Hellickson, Hernandez lead Phillies past Braves 4-3

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Jeremy Hellickson confounds hitters with a soft-tossing strategy that is as much necessity as preference.

Hellickson pitched seven strong innings and Cesar Hernandez had three hits and scored two runs to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.

Hellickson (3-0) allowed two runs and just three hits with five strikeouts and no walks. The right-hander, whose four-seam fastball averages a shade under 90 mph - 3 mph less than the big-league average - uses a masterful changeup and a mix of other offspeed pitches to keep hitters guessing.

''If I could throw harder, I would,'' Hellickson joked. ''I would love to throw harder than I do. For me, it's keeping the ball down, mixing it up, throwing my offspeed in fastball counts and trying to get weak contact.''

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said pitchers, especially younger hurlers, can learn from watching Hellickson.

''Very often, younger pitchers think the harder they throw, they're going to get the guy out,'' Mackanin said. ''Really, softer is better. That's a phrase I think (Greg) Maddux used to say, and Hellickson gets it. Very often soft is better than hard when you are in trouble.''

Hellickson also possesses excellent control. He has just three walks in 24 innings this season.

Freddy Galvis, Aaron Altherr, Tommy Joseph and Maikel Franco each drove in runs for the Phillies, who snapped a seven-game losing streak to Atlanta. The win came on the heels of Philadelphia's series victory in New York on Thursday that ended a string of six straight series losses to the Mets.

''It was nice to beat them like we beat the Mets,'' Mackanin said.

Freddie Freeman and Adonis Garcia homered for the Braves, who have dropped four straight after sweeping four games from San Diego.

''I just kind of feel like we're a tick away from something really good happening,'' Braves manager Brian Snitker said. ''We just got to keep playing. I don't think we're that far off.''

Bartolo Colon (1-2) allowed four runs and 11 hits in seven innings.

Hector Neris gave up a leadoff home run to Garcia in the ninth and waited out a 24-minute rain delay before recording his second save in as many tries.

The Phillies took an early lead in the second on Galvis' RBI single that bounced off Colon, allowing Michael Saunders to score. They got two more in the third on RBI hits by Altherr and Joseph to give Hellickson a 3-0 lead.

Hellickson didn't allow a hit until Ender Inciarte's leadoff double in the fourth. Inciarte scored on Garcia's RBI single to left. Freeman's 425-foot solo shot off the second deck in right-center in the sixth was the only other run Hellickson surrendered. Freeman, who has seven homers, entered second in the league with a .407 average.

''He's just doing what he's capable of doing,'' Snitker said.

Philadelphia took a 4-2 lead in the seventh on Franco's RBI groundout. The Braves pulled within a run in the ninth on Garcia's homer.

Hellickson, who has a 1.88 ERA, also was helped by Hernandez's defense. Hernandez ranged far from his position at second base into shallow right field and stretched out to rob Matt Kemp of a leadoff hit in the second.

STRUGGLING SWANSON

After he was given Thursday off by Snitker, shortstop Dansby Swanson was back in the lineup but dropped from second to eighth in the lineup. Swanson went 0 for 3 with a strikeout and is hitless in his last 11 at-bats. He is 3 for 36 over his last nine games to drop his average to .125.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Braves: Kemp went 0 for 4 and is 0 for 8 since returning from the 10-day DL on Thursday. Kemp strained his hamstring on April 7.

Phillies: OF Howie Kendrick has a strained oblique and likely will be out longer than expected. Kendrick was eligible to return from the 10-day DL on Wednesday with what originally was thought to be a minor rib injury. Mackanin said before the game that the injury was more serious and Kendrick could be two weeks away from returning. ... Reliever Pat Neshek returned from the paternity list and Ben Lively was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

BIG PIECE'S RETURN?

Ryan Howard is expected to be in the starting lineup for Triple-A Gwinnett on Saturday night. The Braves signed the former Phillies slugger, nicknamed the ''Big Piece,'' in hopes that the veteran can provide some pop to the lineup.

UP NEXT

Braves: LHP Jaime Garcia (0-1, 4.67) takes the mound for Atlanta on Saturday night in the second contest of the three-game series. In 17 1/3 innings, Garcia has allowed 18 hits - including four homers - and walked seven.

Phillies: RHP Jerad Eickhoff (0-1, 2.75) has allowed three earned runs or less in all three starts this season and 12 in a row over the last two seasons.

---

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Copyright 2017 by Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
BravesATL6-10
000101001360
PhilliesPHI7-9
01200010X4110
  • W: J. Hellickson (3-0)L: B. Colon (1-2)S: H. Neris (2)
  • HR: ATL - F. Freeman (7), A. Garcia (2)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
E. Inciarte CF41100000.235.268.441.7095.0
A. Garcia 3B41221000.197.234.311.5468.0
F. Freeman 1B41111001.397.485.8621.3476.0
M. Kemp LF40000001.333.360.7501.1100.0
N. Markakis RF40100001.283.368.433.8011.0
E. Bonifacio PR0000-000.111.158.167.000-
B. Phillips 2B40100010.323.364.435.7990.5
T. Flowers C30000032.367.457.400.857-0.5
D. Swanson SS30000011.125.152.188.339-0.5
B. Colon P20000021.000.000.000.000-1.0
a- J. Peterson PH10000000.207.303.310.6130.0
I. Krol P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
  • a-flied out for Colon in the 8th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
C. Hernandez 2B42300011.324.368.535.9045.5
A. Altherr LF41210002.360.407.6001.0075.0
O. Herrera CF40100013.263.364.368.7320.5
M. Franco 3B30010102.164.246.344.5912.0
M. Saunders RF41100014.264.304.358.6622.5
T. Joseph 1B40110012.212.250.308.5581.5
F. Galvis SS40110012.220.242.390.6321.5
C. Rupp C40200000.200.313.375.6883.0
J. Hellickson P20000002.111.111.333.4440.0
J. Benoit P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
H. Neris P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    BATTING
    • 2B - E. Inciarte (2)
    • HR - A. Garcia (2), F. Freeman (7)
    • RBI - A. Garcia 2 (5), F. Freeman (9)
    • 2-Out RBI - F. Freeman (3)
    BATTING
    • 2B - C. Hernandez (4), A. Altherr (3), M. Saunders (3), C. Rupp (4)
    • SH - J. Hellickson
    • RBI - A. Altherr (5), M. Franco (13), T. Joseph (7), F. Galvis (8)
    • 2-Out RBI - T. Joseph (4), F. Galvis (3)
    BASERUNNING
    • SB - E. Inciarte (2)
    FIELDING
    • DP - B. Colon, F. Freeman, B. Phillips
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    B. Colon (L, 1-2)7.011441404.501.712.0
    I. Krol1.000001012.000.003.5
    PITCHERSIP
    B. Colon (L, 1-2)7.0
    I. Krol1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    J. Hellickson (W, 3-0)7.03220511.880.4328.5
    J. Benoit (H, 4)1.00000103.120.003.5
    H. Neris (S, 2)1.03110110.963.006.5
    PITCHERSIP
    J. Hellickson (W, 3-0)7.0
    J. Benoit (H, 4)1.0
    H. Neris (S, 2)1.0
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - B. Colon 101-71, I. Krol 13-6
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - B. Colon 12-4, I. Krol 2-0
    • Batters Faced - B. Colon 32, I. Krol 3
    PITCHING
    • HBP - J. Hellickson (2)
    • Pitches-Strikes - J. Hellickson 90-59, J. Benoit 6-5, H. Neris 23-14
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Hellickson 2-14, J. Benoit 1-1
    • Batters Faced - J. Hellickson 25, J. Benoit 3, H. Neris 6
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    BravesATL6-10
    000101001360
    PhilliesPHI7-9
    01200010X4110
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    E. Inciarte CF41100000.235.268.441.7095.0
    A. Garcia 3B41221000.197.234.311.5468.0
    F. Freeman 1B41111001.397.485.8621.3476.0
    M. Kemp LF40000001.333.360.7501.1100.0
    N. Markakis RF40100001.283.368.433.8011.0
    E. Bonifacio PR0000-000.111.158.167.000-
    B. Phillips 2B40100010.323.364.435.7990.5
    T. Flowers C30000032.367.457.400.857-0.5
    D. Swanson SS30000011.125.152.188.339-0.5
    B. Colon P20000021.000.000.000.000-1.0
    a- J. Peterson PH10000000.207.303.310.6130.0
    I. Krol P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    Total333632077-----
    • a-flied out for Colon in the 8th
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    C. Hernandez 2B42300011.324.368.535.9045.5
    A. Altherr LF41210002.360.407.6001.0075.0
    O. Herrera CF40100013.263.364.368.7320.5
    M. Franco 3B30010102.164.246.344.5912.0
    M. Saunders RF41100014.264.304.358.6622.5
    T. Joseph 1B40110012.212.250.308.5581.5
    F. Galvis SS40110012.220.242.390.6321.5
    C. Rupp C40200000.200.313.375.6883.0
    J. Hellickson P20000002.111.111.333.4440.0
    J. Benoit P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    H. Neris P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    Total33411401518-----
      BATTING
      • 2B - E. Inciarte (2)
      • HR - A. Garcia (2), F. Freeman (7)
      • RBI - A. Garcia 2 (5), F. Freeman (9)
      • 2-Out RBI - F. Freeman (3)
      BATTING
      • 2B - C. Hernandez (4), A. Altherr (3), M. Saunders (3), C. Rupp (4)
      • SH - J. Hellickson
      • RBI - A. Altherr (5), M. Franco (13), T. Joseph (7), F. Galvis (8)
      • 2-Out RBI - T. Joseph (4), F. Galvis (3)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - E. Inciarte (2)
      FIELDING
      • DP - B. Colon, F. Freeman, B. Phillips
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      B. Colon (L, 1-2)7.011441404.501.712.0
      I. Krol1.000001012.000.003.5
      Total8.01144150---
      PITCHERSIP
      B. Colon (L, 1-2)7.0
      I. Krol1.0
      Total8.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Hellickson (W, 3-0)7.03220511.880.4328.5
      J. Benoit (H, 4)1.00000103.120.003.5
      H. Neris (S, 2)1.03110110.963.006.5
      Total9.0633072---
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Hellickson (W, 3-0)7.0
      J. Benoit (H, 4)1.0
      H. Neris (S, 2)1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - B. Colon 101-71, I. Krol 13-6
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - B. Colon 12-4, I. Krol 2-0
      • Batters Faced - B. Colon 32, I. Krol 3
      PITCHING
      • HBP - J. Hellickson (2)
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Hellickson 90-59, J. Benoit 6-5, H. Neris 23-14
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Hellickson 2-14, J. Benoit 1-1
      • Batters Faced - J. Hellickson 25, J. Benoit 3, H. Neris 6
      • 9TH INNING
        Garcia homered to left34
      • 7TH INNING
        Franco grounded out to third, Hernandez scored, Altherr to second24
      • 6TH INNING
        Freeman homered to right center23
      • 4TH INNING
        Garcia singled to shallow left, Inciarte scored13
      • 3RD INNING
        Joseph singled to shallow right, Altherr scored, Franco to second03
        Altherr doubled to left center, Hernandez scored02
      • 2ND INNING
        Galvis reached on an infield single to pitcher, Saunders scored01
      • 9TH INNING
        • H. Neris Pitching:
        • A. Garcia: Strike looking, Ball, Garcia homered to left
        • F. Freeman: Ball, Ball, Freeman popped out to shortstop
        • M. Kemp: Strike swinging, Ball, Kemp lined out to right
        • N. Markakis: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Markakis singled to left
        • B. Phillips: Strike swinging, Phillips singled to shallow left, Markakis to second
        • T. Flowers: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Flowers struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 9th (1 Run, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • J. Benoit Pitching:
        • D. Swanson: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Swanson struck out looking
        • J. Peterson: Peterson flied out to deep center
        • E. Inciarte: Inciarte grounded bunt out to catcher
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • I. Krol Pitching:
        • T. Joseph: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul tip, Joseph struck out on foul tip
        • F. Galvis: Ball, Ball, Galvis grounded out to shortstop
        • C. Rupp: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Rupp grounded out to first
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • J. Hellickson Pitching:
        • N. Markakis: Strike looking, Markakis popped out to second
        • B. Phillips: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Phillips struck out swinging
        • T. Flowers: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Flowers struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • B. Colon Pitching:
        • C. Hernandez: Ball, Foul, Hernandez doubled to deep center
        • A. Altherr: Foul, Altherr singled to shallow center, Hernandez to third
        • O. Herrera: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Herrera struck out swinging
        • M. Franco: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Franco grounded out to third, Hernandez scored, Altherr to second
        • M. Saunders: Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, Saunders struck out looking
        • End of the 7th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • J. Hellickson Pitching:
        • E. Inciarte: Foul, Inciarte grounded out to first
        • A. Garcia: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Garcia grounded out to shortstop
        • F. Freeman: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Freeman homered to right center
        • M. Kemp: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Kemp lined out to center
        • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • B. Colon Pitching:
        • F. Galvis: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Galvis struck out swinging
        • C. Rupp: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Rupp grounded out to shortstop
        • J. Hellickson: Ball, Ball, Foul, Hellickson grounded out to third
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • J. Hellickson Pitching:
        • B. Phillips: Ball, Foul, Phillips popped out to catcher
        • T. Flowers: Ball, Ball, Flowers hit by pitch
        • D. Swanson: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Swanson lined out to right
        • B. Colon: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Colon struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • B. Colon Pitching:
        • O. Herrera: Foul, Herrera reached on an infield single to first
        • M. Franco: Franco flied out to deep center
        • M. Saunders: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Foul, Saunders grounded out to pitcher, Herrera to second
        • T. Joseph: Joseph lined out to right
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • J. Hellickson Pitching:
        • E. Inciarte: Ball, Inciarte doubled to deep left
        • A. Garcia: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Inciarte stole third, Foul, Garcia singled to shallow left, Inciarte scored
        • F. Freeman: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Freeman flied out to left
        • M. Kemp: Ball, Kemp flied out to right
        • N. Markakis: Strike looking, Markakis flied out to deep center
        • Middle of the 4th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • B. Colon Pitching:
        • C. Rupp: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Rupp doubled to deep right center
        • J. Hellickson: Strike looking, Foul, Hellickson hit sacrifice bunt to first, Rupp to third
        • C. Hernandez: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, Hernandez struck out looking
        • A. Altherr: Ball, Ball, Foul, Altherr grounded out to third
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • J. Hellickson Pitching:
        • T. Flowers: Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul tip, Flowers struck out on foul tip
        • D. Swanson: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Swanson flied out to deep left
        • B. Colon: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Colon struck out looking
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • B. Colon Pitching:
        • C. Hernandez: Strike looking, Ball, Hernandez singled to center
        • A. Altherr: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Altherr doubled to left center, Hernandez scored
        • O. Herrera: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Herrera flied out to deep right, Altherr to third
        • M. Franco: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Franco walked
        • M. Saunders: Saunders popped out to shortstop
        • T. Joseph: Strike swinging, Foul, Joseph singled to shallow right, Altherr scored, Franco to second
        • F. Galvis: Strike looking, Foul, Galvis grounded out to second
        • End of the 3rd (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • J. Hellickson Pitching:
        • M. Kemp: Ball, Strike swinging, Kemp popped out to second
        • N. Markakis: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Markakis flied out to center
        • B. Phillips: Phillips popped out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • B. Colon Pitching:
        • M. Franco: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Franco grounded out to third
        • M. Saunders: Ball, Saunders doubled to deep left
        • T. Joseph: Ball, Joseph grounded out to second, Saunders to third
        • F. Galvis: Strike looking, Foul, Galvis reached on an infield single to pitcher, Saunders scored
        • C. Rupp: Rupp singled to shallow center, Galvis to second
        • J. Hellickson: Strike looking, Hellickson grounded out to first
        • End of the 2nd (1 Run, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • J. Hellickson Pitching:
        • E. Inciarte: Ball, Strike looking, Inciarte popped out to second
        • A. Garcia: Strike looking, Garcia flied out to left
        • F. Freeman: Ball, Ball, Freeman flied out to center
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • B. Colon Pitching:
        • C. Hernandez: Hernandez reached on bunt single to pitcher
        • A. Altherr: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Altherr grounded into double play second to pitcher to first, Hernandez out at second
        • O. Herrera: Herrera grounded out to second
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)