clear
Tuesday July 7th, 2015 8:32PM

Heyward sparks Braves' 7-1 rout of Phillies

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA -- The Braves found the solution for their September slump - Phillies rookie Tyler Cloyd.

Jason Heyward's leadoff home run sparked a five-run first inning and the Braves shook off what has been a chilly September at the plate with a 7-1 win over the Phillies on Thursday night.

"It is good to get hits," said Heyward, who had a career-high five, including three doubles. "Good to get on base and get the game going early. We are still playing for something."

The win pulled the Braves even with the idle Cardinals at 94-65 for the best record in the National League with three games to play. The Braves won the season-series against the Cardinals and would win the NL's No. 1 seed if the teams finish tied.

"It is a big spot," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We'll try to win tomorrow and keep guys healthy at the same time."

Braves catcher Bryan McCann left the game in the second inning with an adductor strain. After the game, Gonzalez said he thinks McCann will be OK and wanted to avoid having something small get worse.

After scoring just three runs in a three-game series loss to the Brewers, the Braves entered Thursday averaging 3.3 runs per game in September. They surpassed that in just six batters against the Phillies when Chris Johnson doubled home Evan Gattis to give the Braves a 4-0 lead in the first.

Braves rookie David Hale (1-0) picked up his first win in his second career start, going six innings while giving up one run and striking out five. The right-hander allowed six base runners in the first three innings, but settled down after that and cruised to the win. In two starts since getting called up from Triple-A, Hale has given up one run in 11 innings.

"It is amazing, especially to (get my first win) at home," said Hale, who grew up in nearby Marietta. "I was a little more relaxed, but still nervous. I just kept the ball down and it turned out all right."

Cloyd (2-7) had been struggling, surrendering 17 runs in 13 innings in his previous three September starts, and the right-hander did not see a turnaround against the Braves. He gave up seven runs on eight hits and did not retire any of the first four batters in the second inning before being pulled.

"It was just bad. I wasn't executing any pitches and they were hitting the ball hard," Cloyd said. "I wouldn't say nothing was working, but everything was where they could hit it."

The decisive first began with Heyward's home run on Cloyd's first pitch of the night. Elliot Johnson followed with a single, and Freddie Freeman doubled him home. Gattis then hit an RBI single, and scored on Chris Johnson's double. Jordan Schafer brought in the final run of the frame with an RBI single.

Gattis ended Cloyd's night with a two-run double in the second that scored Heyward and Elliot Johnson.

"Cloyd had a hard time with his first-pitch strikes and also had trouble with two strikes," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "They were still able to barrel balls up pretty good and before you know it, it was 7-0."

Jimmy Rollins went 3 for 4 for the Phillies, who have lost seven of eight.

NOTES: Injured Braves starter Brandon Beachy had arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Thursday. Gonzalez said Beachy should be ready to return by the first couple of weeks of spring training. ... Gonzalez is undecided on his fourth starter for the upcoming NLDS. He is choosing between Freddy Garcia and Paul Malhom. Gonzalez thought both pitchers pitched well this week and said it will be a tough decision. ... Injured Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard was at Turner Field, re-joining the team from Clearwater, Fla., where he had been rehabbing his left knee. Howard said it was important to him to finish the season with his teammates. "I just wanted to watch and cheer these guys on the rest of the way and hopefully try to end things on a good note and head into 2014 on a high." ... The Braves have matched their 94 wins from 2012, when they earned a wild card spot.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 1 year ago )
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 1 year ago )
Sports
Falcons fire offensive, defensive line coaches
The Atlanta Falcons have fired defensive line coach Ray Hamilton and offensive line coaches Pat Hill and Paul Dunn.
7:02PM ( 1 year ago )
Best, worst of Falcons' 4-12 season
Best Game: They'd been eliminated from playoff contention previous week vs. New Orleans, but the Falcons showed some heart with Dec. 1 overtime victory over Bills in Toronto.
6:21PM ( 1 year ago )
Gonzalez's career ends with another Falcons loss
Tony Gonzalez is ready for the next chapter of his life.
9:47PM ( 1 year ago )
Professional Sports
Two-A-Days: Buford looking to reload, retain title
When you're working on a 40-game win streak over a three year period, expectations usually are high, as is turnover rate at the high school level. But could 2015 be different for the Buford Wolves?
8:00PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Georgia men's basketball announces 2015-16 non-conference schedule
Georgia mens basketball's 2015-16 non-conference slate announced Tuesday will be among the most challenging and balanced in the program's history. The Bulldogs' 11 non-conference opponents averaged 19.3 wins last season and finished 2014-15 with an average NCAA rpi of 115.
By UGA Sports Communications
6:01PM ( 2 hours ago )
Two-A-Days: High school football countdown is on, starting with Banks County
Believe it or not there are only 45 days left until the start of the 2015 high school football season around the state and here in northeast Georgia...
1:00PM ( 7 hours ago )
Braves halt Brewers' 8-game win streak, 5-3
Kelly Johnson homered and drove in three runs as the Atlanta Braves ended the Milwaukee Brewers' eight-game winning streak with a 5-3 victory Monday night.
12:13AM ( 20 hours ago )
Carli Lloyd becomes Captain America for US women
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — For a brief time Sunday night, Carli Lloyd's Wikipedia page listed her position as "President of the United States."More like Captain America.Lloyd scored three goal...
8:05AM ( 1 day ago )