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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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

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  • Once again, Georgia offensive coordinator James Coley appears to be a wanted man. Only this time, it’s an NFL team that may be after his services. The Dallas Cowboys fired their offensive coordinator Scott Linehan on Friday, and will be searching for a new one to optimize the talents of quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott. And one name that was almost immediately mentioned was that of Coley by the NFL Network’s Adam Ian Rapoport. As the #Cowboys dig into possible replacements for embattled OC Scott Linehan, they have one on their current staff — TE coach Doug Nussmeier — and may look to the college game to better utilize Dak Prescott’s talents. UGA OC James Coley will receive some consideration there. — Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 18, 2019 Just last Friday, Coley was named Georgia’s new offensive coordinator, replacing Jim Chaney. Chaney left to become the offensive coordinator at Tennessee. Contract details for Coley’s new deal have not been announced yet. Georgia hired its tight ends coach, Todd Hartley, on Monday and released his contract details on Thursday. Coley has been with the Georgia program since 2016, starting as the wide receivers coach before moving up to quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator this past offseason. Coley is also an excellent recruiter in the South Florida area, making him a major asset for the Georgia program. Last offseason, Texas A&M tried to hire Coley to be its offensive coordinator, but he elected to remain with the Bulldogs. Related:  Terry Godwin: Georgia offensive coordinator James Coley ‘brings the juice every day’ Most of Coley’s work has come in college, but he did serve as an offensive assistant for the Miami Dolphins in 2005 and 06, when Nick Saban ran the team. He previously worked as an offensive coordinator at Florida State and Miami, but only served as the play caller in Miami. While Georgia has filled out its offensive staff, it is still looking for a new defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. The search to fill that position has lasted longer than six weeks, as Mel Tucker was named the head coach at Colorado on Dec. 5. Best Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Georgia football staff attrition challenging Kirby Smart, leaves anxious fans watching, waiting ESPN names Georgia standout Andrew Thomas to early 2019 All-American team Georgia football podcast: UGA’s delay in hiring defensive coach starting to make more sense Terry Godwin: Georgia offensive coordinator James Coley ‘brings the juice every day’ Identifying who could be Georgia’s best under-the-radar offensive player in 2019 When should Georgia fans start to worry about the defensive coordinator hire? The post Report: James Coley mentioned as candidate for Dallas Cowboys OC job appeared first on DawgNation.
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  • ATHENS — Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean lost his mother, Marjorie Crean, after her long battle with an illness. “My sister Michelle and our family are incredibly fortunate to have my mom as a mother and a grandmother,” Crean said in a school release. “Her perseverance and toughness were huge characteristics in her life, and she carried those with her until the very end,” he said. “We could never thank her enough for giving us the wherewithal and the courage to pursue our dreams with an incredible passion she instilled in each of us.” Crean traveled to Michigan last Friday to be with his 80-year-old mother, returning last Saturday to coach the Bulldogs at Auburn. Crean, in his first year as UGA’s head coach, has let Georgia know he does not plan on missing any games. The Bulldogs play host to Florida at noon on Saturday in the second of five consecutive sellouts at Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia is 9-7 overall and 1-3 in the SEC with league losses to No. 3-ranked Tennessee, No. 12-ranked Kentucky and No. 14 Auburn. The defeats to the Vols and the Tigers were both on the road. Marjorie Crean is survived by her two children, Tom Crean and Michelle Dean; her daughter-in-law, Joani Crean; her son-in-law, Shannon Dean; and three grandchildren, Megan, Riley and Ainsley Crean.         The post Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean’s mother, Marjorie Crean, passes away at 80 appeared first on DawgNation.