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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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) - Falcons kicker Matt Bryant is likely to miss the next game against the New York Giants after straining his right hamstring making a 57-yard field goal. Coach Dan Quinn said Monday that the Falcons are going to bring in another kicker by the time they return to practice this week. Giorgio Tavecchio, who was with the team at the end of the preseason, is among the candidates to fill in for at least one game. The 43-year-old Bryant is one of Atlanta's most reliable offensive weapons. He has made all nine of his field goal attempts this season, including three from at least 50 yards. His long kick Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers helped clinch a 34-29 victory. But Bryant immediately grabbed his hamstring, hobbled off the field and headed straight to the locker room. The Falcons (2-4) face the New York Giants (1-5) next Monday night. ___ For more AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NFLfootball and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • ATHENS — College football games between relatively evenly matched teams can often come down to a handful of plays, with momentum playing a large role in the outcome. The LSU-Georgia game on Saturday in Tiger Stadium was no different, the Bayou Bengals prevailing 36-16 over the previously undefeated Bulldogs. Both teams had their strengths, but they had also shown their deficiencies leading up to a high-profile clash that drew the largest college football game rating last weekend. LSU did a better job of exposing the Bulldogs’ weaknesses than Georgia did the Tigers. Here are the three key moments that played a large role in determining the outcome of Saturday’s game 1. Georgia’s failed fake field goal Perhaps the biggest play of the game in hindsight, as Georgia had ran the ball nine straight times for 60 yards before two incomplete passes put the Bulldogs in position for a field goal attempt. Kirby Smart said the staff knew before the game they were going to run a fake if they saw an LSU alignment they felt they could take advantage of, and the Tigers presented that look on Georgia’s second drive. “They were like 15 of 17 (88 percent) with a look that it would work on,” Smart said, explaining why the Bulldogs passed on a 31-yard field goal attempt at the 3:28 mark of the opening quarter, down 3-0. “We wanted to be aggressive.” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said Georgia’s fake field goal did indeed surprise him. “ It surprised me, 10 yards to go, it surprised me,” he said. “But we always have a guy for the fake. We have eyes. And when you’re playing for the field goal block, you have to have your eyes on your man, not on the field goal kicker. Tremendous discipline.” 2. LSU’s 47-yard run on third-and-1 Tiger Stadium erupted again on the final play of the first quarter on the ensuing drive after Georgia had lost its initial momentum with the fruitless fake field goal. The game within the game was LSU’s offensive line vs. the Georgia front seven, and this was the first short-yardage battle of the game, third-and-1 at the Tigers’ 46. RELATED: Kirby Smart challenges defense to ‘knuckle up’ at LSU The Bulldogs were not gap sound, and LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed 47 yards to the UGA 7 to set up a TD that made it 10-0. It was only the second run of longer than 20 yards Georgia had given up all season. The play gave the Tigers the confidence they needed to go for it on four other fourth-and-1 situations against the Bulldogs, all of which they converted in back-breaking fashion. “At the end of the day,” Smart said, “you don’t win the line of scrimmage in this league, you won’t win the football game.” Orgeron, meanwhile, said LSU was still smarting from its 27-19 loss at Florida the week before. The Tigers coach was intent to make amends after electing to kick a field goal from the Gators’ 15-yard line on a fourth-and-inches situation in the second quarter with that game tied at 7-7.. “We were throwing out the kitchen sink, man, everything we had, we did,” Orgeron said, asked about the decision to go for it on four fourth downs against Georgia. “All week, we talked about being aggressive. I was a little pissed at myself for not going for it against Florida down there fourth and half an inch.” Third-and-6 sack in fourth quarter Georgia trailed 19-9 when it took over at the LSU 38-yard line with 14:39 remaining, Mecole Hardman having broken loose on a 27-yard punt return after the Bulldogs’ defense turned the momentum by forcing LSU to go three-and-out. RELATED: LSU defensive wizard outschemed Georgia football A jet sweep call for Hardman was stopped for no gain, and then Justin Fields was brought in to handoff to third-string tailback Brian Herrien for 4 yards, bringing up the third-and-6 at the 34. Georgia was still within Rodrigo Blankenship’s field goal range when Jake Fromm took the snap, but the veteran QB failed to make a play — instead taking a 9-yard sack that took the Bulldogs out of field goal range. “Some of those you’ve got to escape and get rid of the ball, there’s a lot of pressures they run that are hard to pick up, and I was very concerned with that coming into the game,” Smart said. “But I didn’t think it was the protection as much as it was making decisions quicker, getting rid of the ball quicker, and at the end of the day, don’t be in third-and-long.”   LSU, its crowd still roaring from the sack, responded with a six-play, 86-yard drive to go up 26-9. Georgia-LSU football DawgNation Georgia-LSU top-rated television game, Atlanta market shines Kirby Smart defends Jake Fromm at LSU Georgia football saw warning signs, couldn’t dodge Tigers’ trap Why didn’t Georgia use Justin Fields more? Report card: Bulldogs bomb midterm Georgia football stock report, LSU cashes in on Dawgs mistakes Instant analysis: Georgia melts in Louisiana heat against LSU Tigers came at Georgia for four downs on each series RECAP: Scoring, injuries, news from Georgia’s 36-16 loss to LSU Georgia rushing attack goes AWOL in battle at LSU         The post Georgia-LSU rewind: 3 momentum-changing plays in Bulldogs’ 36-16 loss appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football is the No. 1 topic every day on DawgNation Daily — the daily podcast for Georgia Bulldogs fans. Catch up on everything happening with UGA athletics with host Brandon Adams and the cast of DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss UGA coach Kirby Smart’s quest to keep the Bulldogs on top of the SEC. On episode No. 803 (Oct. 15, 2018) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about how Georgia coach Kirby Smart’s handling his quarterbacks. Georgia football podcast: Kirby Smart facing tough questions about his QBs Beginning of the show: Georgia lost Saturday vs. LSU and UGA quarterback Jake Fromm didn’t have a good game. This will increase calls from some fans to see more of the backup quarterback, freshman Justin Fields. There’s a debate to be had about whether Fromm or Fields is the right choice for UGA, but what isn’t debatable is that UGA coach Kirby Smart’s decision making about his quarterbacks is becoming more controversial. I’ll talk more about that subject on today’s show. 10-minute mark: I’ll share audio of Smart addressing the quarterback situation. 15-minute mark: DawgNation’s Chip Towers joins the show. Some of the topics dicussed include… Chip’s thoughts on the quarterback situation Whether the Bulldogs were guilty of abandoning the running game Saturday The strange decision to fake a field goal — which backfired on UGA and seemingly generated momentum for LSU And where UGA goes next with Florida looming in two weeks 30-minute mark: I react to the top SEC games of the weekend — including Florida’s win against Vanderbilt, Auburn’s loss to Tennessee, Alabama’s potentially costly victory over Missouri and more. 35-minute mark: I’ll talk more about why Georgia’s running backs — including Elijah Holyfield — weren’t used more Saturday despite putting up impressive stats. End of show: I update the Gator Hater Countdown and thank DawgNation for making DawgNation Invasion a fun weekend. The post Georgia football podcast: Kirby Smart facing tough questions about his QBs appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Around the Dawg House will bring you daily updates from what people and publications are saying about Georgia,  from inside and outside of Athens. National Media comes down hard on Georgia, Kirby Smart after LSU loss As just about every Georgia fan knows by now, the Bulldogs got stomped out on the road by LSU, 36-16 on Saturday. And naturally some in the national media have asked a ton of questions with regards to Kirby Smart and the Georgia football offense. Paul Finebaum went on SportsCenter on Sunday morning to explain his thoughts on what Georgia must do to get back into the playoff picture. Georgia is now the No. 8 ranked team in the country. “It’s tempting but I’m not going to,” Finebaum said on if he was going to write off Georgia. “If they can get back together again, and they did this last year after just getting eviscerated by Auburn, and almost won the national championship…What about Justin Fields? Everyone else is moving towards a younger, more mobile quarterback. Why isn’t Kirby Smart, because the schedule is going to get more problematic.” Georgia’s next two games are both on away from Sanford Stadium and both Florida and Kentucky are currently ranked opponents. As for the quarterback situation, Jake Fromm completed 16 of his 34 pass attempts while also throwing two interceptions. Fields, Georgia’s freshman quarterback, did not have a pass attempt in the loss. ESPN’s Chris Low made a similar point to Finebaum on Sunday as well. “They recovered a year ago after their loss at Auburn, but will be hard-pressed to do so again this year given some of their sloppiness and inconsistency on offense,” Low wrote. “They still have to play at Kentucky and Florida in Jacksonville. And get ready for a ton of questions about the Dawgs’ quarterback situation, too.” Both what Finebaum and Low said was pretty valid. However neither went as far as USA Today’s Dan Wolken, who stated that Alabama would never lose a game like Georgia did against LSU, while taking a shot at the UGA fan base. Alabama never loses games like that. They just don’t,” Wolken wrote. “And even though Georgia is always going to have really good players and a high blue-chip count, the combination of talent and experience that got the Bulldogs to the brink of a national title last season was not something you can replicate every year. And when you go up against other teams with really good players, especially on the road, sometimes bad stuff happens. “For a fan base that was undeservedly starting to get that invincible feeling, this was a crash back to a world of personnel problems exposed and coaching gripes empowered.” If you want to bash the football team for not being Alabama, that’s fine. No time is Alabama and the Georgia fans didn’t really compare their current run of success to what Alabama has done. But to go after the Georgia fan base just seems weird and sort of unnecessary, even if the point of his whole column is to rank how miserable each fan base is at the moment. Smart and the Bulldogs will have time to regroup following the loss as the Bulldogs are off this week, before heading to Jacksonville to take on No. 11 Florida on Oct. 27. Best stories from around DawgNation Winners and Losers from Georgia’s disappointing loss at LSU On the beat: LSU defensive wizard outschemed Georgia’s multifaceted offense Georgia-LSU rewind: 3 momentum-changing plays in Bulldogs’ 36-16 loss Georgia football odds for title diminish with loss, but Bulldogs control destiny Freshman report on UGA football: LSU 36, Georgia 16 Georgia takes big drop in AP Poll after loss to LSU Georgia football coach Kirby Smart saw warning signs, couldn’t avoid LSU trap LSU coach Ed Orgeron says Tigers had message to send to Georgia The post What the national media had to say about Georgia after its loss to LSU appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The Atlanta Braves announced Monday that the organization has agreed to terms on a two-year contract for manager Brian Snitker. The contract does include a third-year club option for 2021.  Snitker took over as manager for the Braves in 2016 and led the team to their first National League East Division title in five years this season.  Here is the full statement from the Atlanta Braves: The Atlanta #Braves and manager Brian Snitker have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with a club option for the 2021 season: pic.twitter.com/CsReyEyU9x — Atlanta Braves (@Braves) October 15, 2018 TRENDING STORIES: Georgia already topping list for flu activity in the nation President Trump to view storm damage in Georgia Atlanta police seize drugs and guns from a popular food mart Snitker has been with the Braves organization for 43 seasons, including three seasons as manager for Triple-A club in Gwinnett.  The National League 'Manager of the Year' candidate, who turns 63 on Wednesday, owns a 221-227 (.493) record in his two-plus seasons. Information from our partners at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was used in this report.