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Pivetta throws 7 scoreless innings, Phillies top Braves 3-0
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Pivetta throws 7 scoreless innings, Phillies top Braves 3-0

Pivetta throws 7 scoreless innings, Phillies top Braves 3-0
Photo Credit: Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Philadelphia Phillies' Nick Pivetta pitches during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Monday, May 21, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Nick Williams rounds the bases after hitting a home run off Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 21, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Nick Williams hits a home run off Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 21, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Atlanta Braves' Mike Foltynewicz pitches during the third inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Monday, May 21, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera leaps to catch a fly-out by Atlanta Braves' Ender Inciarte during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 21, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Atlanta Braves' Mike Foltynewicz pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Monday, May 21, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Pivetta throws 7 scoreless innings, Phillies top Braves 3-0

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Phillies are a win away from first place.

OK, it's May - but for a team stuck for years in the bottom of the National League, it's starting to feel a bit like September.

Nick Pivetta struck out seven over seven innings, and Nick Williams and Aaron Altherr each homered to lead the Phillies to a 3-0 win over the Atlanta Braves on Monday night.

The Phillies took the opener of the three-game series and moved a half game behind Atlanta for first place in the NL East.

Philadelphia hasn't had a winning record since it made the last of five straight postseason berths in 2011. The Phillies finished last in the division and lost 96 games in 2017 - the third straight season of more than 90 losses.

"It's a big series, for sure," Altherr said. "Especially being at home, we definitely want to take these games."

Under first-year manager Gabe Kapler, the Phillies are back in a battle for first in late May for the first time since Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Cole Hamels dominated during the glory years. But in a year where the Eagles won the Super Bowl, Villanova won a national championship and the 76ers won 52 games, perhaps Philly fans need more than 45 games to hop on the bandwagon. Citizens Bank Park - the site of an NL-record 257 straight sellouts that ended in 2012 - was thin with just over 21,000 fans announced on a gorgeous night.

Kapler was heartened that a Braves-Phillies series has first place on the line.

"I'm a baseball fan at heart and thinking about that gives me gooesebumps," Kapler said.

The Braves played the Phillies for a whopping 10th time already, resulting in this quirk: Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz faced Pivetta for the fourth time this season.

Hard to believe, Harry.

"It was kind of amazing with the hitters seeing the guys so many times, it was just a 3-0 game," Braves manager Brian Snitker said.

The right-handers each delivered outings worthy of two teams fighting for first.

Pivetta (4-2) allowed only four hits, walked one and won his third straight start. Seranthony Dominguez tossed a scoreless eighth and Hector Neris finished the five-hitter in the ninth with his ninth save.

"Just build off the energy that we have going on in here just makes my life a lot easier," said Pivetta, who has allowed one run in his last 19 innings.

Foltynewicz (3-3) allowed six hits and struck out five in six innings. His lone run allowed came when Williams hit a solo shot in the fourth, an opposite-field poke to left for his third homer of the year. The Phillies have homered in 16 straight games.

"It's one pitch, really," Foltynewicz said. "I was upset about that, just the way Nick was throwing tonight. I was going to try and not let anybody score because of the night he was having tonight."

Altherr pinch hit for Pivetta in the seventh and crushed a two-run homer to left off Shane Carle for a 3-0 lead.

Two swings, one nice win.

"I take pride in the way a lot of our players have played," Kapler said. "I take pride in the way they've worked. I take pride in their preparation. I really love our players. I love coming to work with them every day. I ride the emotion that they ride."

The Phillies and Braves don't play again after this series until they face each other seven of the final 10 games of the season.

Maybe in September, they'll be playing for the title.

PHILLY SPECIAL

Phillies LF Rhys Hoskins gave Doug Pederson some tips before the Eagles coach took some batting practice. Pederson, enjoying the perks of winning the Super Bowl, had already thrown out the first pitch at the home opener. He won a hitting contest against some Eagles rookies before the game and earned a Louisville Slugger bat inscribed with the title, "2018 Philadelphia Eagles batting champion."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Braves: RHP Anibal Sanchez (hamstring) made a rehab start for Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday night.

Phillies: SS J.P. Crawford (right elbow strain) fielded grounder at extended spring training. ... RHP Pat Neshek made 30 throws from flat ground as he recovers from a strained right shoulder. ... RHP Jared Eickhoff's return from a back injury suffered a setback when he felt a twinge in his right index and middle fingers during a rehab start. "I don't think we're at the stage of deciding the level of concern. I think we're at the stage of evaluating," Kapler said.

CATCH UP

Phillies C Jorge Alfaro has thrown out six of his last nine attempted base stealers. He threw out a runner at second with one out in the seventh to preserve the 1-0 lead.

UP NEXT

Braves: RHP Brandon McCarthy (4-2, 5.05 ERA) looks to improve already to 4-0 this season against the Phillies. McCarthy has a 2.25 ERA in three starts that span just 16 innings.

Phillies: RHP Vince Velasquez (4-4, 4.37) is already 0-3 against the Braves this season. Velasquez has lasted just 12 2-3 innings in three starts this season and is 0-4 lifetime against the Braves.

___

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

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Georgia Sports News

  • ATLANTA (AP) - Josef Martinez scored his 27th goal to tie the MLS season record and help Atlanta United beat the Columbus Crew 3-1 on Sunday. Julian Gressel set up Martinez's scoring opportunity with a steal in the Crew's half of the field. He passed it up to Martinez, who broke down a pair of defenders before finishing with his left foot from the top of the penalty area in the 31st minute. With nine games left in the regular season, Martinez matched Roy Lassiter (1996), Chris Wondolowski (2012) and Bradley Wright-Phillips (2014) for the season record. Hector Villalba scored in the 76th minute to give Atlanta (15-4-6) a 2-1 lead, driving in from midfield and cutting a left-footed shot back into the right corner. Martinez laid it off to Miguel Almiron, who finished from the top of the penalty arc to cap the scoring in the 82nd minute. Gyasi Zardes tied it at 1 with a one-hopper from 25 yards out in the 50th minute for the Crew (11-8-6).
  • ATLANTA (AP) - DJ LeMahieu and the Colorado Rockies are quite comfortable on the road. Even against baseball's best teams. LeMahieu homered, German Marquez pitched seven solid innings and the Rockies closed out their first four-game sweep in Atlanta with a 4-2 victory over the Braves on Sunday. Colorado improved to 30-16 since June 26, and each of those 46 games came against teams with winning records at the time. The Rockies are 8-2 in their last 10 games against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston and Atlanta, facing the Astros and Braves on the road. 'Yeah, it's tough teams but we're definitely not nervous or scared to play anyone with our team,' LeMahieu said. 'We all know we have a really good team here. It makes it easy to show up at the park.' LeMahieu put Colorado in front with his third-inning drive to left field . He has hit nine of his 11 homers on the road, including a tiebreaking solo shot in the 10th inning of Saturday night's 5-3 win. 'No explanation,' LeMahieu said when asked about his road success. 'Just kind of random, I guess.' Rockies manager Bud Black said his team, battling Arizona for the NL West lead, is playing 'good, all-around clean baseball,' but still can hit better. Atlanta's four straight losses, tied for its longest streak of the season, followed a five-game winning streak. 'In this business, every time you think you have something figured out, you get kicked right in the teeth,' Braves manager Brian Snitker said. Marquez (11-9) won his fourth straight road decision. He allowed two runs and five hits, struck out five and walked one. 'Hopefully we can keep this rolling all the way to the World Series,' Marquez said through a translator. Marquez allowed a run in the first when Freddie Freeman doubled and scored on Johan Camargo's single. He then threw four straight scoreless innings before Camargo's single in the sixth drove in Freeman again. Trevor Story led off the second with a tying homer off Atlanta's Anibal Sanchez (6-4) into the Colorado bullpen behind the left-field wall. Following LeMahieu's homer in the third, David Dahl doubled and scored on Nolan Arenado's single. Sanchez struck out eight in 6 2/3 innings. He was charged with three runs and five hits. Wade Davis gave up a one-out single to Inciarte but had three strikeouts in the ninth for his NL-leading 35th save. Colorado's only previous sweep in Atlanta was a three-game series from Sept. 12-14, 1997. TRAINER'S ROOM Rockies: LHP Mike Dunn (left shoulder inflammation) will begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday with Triple-A Albuquerque. He has been out since July 7. 'It's going to be a lengthy rehab assignment,' Black said, adding Dunn will need 'multiple outings.' Braves: LHP Sam Freeman (left shoulder inflammation) was activated off the 10-day disabled list. LHP Kolby Allard was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett. STREAKS END Braves rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. was 0 for 4, ending his 11-game hitting streak. His team-record streak of reaching safely in nine consecutive plate appearances leading off a game also ended with his fly ball to center in the first. WEST WOES The Braves fell to 9-18 against the NL West this season. They are 40-19 against NL East teams. ROAD KINGS The Rockies improved to 37-29 away from Coors Field. They have won their last four series in Atlanta; the Braves won two of three in Colorado from April 6-8. UP NEXT Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (6-5, 4.39 ERA) tries to bounce from a rough outing at Houston when he gets the ball in the opener of a three-game series against visiting San Diego on Tuesday night. The Rockies are 16-5 at home since July 2. Braves: RHP Kevin Gausman (7-9, 4.22 ERA) starts when Atlanta opens a seven-game road trip at Pittsburgh on Monday night. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • ATHENS — An injury was the lead story coming out of Georgia’s second scrimmage, and the rest of the attention went to Kirby Smart’s displeasure with his quarterbacks. Meanwhile, questions persist about an unproven Bulldogs’ defense that’s trying to replace seven departed starters, including SEC Defensive Player of the Year Roquan Smith. It’s fair to say the most legitimate area of concern is the interior defensive line and the inside linebacker positions, particularly against the run. Smart and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker identified both of those areas this fall, most recently after the first scrimmage on Aug 11. The head coach still doesn’t sound convinced Georgia is adequate in that area. “I don’t know if we tested it enough, you know what I mean? The intent of today was ….   we wanted to throw the ball, get some timing,” Smart said, asked Saturday if the front seven had shown improvement. “Less what I call 11-on-11 car pile ups, you know what I mean. Less bodies on bodies because we did that last scrimmage. I don’t know if we made our run goal or not. I’ll have to wait and see the numbers but we didn’t run it a whole bunch.” Elijah Holyfield ran wild on the Georgia defense a week ago, and Brian Herrien was featured cutting through the defense in a video released by the team this week. RELATED: Watch Georgia junior tailback shred Bulldogs’ first-team defense Smart didn’t sound settled on any starters up front, talking about committees on the defensive line and at linebacker. “We do defensive line by committee so if you’re asking me who’s on the committee, there’s like eight guys on the committee,” Smart said, declining to single out any defensive linemen for praise. “There’s a bubble there on D-line where we’ll probably travel eight, nine, 10 depending on special teams and there’s some guys right on that threshold.” Asked about inside linebacker, Smart again provided the “committee” answer. “It’s by committee,” Smart said. “They make mistakes, but Quay Walker and Channing Tindall are fighting tooth and nail. “Juwan Taylor has had a good camp, so between Monty [Rice], Natrez [Patrick] and Tae [Crowder].” Smart said Patrick and Jaden Hunter have battled injuries in fall camp, but both took part in the second scrimmage. Georgia Scrimmage Two coverage • Kirby Smart displeased with Georgia QBs Jake Fromm, Justin Fields • 3 takeaways from Georgia football RB Zamir White injury • UGA underclassmen shine in otherwise sloppy Scrimmage Two • Georgia football injury report: Zamir White knee, others sidelined • Reporters aren’t the enemy of Georgia football coach Kirby Smart • Fired-up Kirby Smart goes after reporters • Internet reacts to Zamir White knee injury  • Several players back in action for Scrimmage Two Mike Griffith & Chip Towers discuss Scrimmage 2   Georgia Scrimmage One coverage 3 Georgia football players who need a strong first scrimmage Senior linebacker out of doghouse, leading scrimmage drill work Georgia coach weighs in on quarterbacks’ scrimmage performance Kirby Smart declares hard-hitting scrimmage a tie No free pass for dynamic incoming WR transfer Demetris Robertson WATCH: Elijah Holyfield rips through first-team defense in scrimmage Heart of Georgia football defense tested, Kirby Smart analyzes 3 key players Georgia football injury report: key senior sidelined with knee injury Kirby Smart identifies soft spot on defense after scrimmage Mike Griffith & Chip Towers open practice observations   The post Georgia football defense: Kirby Smart indicates unsettled front seven ‘committee’ appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia football is under the microscope after one of its most heralded recruits, freshman running back Zamir White, suffered a torn ACL in his left knee on Saturday. The attention has to do with White’s celebrated status as the No. 1-ranked tailback in the 2018 class, and the fact he was practicing with a knee brace eight months after undergoing surgery. RELATED: Watch Kirby Smart get fired up at press conference Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart, a former two-time All-SEC safety at Georgia, explained what led to White’s injury in Saturday’s scrimmage at Sanford Stadium. “ He was covering a punt, and it was a non-contact injury,” Smart said. “There was nobody really around. He and Mark Webb were kind of holding each other up.” It’s not hard to envision: The   players’ arms locked up, White trying to shed a block, Webb carrying out his assignment to hold him up, White tries to use lower body strength to cut, perhaps break loose, and when planting the torque from the upper-body lock up leads to a torn ligament. That’s very unfortunate, but that’s part of football. Sometimes no amount of conditioning can prevent such injuries as ligament damage. Here are three takeaways from what became a controversial injury 1. The injury is not controversial White had been cleared for full contact meaning Georgia’s medical staff had determined the right knee that was operated on last November had been rehabilitated satisfactorily. White was wearing a knee brace as a precaution, and also to help the young back regain confidence in the surgically repaired knee. Saturday’s injury was to White’s previously healthy left knee. Further, as Smart pointed out, it has become common for high-profile players to be a part of special teams’ units. RELATED: A look at Georgia football two-back set circumstances Special teams is often a separator in winning and losing a football game, in terms of execution as well as missed penalties. 2. White was fighting to make the travel squad White was indeed a 5-star prospect worthy of his acclaim. But in the Aug. 4 open practice, it was clear that his time away from football had taken a toll. White did not appear as explosive, quick or powerful as in his high school film footage. Further, in talking to Georgia defensive players, White was not the first, second, third or sometimes fourth back mentioned when asked who had impressed. RELATED: Monty Rice raves about Little [James] Cook Georgia’s backfield is deep and talented, and D’Andre Swift, Elijah Holyfield, Brian Herrien and James Cook all looked better. Smart points out only 70 players can travel to road games. A player’s ability to make the travel team is often determined by his ability to contribute on special teams. White was likely trying to “make the bus” as Smart likes to say, and the Georgia coaches were giving him an opportunity by placing him on a special teams unit. 3. Business as usual moving forward White’s injury, while unfortunate, will not send oddsmakers in Las Vegas scrambling to adjust the Georgia football betting line for point spreads or season win total. The top three spots on the Bulldogs’ depth chart at tailback does not change. Further, Smart will not change how he coaches, and the competition at Georgia for a spot on the bus will not decrease. The number of healthy 5-star players on the Bulldogs roster is down from 21 to 20. But Smart means it when he says the stars a player received in recruiting mean nothing in the meeting rooms or on the depth chart. RELATED: Georgia 5-star receivers getting outplayed in practice To make the 70-man travel squad, a player is going to have to find a way to contribute to the team, and special teams will continue to be an available avenue. Further, White’s case serves as evidence that even the No. 1-ranked tailback prospect in the 2018 signing class has to compete for playing time on a championship caliber team. Georgia Scrimmage Two coverage • Kirby Smart displeased with Jake Fromm, Justin Fields • UGA underclassmen shine in otherwise sloppy Scrimmage Two • Georgia football injury report: Zamir White knee, others sidelined • Reporters aren’t the enemy of Georgia football coach Kirby Smart • Fired-up Kirby Smart goes after reporters • Internet reacts to Zamir White knee injury  • Several players back in action for Scrimmage Two Mike Griffith & Chip Towers discuss Scrimmage 2 X Georgia Scrimmage One coverage 3 Georgia football players who need a strong first scrimmage Senior linebacker out of doghouse, leading scrimmage drill work Georgia coach weighs in on quarterbacks’ scrimmage performance Kirby Smart declares hard-hitting scrimmage a tie No free pass for dynamic incoming WR transfer Demetris Robertson WATCH: Elijah Holyfield rips through first-team defense in scrimmage Heart of Georgia football defense tested, Kirby Smart analyzes 3 key players Georgia football injury report: key senior sidelined with knee injury Kirby Smart identifies soft spot on defense after scrimmage Mike Griffith & Chip Towers open practice observations The post 3 takeaways from Georgia football RB Zamir White knee injury appeared first on DawgNation.