Braves miss sweep as Phillies rally for close win after replay review

AP photo by Derik Hamilton / Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Chris Sale, right, leaves during the sixth inning of Sunday's road game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
AP photo by Derik Hamilton / Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Chris Sale, right, leaves during the sixth inning of Sunday's road game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

PHILADELPHIA — Thanks to a second look on replay, the Philadelphia Phillies got a second shot at a rally and averted a sweep at the hands of the six-time reigning National League East champions.

Trea Turner capitalized with a tying hit after a third out that was overturned on replay, and Alec Bohm followed with a two-run single in a three-run seventh inning to rally the Phillies over the Atlanta Braves 5-4 on Sunday.

"You get some luck like that, kind of get the momentum back, and we got our guys going in the back end of the bullpen with a lead," Bohm said, "and you kind of smell the win."

The win settled some nerves among the grumbling sports faithful in Philly after division rival Atlanta decisively won the first two games. The Braves were on course for a three-game sweep until a replay review in the seventh denied them a third out.

Leading 3-2 behind a strong outing from Chris Sale in his Braves debut, reliever Aaron Bummer (0-1) seemingly got Johan Rojas to ground into an inning-ending double play. But a second look showed Rojas was safe and overturned the call by first base umpire Clint Vondrak as the third straight sellout crowd roared in approval.

Kyle Schwarber, who opened the game with his 32nd career leadoff homer, singled to put two runners on base. Turner — who also stole his 36th straight base — punched the tying single to right, and Bohm followed with a two-RBI single that diving left fielder Adam Duvall could not snag, giving the Phillies a 5-3 lead.

"Rojas beating the ball out was the biggest part of the game, really," Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson said.

Gregory Soto's first pitch in the eighth retired Matt Olson on a flyout and left the tying run on third after the Braves closed within a run. José Alvarado, who allowed five runs and took the loss on opening day, worked the ninth for the save.

Ranger Suárez and five relievers held the Braves to just seven hits after they put up 32 hits, 10 doubles and 14 extra-base hits in the first two games. Matt Strahm (1-0) tossed a scoreless seventh for the win.

The fortuitous circumstances that sparked the Phillies' first win were enough to make them exhale. So was the news that slugging first baseman Bryce Harper was seemingly fine a day after a hard tumble over a railing in foul territory. Harper did get the day off against Sale, a tough left-hander.

"I thought we put together pretty good (at-bats) all day long," Harper said. "Good win."

Sale allowed two runs, five hits and struck out seven in 5 1/3 innings in his first start since an offseason trade with the Boston Red Sox. If he can stay healthy, Sale should prove a potent addition to Atlanta's rotation.

Atlanta took a gamble on the 35-year-old given his injury-filled career. He has made just 31 starts over the last four seasons in Boston, including 20 last season when he went 6-5 with a 4.30 ERA in 102 2/3 innings.

Sale, who signed a two-year deal for $38 million after landing in Atlanta, joined a rotation that includes 2023 All-Stars Spencer Strider and Bryce Elder, longtime ace Max Fried and 40-year-old Charlie Morton.

Sale impressed in the fifth by escaping his own jam, allowing only one run to score after loading the bases with no outs. He retired Schwarber on a double play and struck out Turner to end the threat, helping Atlanta keep a 3-2 lead.

"I appreciate where I'm at and who I'm doing it with," Sale said. "Let's keep this thing rolling."

A game after the Braves hit four homers, Ozzie Albies had a two-run shot in the first for the early lead. Duvall tacked on an RBI double in the fourth that boosted the advantage to 3-1.

"It's lot of the best players in our game on the field," Bohm said. "They obviously kind of put it on us the first two games, and we wanted to get one today."

Atlanta continues its opening trip with three games in Chicago against the White Sox. The Braves send Morton (14-12, 3.64 ERA in 2023) to the mound against Chris Flexen (2-8, 6.86) on Monday in a matchup of right-handers.

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