Braves blanked in series opener at Philadelphia

AP photo by Matt Slocum / The Philadelphia Phillies' J.T. Realmuto runs behind Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud to score on a sacrifice fly by Matt Vierling in the second inning of Thursday's game. It was the lone run of the night.

PHILADELPHIA — Ranger Suárez pitched six sparkling innings, and the Philadelphia Phillies continued their push toward the club's first playoff berth in a decade with a 1-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night.

Matt Vierling knocked in the only run in this matchup of National League East Division teams with a sacrifice fly to center field that scored J.T. Realmuto in the second inning.

Suárez allowed five hits, struck out four batters and walked two. Zach Eflin got five outs before José Alvarado finished the six-hitter for his second save this year.

"I just focused on throwing quality pitches," said Suárez, who did not figure in the decision in his previous start against Atlanta last week. "That's the main thing. It's really tough when you face the same lineup back to back.