.

"It was just bad. I wasn't executing any pitches and they were hitting the ball hard," Cloyd said. "I wouldn't say nothing was working, but everything was where they could hit it."

The decisive first began with Heyward's home run on Cloyd's first pitch of the night. Elliot Johnson followed with a single, and Freddie Freeman doubled him home. Gattis then hit an RBI single, and scored on Chris Johnson's double. Jordan Schafer brought in the final run of the frame with an RBI single.

Gattis ended Cloyd's night with a two-run double in the second that scored Heyward and Elliot Johnson.

"Cloyd had a hard time with his first-pitch strikes and also had trouble with two strikes," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "They were still able to barrel balls up pretty good and before you know it, it was 7-0."

Jimmy Rollins went 3 for 4 for the Phillies, who have lost seven of eight.


Injured Braves starter Brandon Beachy had arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Thursday. Gonzalez said Beachy should be ready to return by the first couple of weeks of spring training. ... Gonzalez is undecided on his fourth starter for the upcoming NLDS. He is choosing between Freddy Garcia and Paul Malhom. Gonzalez thought both pitchers pitched well this week and said it will be a tough decision. ... Injured Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard was at Turner Field, re-joining the team from Clearwater, Fla., where he had been rehabbing his left knee. Howard said it was important to him to finish the season with his teammates. "I just wanted to watch and cheer these guys on the rest of the way and hopefully try to end things on a good note and head into 2014 on a high." ... The Braves have matched their 94 wins from 2012, when they earned a wild card spot.

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Jason Heyward starts off a monster 5-hit night with a home run for the Braves in the first inning. (USATSI)
Jason Heyward starts off a monster 5-hit night with a home run for the Braves in the first inning. (USATSI)

Players of the Game

J. Heyward
AB 5
R 2
H 5
HR 1

J. Rollins
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0

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Jimmy Rollins, SS4030000 .253
Domonic Brown, LF4000015 .272
Darin Ruf, RF4000015 .254
Kevin Frandsen, 1B4010003 .232
Cody Asche, 3B4110011 .247
Erik Kratz, C4020000 .211
Freddy Galvis, 2B4000011 .234
Tyler Cloyd, P1001000 .111
   Mauricio Robles, P0000000 .000
   a-Pete Orr, PH1010000 .200
   Joe Savery, P0000000 .000
   Justin De Fratus, P0000000 .000
   b-John Mayberry Jr., PH1010000 .228
   J.C. Ramirez, P0000000 .000
   B.J. Rosenberg, P0000000 .000
   c-Cameron Rupp, PH1000000 .222
a-hit a bunt single for Robles in the 5th
b-singled for De Fratus in the 7th
c-lined out for Rosenberg in the 9th
2B - Jimmy Rollins (35, Hale), Erik Kratz (7, Hale)
RBI - Tyler Cloyd (1)
PK - John Mayberry Jr. (3, Wood)
Team LOB - 8
E - Cesar Hernandez (4, Misplayed grounder)
Philadelphia Phillies
Tyler Cloyd (L,2-7) 1877221 6.37
Mauricio Robles 3200240 1.93
Joe Savery 1100110 3.32
Justin De Fratus 1000010 3.91
J.C. Ramirez 1100110 7.48
B.J. Rosenberg 1000010 4.82
WP - Mauricio Robles (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Tyler Cloyd 57-35, Mauricio Robles 66-43, Joe Savery 21-13, Justin De Fratus 15-11, J.C. Ramirez 18-10, B.J. Rosenberg 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tyler Cloyd 1-0, Mauricio Robles 3-2, Joe Savery 2-0, J.C. Ramirez 1-1, B.J. Rosenberg 2-0
Batters Faced - Tyler Cloyd 13, Mauricio Robles 13, Joe Savery 5, Justin De Fratus 3, J.C. Ramirez 5, B.J. Rosenberg 3
Atlanta Braves
Jason Heyward, CF5251000 .258
Elliot Johnson, 2B3210202 .202
Freddie Freeman, 1B3121212 .317
Evan Gattis, LF5123004 .240
   Jose Constanza, LF0000000 .207
Brian McCann, C1000011 .256
   a-Gerald Laird, PH-C2000200 .248
Chris Johnson, 3B5111034 .323
   Paul Janish, 3B0000000 .171
Andrelton Simmons, SS4000005 .245
Jordan Schafer, RF4011024 .247
David Hale, P3000031 .000
   Alex Wood, P0000000 .000
   b-Reed Johnson, PH1000000 .252
   Luis Ayala, P0000000 .000
   Luis Avilan, P0000000 .000
a-walked for McCann in the 4th
b-flied out for Wood in the 7th
2B - Jason Heyward 3 (22, Cloyd), Freddie Freeman (27, Cloyd), Evan Gattis (21, Cloyd), Chris Johnson (34, Cloyd)
HR - Jason Heyward (14, Cloyd)
RBI - Jason Heyward (38), Freddie Freeman (107), Evan Gattis 3 (63), Chris Johnson (67), Jordan Schafer (21)
2-OUT RBI - Jordan Schafer (13)
SB - Elliot Johnson (22, 2nd base off Cloyd/Kratz)
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Atlanta Braves
David Hale (W,1-0) 6711050 0.82
Alex Wood 1100000 3.16
Luis Ayala 1100000 3.06
Luis Avilan 1000000 1.55
Pitches-Strikes - David Hale 82-56, Alex Wood 10-6, Luis Ayala 11-8, Luis Avilan 10-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Hale 10-4, Alex Wood 1-1, Luis Ayala 3-0, Luis Avilan 2-1
Batters Faced - David Hale 26, Alex Wood 3, Luis Ayala 4, Luis Avilan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 27858
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Tim Welke, First Base - Dan Bellino, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Mike Everitt